Undeniably, there’s not an industry that’s been spared from the effects brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 has also created unique and unprecedented business challenges most industries didn’t see coming.
For instance, roofing contractors are now facing several new and unique challenges from increased regulations and public health fears. Among roofing contractors, safety is always a primary priority.
For starters, they need to ensure personal injury and any damage to the client’s property is avoided at all times. In line with this, most roofing contractors consider getting contractors insurance a must.
Come to think of it, working on roofs can pose certain risks considering their slope and how high they are. Gravel rooftops can also be uneven, so great caution is exercised when attempting repairs or inspection. This is especially true when dealing with commercial roofs.
Challenges Roofing Contractors are Facing
Undoubtedly, the COVID-19 pandemic has presented additional challenges many roofing contractors have not prepared for. Some of the challenges roofing contractors have to deal with include:
Essential Business Designation
One of the first issues roofing contractors had to deal with is whether or not the business is considered “essential” and if their crew can operate during this time of restricted activity.
While the federal government has left the decision to localities and states, they have also provided guidelines to follow when making specific determinations.
Difficulty Closing Roofing Bids
According to a survey conducted by the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), one of the instant impacts roofing contractors faced is a drastic drop in their bid closings for roofing projects. The survey also indicated that 58 percent of the respondents had noticed a slowdown in bidding activities since the pandemic started.
The drop can be attributed to the fact that both the bidding and the estimating process is traditionally a face-to-face activity. Most contractors have been forced to embrace the digital space drastically to continue operating during this period. They also have to learn new and innovative ways to get things done.
Another significant effect of the COVID-19 pandemic is the noticeable increase in job cancellations. The NRCA survey also indicated that nearly 45 percent of their members have to deal with job cancellations. Most of the contractors also attributed the cancellations to two primary factors that are COVID-19 related.
Over 3 million Americans have lost employment due to the coronavirus crisis, and at least 18 percent of U.S. workers had either lost jobs or hours due to the pandemic. Many homeowners also have their income affected or fear their incomes can be affected eventually.
One of the least expected effects the COVID-19 pandemic had on roofing contractors is the labor issues they faced. In the NRCA survey, close to 40 percent of the respondents attribute employee absences to several factors, including:
Health concerns: Like most people, roofing company employees are worried about contracting the virus at work. Many groups and HR-related online forums are also bombarded with questions about whether or not employees are required to report to work if they have concerns about being exposed to the virus.
Child care: For safety reasons, most schools across the nation have been closed. As a result, parents have to deal with the prospect of having no childcare during regular working hours. Also, many parents have become responsible for teaching their children at home for an extended period.
Mental health: Since the COVID-19 pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges and concerns, it has also caused anxiety among many. Understandably, employees who struggle with their mental health may find dealing with the current situation incredibly challenging.
How Roofing Contractors are Adapting
During these trying times, contractors have taken extra precautions to protect themselves and their clients. Some of the ways they have adapted include:
Going Virtual and Digital
Minimizing face-to-face contact is considered crucial during this health crisis. That said, contractors are now using video conferencing for consultations. Many home project measurements are also now carried out virtually using aerial imagery and 3D modeling. Contracts are also signed electronically, so physical contact is kept to a minimum.
Implementing Safety Precautions
During these unusual times, roofing contractors are not only looking out for themselves and their business through construction revenue protection, they are also continually implementing additional safety guidelines to guard their client’s safety and peace of mind.
Case in point: many roofing contractors have implemented the practice of social distancing, frequent hand washing, equipment disinfection, and the wearing of protective gear such as gloves, masks, and booties.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented changes and challenges in countless industries, including the roofing space. Fortunately, roofing contractors have also been quick to adapt and have implemented changes that can ensure a seamless transaction without compromising the safety of everyone involved.