The roofing systems of processing and production facilities in the food and beverage industry are the first line of defense against food contamination and equipment damage – two impacts with potentially devastating consequences. This means when the roof needs to be replaced or repaired, there are particular precautions that need to be followed to meet safety and sanitary standards. Here are 5 things you should watch out for when contracting a construction management company for the process.

Size and Scale of the Project
Two of the most important things to consider before a roof replacement for a processing plant or facility is the size and scale of the project. Think about how big the building is and how much time the roof replacement might take. Will certain sections of the plant or production lines need to be shut down while the crews are working on the roof?

Understanding the size of the project, and to what extent of work needs to be done, will help you map out how much the replacement will cost and how long it will take. Having this knowledge in your back pocket might even determine whether an entire roof needs replacing or if the project can be completed in phases, especially for larger facilities. A roof replacement or repair will impact the ongoing cost of operation, so knowing what you’re getting into is imperative.

Avoiding Contamination
Any threat to the sanitation of the interior production processes in a facility can create serious issues, including costly shutdowns or product recalls. Roof systems on food and beverage facilities need to be well maintained and have the ability to avoid moisture and temperature fluctuations. It’s important that the construction management company you work with can team up with your on-site sanitation departments and engineering to develop comprehensive plans, which include interior protection, that keep equipment and production lines running without the possibility of contamination from the project.

At CSM Group, our team of experts will do a pre-job walk-through with your food and safety operations to understand possible areas of contamination, as well as any technical requirements. We also determine where we stage materials (i.e., insulation), where they are stored, how they are being accessed and carried up to the roof to avoid cross-contamination with the production or processing lines. We also understand hazardous remediation for materials like asbestos and galbestos.

At the end of the day, your contractor should be able to provide detailed descriptions of how they will prevent the re-roofing process from interfering with or damaging your product and equipment, and this should be done in advance. As previously mentioned, food and beverage facilities face additional risks and regulations. Any leak of any size for any amount of time can expose your business to detrimental risk.

Safety is Key
Avoiding contamination is a very important aspect of replacing a roof on a processing plant, however, ensuring the safety of the individuals on the project and the employees working below them is equally important. The working environment during the replacement or repair must not inhibit or interfere with productivity. Some safety precautions that are crucial to a roof replacement project include installing temporary and/or mobile fall arrest systems, mandatory sign-in and sign-out sheets for maintenance personnel, walkways to control foot traffic, and security video to monitor and enforce safe rooftop traffic.

Safety is in everything that CSM Group does. When we undertake roof replacement projects, we have several safety measures in place. One unique safety precaution that we implement on roofing projects includes placing spotters inside of the plant while we work, so they can keep a watchful eye on everything and everyone associated with the project and immediately alert the appropriate channels in case of an emergency.

Another unique precaution is that we work hard to understand the traffic patterns on the roof to avoid any damage during the project. If there is separate, dedicated access to the roof to avoid workers needing access to the plant – we will try to locate that to mitigate safety risks and any contamination. We required a minimum of OSHA 30-hour training for our field staff. Our safety team helps to analyze the leading edge and develops a safe work plan.

Using the Right Materials
Selecting the right roof system means selecting the right materials that will suit the needs of your facility. An experienced construction management company should be available to collaborate and assist with writing and developing specifications unique to your facility, as well as comprehensive and itemized proposals for the installation.

For example, smooth membrane-type roofing, such as single-ply thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) are typically the most cost-effective solutions for food and beverage facilities. These two roofing types are often utilized in low-slope and flat roofing systems. These types of roofs are designed to minimize or eliminate pooling water and debris, especially where there is a possibility of product spillage or buildup on the roof. In addition, both roof types have superior reflectivity which allows for the added benefit of reduced energy costs.

The design and materials used must work together to result in a seamless, watertight roofing system for businesses in the food and beverage industry. It is absolutely critical to food processing facilities. Any leak, no matter how minuscule, occurring over even the shortest period of time is unacceptable. Any amount of food contamination caused by a leaking roof can be costly to your business’s reputation and, most importantly, the health and safety of your customers.

Our team of CSM Group experts understand roofing systems; they are unique to their manufacturer and their style, and it's important that those standards and specifications are met. We work with all parties to ensure that our schedule allows for the effective installation possible.

Maintenance Services
Experienced, full-service commercial roofing contractors or construction management companies should not only do the work to replace the roof but offer maintenance services to extend the life of the roof. It’s wise that if you are in need of maintenance services, you go back to the company that installed the roof. That company understands every inch of the new roof and what’s underneath.

And you may be thinking… What maintenance will I really need? I have staff clearing debris, checking the drainage system, and cleaning vent areas.

There are specific warranties. If a contractor works on your roofing system and isn’t certified and could void the warranty. We work with you to find the right team for maintenance.

CSM Group is very familiar with the unique requirements that each roofing manufacturer has, and we work with manufacturers to ensure we only contract installers that are certified for the roofing systems being installed or serviced. If an outside contractor works on your roofing system and isn’t properly certified within that system, the warranty could be voided. The right contractor's maintenance crew is trained to spot potential problems, and if something suspicious is noted, they can escalate the issue to immediately determine the best course of action. When working with us, our main goal is to make sure that you are connected to the right team who can manage all roof maintenance properly.

The Takeaway
If you are considering re-roofing your processing or production facility, we welcome the opportunity to talk to you about it. We’d like to talk to you before your roof needs a complete replacement, so we can be part of the process from the very beginning and help you to manage your roof to your best advantage.

Click here for more information on how we serve the food and beverage industry, as well as how to contact us to discuss your project. 

Katrina Reed is the Senior Director of Marketing & Sales at CSM Group. For all media inquiries, please contact her at