Combining Expertise and Technology

Atlas-Apex Roofing

With a company history spanning over eight decades, John Petrachek chuckles when he remembers finding an old business licence for his roofing business a number of years ago. “I think Atlas was the third company to get a business license in Toronto,” he says. “It was definitely below 10.”
Founded in 1928 as Atlas Roofing and merging with Apex in 1968, Mr. Petrachek joined the firm in 1993, and purchased Atlas-Apex Roofing Inc. six years later. As the company’s President and General Manager, Mr. Petrachek and his team of 158 employees bring with them considerable industry experience, along with the latest state of the art roofing technology, to make Atlas-Apex Canada’s top choice for commercial, industrial, and institutional roofing.

“We basically touch every sector,” says Mr. Petrachek of the company, which takes on numerous projects for national retailers, school boards, hospitals, manufacturing plants, property management businesses, hotels, the banking industry, and many others. With the experience behind them to tackle any large-scale roofing project, the team at Atlas-Apex Roofing specializes in re-roofing, restoration, full service maintenance, and 24/7 emergency repairs, supported by the latest state of the art technology. Thanks to decades of experience – combined with technological innovations including an exclusive, proprietary Re-Roofing Communications System and an Emergency Response System which provides detailed reporting throughout each project – the company is able to respond to the needs of all clients coast to coast in a professional, safe, timely and efficient fashion.

With years of industry experience, Atlas-Apex realises that earning a solid reputation in the roofing business depends on a combination of experience, quality service, utilizing the best new products and technologies, and respect for the client. Built on the foundations of superior customer service delivered using the latest available technologies, Atlas-Apex constantly reinvests its resources into innovation, training, learning and safety to create skilled employees who are truly in a class of their own. With all crews trained in contemporary repair techniques, the company frequently incorporates GPS along with digital photography, wireless communication platforms, and live satellite weather stations, and provide online video quotes to clients.

“We try to give our clients real-time access to where their project stands through technology,” comments Mr. Petrachek. “Communication is extremely important, and our clients need to know when their job is starting, its progress, and when it is completed.” Utilizing the Re-Roofing Communications System (RCS), the company has created a successful communications environment built around the way a client’s business works. From start to finish, customers are kept informed of the entire process, including documentation and how the job is progressing.

Offering a number of comprehensive roofing solutions to the industrial, commercial, and institutional roofing areas, Atlas-Apex also boasts a large residential shingling division, which works almost exclusively re-roofing existing houses. From dealing with emergency situations all the way to creating long-term solutions, Atlas-Apex Roofing has all the solutions and customer service necessary to deliver optimum results to all clients.

At Atlas-Apex, the company realizes the urgency that comes with emergency roofing repairs. For a client, closing doors to customers – even for a brief period – can affect their bottom line, which is why the company has a proven Emergency Response System (ERS) in place to address emergencies every hour of every day of the year. Within just 24 hours of completing any emergency repair, the company’s team of professionals will send clients photos of emergency repair work, along with an estimate detailing what it will take to complete a permanent repair for their emergency problem.

As one of the most trusted names in the roofing business, Atlas-Apex’s Re-Roofing Division provides clients with a variety of services and products, including built-up roofing, modified bitumen, single-ply, liquid applied systems, roof restoration and more. Realizing that roofing requires other techniques and technologies, the company prides itself on its siding and sheet metal division. Using the latest manufacturing equipment and technologies, the division is able to enhance all projects with state-of-the-art customization.

As the first company in Canada to install a web-based breaking and sheering system for siding and sheet metal work, Atlas-Apex provides extremely high levels of customization with pinpoint accuracy, all within a very efficient process. Combining years of experience and the latest in computerized folding and cutting machines, the siding and sheet metal division is able to handle all aspects, from taking precise measurements to colour-matching existing metal, to shaping and installation. Along with all perimeter sheet metal, HVAC units, exhaust fans, eavestroughs, and inlay gutters, the company installs and repairs metal roofing – including copper roofing – metal walls and siding, and much more.

