With headquarters in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania and sales and service locations from Maine to Florida and west to the Mississippi, DDP Roofing Services Inc. provides emergency service and repairs, preventative maintenance and a complete arsenal of reroofing systems and warranties.
Imagine it is 5:35 PM on a Friday. Building maintenance staff discovers a leaky roof. If it is not repaired quickly, hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment or product could be lost, so the maintenance manager calls a roof repair company’s emergency number, only to be advised by an automated answering system that it will re-open on Monday at 9:00 AM.
If you are worrying that this could happen to your commercial establishment, you do not have to, because DDP Roofing Services Inc. does not use an automated system for emergencies. It provides a twenty-four-hour emergency response and callers will always speak with a live person and will receive a return call. And when DDP employees arrive on the scene they will be fully equipped with the tools necessary to manage the leak issue.
That dependable emergency response system is just one of many reasons why customers in sectors from manufacturing to property management, retail, and hospitality are choosing DDP to look after their roofing needs. The chief executive officers and building managers of businesses and institutions such as Ethan Allen, Shaw’s, Brixmor Property Management, Jones Lang LaSalle, Wachovia, Regal Entertainment Group, U-Haul and the Salvation Army are all resting easier knowing they’ll be looked after by trained, professional roofers of DDP and not subcontractors.
But DDP is about far more than twenty-four-hour emergency response, reassuring as that may be. It is a full-service commercial roofing contractor which, in its twenty-seven years in the business, has installed over one hundred million square feet of roof, have completed over one million service calls and garnered some impressive awards for its quality performance. Among the accolades are being named Firestone Master Contractor, Duro-Last Master Contractor, Johns Manville Peak Advantage Contractor and GAF Master Select Contractor.
Also reassuring is the fact that its 250 employees work directly for the company and are not subcontractors. All have received intensive training in methods and materials, both in a classroom setting and on the job working with senior roofers.
It all started more than thirty years ago when the company’s Chief Executive Officer Paul Becker was a student at Pennsylvania State University. He and two friends were offered summer employment by their lacrosse coach who owned a roofing company. They got hooked on the industry and never left, first working out of a garage and doing residential roofs before forming DDP in 1989.
The company services and installs all types of roofing systems on existing buildings including the latest technology in roofing, thermoplastic single-ply membranes (TPO/PVC) which Becker says has many advantages. “Single-ply membrane roofs are easier to install, less labor intensive, less expensive overall, and they perform better in different climates as they are more energy efficient.”
But depending on the customer’s requests, the company also services and installs EPDM (synthetic rubber), BUR, modified bitumen, metal, standing seam, acrylic coating, fiberglass and wood shingle systems.
Moreover, DDP is certified to maintain and install products from the foremost roofing manufacturers including ATAS, Carlisle, CertainTeed, Derbigum, Duro-Last. Fibertite, Firestone, GAF, Garland, Genflex, Greengrid®, John’s Manville, Peterson Metals, Sarnafil, Siplast, Tremco and W.P. Hickman. It has partnered with Carlisle and Weston to provide Going Green roof systems.
Of real interest to owners who want their roofs to last is DDP’s unique, comprehensive maintenance program. “Re-roofing and full roof replacement depends on a number of things,” Becker says, “including the conditions on which it was originally installed, on the geographic area and the foot traffic, but typically a roof will last twenty years.”
But foot traffic? Who walks on roofs? “People trample on roofs every day,” he says. “They’re up there to service mechanical units. There are roof decks for hosting events and observation decks. Laboratories and pharmaceutical companies are always checking their ventilation systems because there could be chemicals on the roofs, while exhaust fans from restaurants have animal fats spewing up on the roof. That has to be cleaned up. So yes there are people on roofs every day.”
“We try to extend the life of a client’s roof by maintaining it first before we suggest replacement, because replacement is very expensive. So we suggest that if a roof can be maintained and if we can get a couple more years out of it, then this is a better way to go than full replacement.”
To that end, the company has developed Roof-Life, an online portal that clients can access via the web or mobile device to help them manage their entire portfolio. Service history, condition reports, warranties and proposals are available for easy access and budget planning and a service call or roof evaluation can be requested with one mouse click or touch of a screen. This means that everything is stored in the cloud which allows clients access to their properties from anywhere and allows them to review by location and section. By taking advantage of Roof-Life, clients can manage their assets more effectively, extend the life of their roof systems and target their spending more effectively.
A typical report would include photographic observations, core samples, a summary of the overall roof condition which would include the estimated life of the roof and recommendations. For example, a maintenance visit could reveal a clogged scupper, drain or gutter which is no longer functioning properly, but would be if cleaned and all debris removed to ensure proper water drainage. A small repair of such an issue is a much more effective way to maintain a roof rather than waiting until severe damage occurs resulting in major repairs or complete replacement.
Although the bulk of DDP’s work is done east of the Mississippi, Becker says it has capabilities throughout the U.S., has done work in Puerto Rica and Mexico, “and maybe we’ll get to Canada someday.”
The biggest challenge the company, or any small to mid-sized company, faces is dealing with government regulations, he says. “There are permits, environmental protection and energy code regulations, and every state and even every locality has a different rule to get licensed and insured. To get compliant with dozens and dozens, if not hundreds of different entities, is time-consuming and expensive.
“We have undertaken that task and have done it, but it costs lots of money, and it’s arduous. Within the fifty states, there are hundreds of communities that have their own regulations also, and a lot of them don’t have reciprocating rights, and then the Department of Transportation has different rules for going across state lines, so it’s so much red tape.”
“It’s difficult to remain competitive when some companies ignore the regulations. Companies that do ignore the regulations can be fined, but only if they can be found.”
After putting those frustrations aside, there is a real feeling of satisfaction in a job well done, he says. “It’s very rewarding when you can take a large project and give the customer what they need within their budget and the finished product turns out to be everything they expected. We spend a lot of time hiring the right people and developing a customer-service minded attitude.”
“So meeting people’s expectations and having customers refer you to other people is how the business works. We have a very good reputation, and it’s our reputation that’s kept us in business.”