On Top of the Industry
Nortex Roofing was established in 1991. Located in Toronto, its main area of service is the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), but it has also completed work in other Canadian provinces. Specialized in various forms of roofing and dedicated to safety, Nortex Roofing is presently one of the leading roofing companies in Ontario.
Nortex Roofing was started by Joe Dovale. “He was a sheet metal mechanic who decided it was time to go out on his own. So, he formed the company with a couple of partners at the time,” says Mark Dovale, vice president of operations of Nortex Roofing and son of its founder.
Presently a father-and-son company, Nortex Roofing’s greatest competitive advantage is its approach when it comes to both the business and its employees. “First and foremost, even though we are one of the larger roofing firms, we still operate as a family business,” says Dovale. “We have a much more personal touch, and there is a more personal interaction, not only with the clients but also with the employees.
“We don’t have a lot of turnaround,” he says. “So we’ve got quite a bit of loyalty both in the office and in the field. Loyalty breeds people wanting to work better; it improves the quality of our workmanship and our interactions with the clients.”
Of course, the roofing industry has its challenges. The industry has seen many inexperienced companies start in recent years, putting less care into the quality of their work, but offering prices that are much lower than those offered by more established roofing companies. “That looks great at first, and it attracts customers,” says Dovale. “However, most customers come to realize the difference between the service provided by these pop-up companies and that offered by more established companies, so that the pop-up companies don’t always get as much repeat business.”
For Nortex Roofing, however, repeat business is its primary business. “Much of our business is based on past business, past opportunities and people that have used our services for twenty to twenty-five years and that continue to use our services,” says Dovale.
Nortex Roofing prides itself on being diverse. “We have grown in the past ten years,” says Dovale. “Our growth has mainly been due to the quality of our work and our hands-on approach. We’re certified in almost all roofing systems, which gives us diversity. We don’t specialize in one particular product alone, so we can focus on getting customers what they need, rather than what we want to sell them.”
The company’s guiding principles are safety, quality and a hands-on approach. “We used to use safety consultants, but since we have become so large, we have now hired an in-house safety manager who is fully trained in all areas of safety and trains our employees at every opportunity,” says Dovale. “There are a lot of components to the roofing business that make it a very unsafe environment for those who aren’t trained, so we make sure that we focus a lot of our efforts on safety.”
Nortex Roofing aims to do quality work. “Our main focus is growth through quality, and we really pride ourselves on providing a quality product,” says Duvale. “There’s a lot of competition out there, and a lot of people are just focused on price. We’re not trying to focus on price, although we do offer very competitive pricing; we focus our efforts on the quality aspect, and we feel that sets us apart from many of the other contractors out there today.
“Quality is important,” says Dovale. “A lot of manufacturers also offer ‘quality’ courses and training. So, our workers are able to get trained on how to install a product properly. And we ensure that all of our foremen and all of our crews get the opportunity to have that training as often as possible.”
Nortex Roofing is always on the lookout for new products and techniques that reduce or eliminate waste in the roofing industry. “We recently had one of the manufacturers in our office doing a session with our office staff to simply re-educate us on their products and the effect these products have on the roofing industry,” says Dovale.
“That session led to having that manufacturer come into our warehouse to give our staff hands-on training on the new products they’re offering. So that we’re not just testing these new products out on the field; we’re actually testing them in our warehouse. This allows us to learn about each product before we apply it.”
The company continues to concentrate on environmentally-conscious building and sustainability. “We do that through various sources, but it’s mainly through the manufacturers because they are offering different products and new products with a focus on the environment,” says Duvale.
“Whenever we see or hear of innovative products, our response is almost immediate; we want to get involved, to learn about the product and to try to bring that product into the industry. Together with our manufacturers, we want to help promote anything that can improve the environment and better the communities that we’re working in,” he shares.
“We’ve actually managed a number of projects, from start to finish, which included solar panels on roofs, green roofs and many ‘cool roofs’ in the city of Toronto,” says Duvale. “A cool roof is basically something that reduces what is called the heat island effect – where the heat from the sun is basically held within the roof area. It raises the temperature of the local area,” he explains.
“So, if you have a bunch of roofs that are holding the heat in, it will impact the area making it hotter and causing cooling systems to have to work harder. Living roofs are green roofs; rather than water running off into storm sewers; it stays in the roof systems and is absorbed by plants on the roofs. Then, of course, there are solar panels where the sun’s energy is used to create energy that can be used and sold to local authorities – to power anything really.”
Nortex Roofing is proud that it can help the environment by helping to create solutions. “In Toronto, there are actually incentive programs for cool roofs, et cetera,” says Dovale. “For that reason, we do a lot of work in that city. We are constantly and continuously doing cool roofs and sustainable roofs, so our experience is vast.”
The company has worked on a number of significant projects. Some of these include vegetated green roof assembly at the Pan Am Games Athletes Village, cool roof and vegetated roof assembly at Union Station UP express, the cool roof at Eglinton Crosstown LRT and cool roofs at Various Cadillac Fairview Shopping Centres, just to name a few.
Nortex Roofing delivers superior service and product. As it grows and builds upon the business that it has established, its goal is to continue making the quality of its work a priority, while introducing environmentally friendly roofing options in the GTA and working to expand its service area. “We like where we are at now, but we would also like to expand outside of the GTA to service a greater area,” says Dovale.