Along with many other roofing products and services, Atlas-Apex has several years of experience installing renewable and green roofing systems, including solar panels. Able to advise clients on which environmentally friendly option works best for them, the company installs roofing systems which not only generate energy for clients, but reduce their carbon footprint, reuse existing roofing materials, and utilize renewable materials.

All sectors served by Atlas-Apex – manufacturing, hospitality, healthcare, office, educational, institutional, and retail – have unique roofing needs, and Atlas-Apex is able to accommodate the requirements of all clients. Some areas, such as manufacturing, need to minimize or eliminate downtime as much as possible. Others, such as customers in the hospitality industry, can continue to serve clientele while roofing work is being completed, yet perceptions presented to the location’s customers are critical, and must factor in noise, safety, and cleanliness. In other areas, like health, Atlas-Apex is sensitive to the needs of the client, and – through proper planning and ongoing communication – is able to carry out necessary roofing work with the least possible amount of disruption.

Likewise, projects involving office buildings and educational, institutional and retail structures present their own challenges. Many such projects are time-sensitive, and must be affordable. To accommodate clients, Atlas-Apex considers a variety of factors, ranging from wind and weather to noise issues, interior protection of staff, closure or partial closure and interruptions, time of year, visual impact, and much more.

On all projects, health and safety remains a top priority at Atlas-Apex Roofing. With a full-time health and safety department, all roofing projects are subject to comprehensive on-site inspections. Under the guidance of the company’s Health and Safety Director, employees are kept informed on training and safety issues; in fact, the company implemented a Fall Arrest program before it was mandatory. With a continually updated Health and Safety Management System, current policies are reviewed on a regular basis and new policies are developed, along with extensive training sessions for all workers, including WHMIS, Basics of Fall Protection, and New Worker Orientation. Unlike many others in the roofing industry, Atlas-Apex also carries an unprecedented $20 million general liability insurance coverage.

With its head office in Toronto and locations in Kitchener and Barrie, Atlas-Apex Roofing Inc. is a company with strong roots in the past, and an eye toward the future. Embracing technological advances to enable it to better serve all clients, the company has a series of professional and informative videos online at YouTube ( detailing its sheet metal, re-roofing, service and environmental divisions, along with the Emergency Response System and other areas. In the coming years, the company will be acquiring other locations across Canada, and is now expanding to the American market.

“It’s about growth without losing the concept that clients come first,” says Mr. Petrachek of the company, which has embarked on a joint venture with a U.S. partner. With a physical location in Ft. Lauderdale and Ft. Myers, Florida, the company will concentrate 100 percent of its efforts on the state’s industrial, commercial, and institutional sectors. “We’re covering the east coast and the west coast of the state of Florida.”

Like many of Atlas-Apex’s employees, Mr. Petrachek is a husband and a father, and recognizes the importance of giving back to the community. Along with his wife Valerie, they founded the V.I.P. Foundation two years ago as a way of helping non-stream entities or individuals in need. A non-registered charity, the V.I.P. Foundation sees each and every company within the Atlas Group of Companies donate a portion of their monthly after-tax income, which is distributed throughout the year to several individuals, families or entities in dire need of assistance.

“It is a foundation based on giving, not on a tax receipt,” says Mr. Petrachek. Recently, the foundation donated money to a family of a girl with cancer to help paint and redecorate her room. “To someone who has nothing, a few thousand dollars can be like winning a million.”

Priding itself of being a different kind of roofing company, Atlas-Apex Roofing remains one of the best in class roofers in Ontario, and something Mr. Petrachek continues to be passionate about after all these years. As he says, “There are tons of opportunities in this trade.”

July 16, 2018, 6:52 AM EDT

The Gig Economy

There are countless studies that demonstrate that the nature of work is changing. Work is becoming increasingly precarious, but what does this mean? Does precarious employment imply doom and gloom or is there a silver lining for work that no longer fits traditional or conventional models? Is it a necessary evolution for the increasingly automated economy?