Investing in People and Technology

Atlas-Apex Roofing Inc.
Written by Robert Hoshowsky

With its origins going back almost 90 years, Atlas-Apex Roofing Inc. remains at the forefront of innovation, while maintaining its enduring commitment to countless satisfied customers.
Active in flat and low-sloped projects for industrial, commercial, and institutional clients, Atlas-Apex regularly takes on large-scale works for offices, manufacturing facilities, hospitals, schools, banks, hotels, and other clients, offering high quality services for re-roofing works; new construction projects; 24/7, 365-days-a-year emergency repairs; and preventive maintenance programs to ensure roofs maintain their longevity.

Many businesses and institutions recognize the importance of upgrading equipment and technology on a regular basis; however, some neglect to maintain one of their greatest assets, namely their roofs. Some roofing contractors may simply replace roofs and move on from one job to the next; however, Atlas-Apex prides itself on working closely with all customers to offer a variety of services, such as their exclusive Atlas Guard. A preventive maintenance plan, Atlas Guard provides the ultimate in roof protection for customers from not only breakdown over time, but costs that may be associated with ongoing damage. Proactive rather than reactive, the company’s preventive maintenance program offers peace of mind, as trained staff conduct regular inspections, perform necessary corrective work, and provide full maintenance reports, including recommendations and cost estimates for future repairs if required.

Highly customizable to each and every client and roof, Atlas Guard includes inspection of all key maintenance areas such as: membrane blisters and ridges, expansion joints, bare felt areas, drains, screens and surrounding areas, flashings, roof walkways and padding, and much more, providing digital photographs of existing roof conditions and noting all areas that need to be addressed. In this way, customers not only become aware of the condition of their roof and maintenance issues, but can anticipate and plan for any future repairs or replacement.

“We inspect and maintain the roof from the time that it is installed up until the time it needs to be replaced – that big space in-between is Atlas Guard protecting the asset,” explains Richard McLeod, Business Development Manager for Atlas-Apex Roofing Inc. “We like to inspect roofs at least once a year, even if they are brand new, which is something people often don’t realize, and we’re trying to get that message out… a roof can really take a beating,” but, he says, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Expansion Across Canada and the U.S.
As Business Development Manager for the company for the past two years, McLeod brought his considerable experience in the manufacturing side of high performance roofing to Atlas-Apex. With a background in sales and marketing, he has helped to considerably broaden the business and its profile through trade shows, construction associations, commercial real estate associations, print advertising, social networking, and through the Atlas-Apex website, which recently underwent a large and successful redevelopment.

“One of our big differentiators on our website is our media centre,” says McLeod of the site. Instead of being static, the company’s website at boasts five corporate videos covering a range of areas, including the company’s environmental division, sheet metal, reroofing, and service divisions. To complement these areas, Atlas-Apex also has several full-colour brochures providing important information on the company and its range of services, as well as numerous ‘video quotes’, informing and educating viewers about how many common roof repairs are done. In this way, customers are better informed not only of the range of services offered by the company, but of their unwavering commitment to quality and professional workmanship.

Founded in 1928 as Atlas Roofing and merging with Apex Roofing in 1968, the company continues to grow its locations and service offerings to this day. Adding four new branches in the past few years, Atlas-Apex now has approximately 350 full-time employees across seven branches in Canada, and a U.S. division with three locations in Florida, one in Mississippi, and another in New York City. Last year, as part of their expansion, the company made several acquisitions, including long-time alliances with very well established roofing businesses based in Vancouver and Regina. Recently starting a new branch in St. John’s, Newfoundland, they are also set to open a new location in spring 2015 in London, Ontario, to better serve the needs of area customers. “We already have our Kitchener branch, which has been there for several years, and this gives us an even greater presence further west, so we can continue to expand geographically while maintaining the excellent service level we are known for,” comments McLeod.

State-of-the-art Solutions
The team regularly works with a series of diverse consultants, engineering firms, and technical firms throughout a roof project, and sometimes there is a demand for more information, or for specialized components, such as rooftop solar arrays. “Because of the specialized technical demands of the solar implementation, the roofing component is all too often overlooked by solar providers when installing or even specifying rooftop solar components,” explains McLeod. By working closely with consultants and engineers on behalf of the client, the company ensures that everything is installed properly and safely from a roofing perspective.

With decades of experience and thousands of satisfied clients across a range of sectors, Atlas-Apex Roofing Inc. continues to provide their expertise on both time-tested products and services as well as newer offerings. Where many roofing companies are limited to certain areas, Atlas-Apex staff members are trained and experienced in a wide range of systems and products, including solar panels, lightweight insulated concrete, and vegetative roofing, among others.

