Along with using the best roof removal tools, practicing good job site 'hygiene' will reduce overall clean up time significantly. Proper cleanup is an integral part of any roofing job anyway, so you might as well do it efficiently.
Here are 5 tips for reducing the amount of time your crews spend cleaning up job sites. But you'll accomplish more than just saving time by integrating these tips into your work habits. You'll also save money, prevent accidents, and keep clients satisfied with your progress along the way.
1. Adopt and Maintain a 'Clean As You Go' Policy'
This is something most companies aim for already, but the 'clean as you go' approach is something you just can't emphasize enough. This means tidying up finished areas of the roof immediately, removing debris from the homeowner's lawn at least once a day, and organizing any leftover materials. It also means checking the property for leftover nails at the end of every workday, and cleaning out landscaping beds so that damage is prevented.
The benefits of this practice are fairly obvious--increased safety, a demonstration of courtesy to the client, and a 'clean slate' for starting work the next day. The 'clean as you go' approach also reduces the overall amount of time spent doing clean-up.
2. Maintain Your Roof Removal Tools
If you use high-quality, well-maintained roof removal tools to strip shingles and nails from the old roof, it'll be that much easier to clean up the debris afterward. Dull shovel points or cheap tools tend to tear materials off in small and messy chunks. Use high-quality tools and maintain them well and you won't end up with torn up materials flying all over the job site. Using the right tool also ensures that most nails are removed along with the shingles, reducing stripping time, and allowing the installation to start sooner.
3. Plan Your Routes Ahead of Time
Make detailed plans for bringing equipment or large bundles of material on and off the property. These plans should be designed to minimize clutter and prevent damaging parts of the homeowner’s landscape. As a roofing company, you're involved in a major renovation every time you go to work. So while you're bound to make some messes, preplanned routes will minimize any damage you might do, as well as reduce your cleanup time substantially. Keep in mind, this a high stress period for both the homeowner and the Roofing Contractors. Homeowners cannot typically leave or enter their home. Not to mention the tear-off presents the highest risk for the roofing company. It's best to complete the tear off efficiently and move directly to installation.
4. Go All in With Your Tarps
It might add some time on the front end, but utilize tarps to simplify and minimize clean-up. Purchase the best quality tarps you can find. Any full time roofing crew asserts this will save both time and money, and you will only need one layer for protection. Lay tarps down over any areas where debris might fall and clear them at least once a day. If debris happens to fall outside a tarped area, clear it immediately. If you are using old, torn tarps, take the time to install tarps under the roof’s edge in addition to the ones you’ve placed on the ground. This will provide two levels of protection. It will also keep your client happy as the job progresses.
5. Stay On Top of Roofing Tar Messes
As you know very well, roofing tar is incredibly sticky and can be tough to remove if you let it build up for too long. It can also be a sore spot for easily frustrated clients. Bring and use proper tools for cleaning roofing tar off of sidewalks or siding, etc. Additionally, assign a crew member the task of cleaning up the tar before it sets in and becomes more difficult to remove.
Removing irritating roof tar should be part of your larger 'clean as you go' approach, but it also merits special attention.
6. Have an Exit Plan
Plan the debris removal from the property in advance. Clean the landscaping, fluff the mulch. Make sure the homeowner is aware of the risk of nails showing up in the months to come, hidden in garden beds and landscaping areas, especially when pets or children are involved.