Along with solar roofing, the company has seen increasing demand for vegetative roofing over recent years. These roofs consist of plant materials installed over weather-proofed systems. Providing a number of benefits to the environment, vegetative roofing is used to improve air quality, achieve stormwater control, reduce urban “heat island” effect, and provide energy savings, as it helps to regulate temperatures within the structure itself. Vegetative roofing requires a high degree of expertise, training, and components, all of which can be provided by Atlas-Apex.

Able to advise clients about various roofing types, the company has also earned a reputation for its quality Lightweight Insulated Concrete (LIC) system, known as Concrecel. Lightweight, extremely durable, and with a lower overall impact on the environment, these types of roofs provide tremendous long-lasting value. In use for decades, LIC products have encountered issues with inconsistent product quality due to improper mixing and delivery methods. The patented Concrecel system ensures a very consistent product, as well as a controlled delivery method right up to the point of application. Done properly, LIC serves as an extremely versatile and durable substrate for roofing systems. Rather than replacing an entire roof every 20 years or so and paying for removal and waste disposal, LIC provides a solid, lightweight base which can last 50 to 60 years or more. Instead of removing all components, only the top layer is taken off when the roof needs to be replaced. “If the average lifespan of a roof is 20 years, and you do this now with the lightweight insulating concrete, in 20 or 25 years when you go to replace again, basically all you’re doing is taking up the layer of that membrane and replacing that, as opposed to removing all of the other components. In addition to minimizing the impact on the environment, there can be a significant cost savings to the client as well.”

Recognizing the importance of emerging technologies, Atlas-Apex remains vigilant when it comes to investing in a range of roofing applications. Removing existing flat roofs is a messy job, and to minimize flying gravel and debris, the company has invested in a state-of-the-art vacuum system. Essentially a water vacuum system, it is a large, self-contained unit which remains on ground level adjacent to the building, with the water vac part up on the roof. Crew members walk the roof back and forth, removing waste via a large diameter hose which transports debris down to ground level and into the adjacent dumpster. Unlike the old days where gravel was shoveled from roofs and thrown down a chute, creating a dusty mess, all materials being removed are safely contained within the unit before being transported to appropriate disposal sites. Investing in this product is a clear indication of the company’s commitment to safety, its staff, and above all, its customers.

“It is certainly one of the dirtiest and potentially dangerous jobs of all, because you can have all this dirt and debris and gravel flying all over the place,” says McLeod of the thousands of pounds of gravel that is removed during a flat roof replacement. “With this system, the dust is minimal, virtually none. There is no debris, nor projectiles flying all over the place, so it keeps it very safe and very clean, which in this business are two of the biggest concerns.”

Taking on projects ranging from repairing small roof leaks all the way up to multi-million-dollar projects taking weeks or months to complete, Atlas-Apex meets the needs of customers of all sizes. To mitigate risk, the company ensures all employees are well-trained in safety and all systems, and carries $50 million in insurance. To further set themselves above the competition, Atlas-Apex believes in keeping in touch with its customers through a variety of systems. The company’s Emergency Response System (ERS) ensures prompt and efficient roof leak service, and informs customers of any work performed within 24 hours of completion via a detailed service report. These service reports include “before and after” photos and a description of the work performed, as well as recommendations and budget pricing for any additional work that may be required. The system is continually evolving, and ensures clients can get hold of Atlas-Apex staff quickly and easily.

“It is crucial customers know what is going on,” comments McLeod. “If they don’t, they might as well not even know that you’re up on the roof; in their minds, they still have this problem that is unresolved, unless you tell them that you have taking care of it and that everything is fine. Communication is an integral part of customer service, and another key component that truly sets Atlas-Apex apart in the roofing industry.”

Along with the ERS System, the company works with clients through the Re-Roofing Communications System (RCS), which is custom-tailored to meet the needs of all customers. Communicating in real time, RCS conveys to clients the status of their roofing project, and allows them to access not only project documentation and weather forecasts, but other key information regarding roofing progress. A custom portal, it is specific to each project. Information on health and safety, certifications, and the roofing crew itself can be accessed, along with any custom documents that may be required. “It really is set up to communicate the needs of the clients, so we meet with them before hand and we can tailor it to their specific requirements,” says McLeod.

Realizing that very large roofing projects can take weeks or months, Atlas-Apex remains committed to informing clients about progress, using the latest technologies, and using the skills of highly trained and experienced staff committed to safety and successful project completion. A roof, after all, is one of any company’s greatest assets, and needs to be monitored, maintained, and updated on a regular basis. And with almost 90 years of roofing experience, Atlas-Apex Roofing Inc. remains one of the most trusted names in the business.



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