Atlas-Apex Roofing - Roofing News


November 2012

Combining Expertise and Technology - Atlas-Apex Roofing

Written by Robert Hoshowsky

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.

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.

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.

“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.”

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.

“The company can install roofing systems which not only generate energy for clients, but reduce their carbon footprint, reuse existing roofing materials, and utilize renewable materials.”

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 2011

Atlas-Apex Roofing Inc.: Setting Industry Standards from the Inside

By Camila Osorno

(as appeared in Canadian Business Executive)

Atlas-Apex Roofing Inc. (AAR) is currently one of Canada's premiere roofing companies. Its origins, however, are quite humble. The Ontario-based company was founded in 1928 as Atlas Roofing, handling mainly residential new construction jobs with a specialty in shingled roofs.

 “We even still have some of the old invoice slips where the total cost of labor and materials is just $5.75,” explains John Petrachek, the company's president and general manager. In 1968,  Atlas merged with Apex Roofing and has since grown into the largest non-union roofing contractors in the Toronto area, working specifically in the industrial-commercial-institutional  (ICI) sector. The company's capabilities and invoices are substantially larger, but AAR still strives to provide only the best customer service and value possible.

With the exclusion of new construction, AAR has a hand in almost every roofing type and has expanded its offering with changes in market demands. “We do mostly re-roofing and maintenance work, including emergency repairs and roof replacement, and we have invested in some green roofing companies to keep up with demand,” asserts Petrachek.

Petrachek maintains a thorough understanding of current market trends and concerns as a member of the Roof Consultants Institute (RCI), Canadian Roofing Contractors Association  (CRCA), National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), and the Ontario Industrial Roofing Contractors Association (OIRCA), and he uses this insight to lead AAR into informed acquisitions for the long-term good of the company. “Our corporate structure is different than some of our competitors because we don’t believe in expanding our company through additional divisions,” he explains. “Instead, we like to invest in successful companies, like our solar company, the way a parent company would, and allowing them to handle that specific specialty.”

Targeting specific sectors rather than geographical locations, AAR works for clients in the healthcare, education, food processing/production, retail, property management and government sectors, applying the most technologically advanced techniques and products to maintain the highest industry standards for quality and service.

The Pinnacle of Personnel Training

AAR understands that roofing is quite often one of the largest expenses for building owners,  and that proper maintenance/servicing of the roof system is the most effective way to get the most value from the original expenditure. AAR uses over 75 years of experience to select the best method/materials to avoid unnecessary leaking, cracking or other types of roofing damage,  saving time and money in the long run. To reinforce its leading position in the roofing industry,  AAR employs some of the most experienced and highly trained individuals, and a key part of the company’s business model is a continual training program. Petrachek explains:

“There was a time 15 years ago when the industry was not as strictly regulated as it is now,  where just about anyone could walk in off the street and take a job as a roofer, but the industry has since tightened its regulations of health and safety measures so we have to work very hard to stay updated in order to keep our employees safe. It’s not just trade skills that have to be taught now and it’s becoming an increasingly complicated trade so it has become harder to find qualified people. The older generation of workers is really valuable because they have an incomparable work ethic, whereas the younger generation is very mindful about safety regulations, but our biggest challenge as a company is training and retraining all of our personnel.”

As a signal of the company’s investment in its employees, the company has made several moves in recent years to increase its in-house training programs. “We have one of the only female health and safety directors, who runs all of our in-house safety training programs, and we also moved into a new facility last year with classrooms and meeting spaces specifically to accommodate the training sessions,” reveals Petracheck. “We even have space for the manufacturers to run in-house, hands-on training sessions to instruct our employees on the proper use and application of new products. We are as a company are very committed to staying up-to-date with the industry’s demands and regulations.”

In Tip-Top Shape for Steady Growth

While some industries suffered a massive impact from the economic decline in 2008, AAR has invested in its own infrastructure, enabling it to undergo atypical growth. With affiliates across the nation, AAR is able to provide excellent, timely service, and continues to grow its presence as a trusted member of the Canadian roofing industry. “A company can either grow organically or through acquisitions, and we have had a lot of both,” reflects Petrachek. “We have had massive growth since 2000, when we went from a small $5 million operation to a multi-hundred million dollar company specifically because of our people, both in the field and in the office.

“Our emphasis as a company has always been service, service, service, and our success is a derivative of the amazing people who work here, who take pride and ownership in the work and of course our commitment to service,” continues Petrachek. “In this industry, if the service department grows, the company can grow its other departments, and we take pride in having a great service department. Even though I own the company, it’s not mine. It’s the employees who own the company, and that is why we offer our employees the full health and benefits package.”

In the coming years, Petrachek expects a steady economic trend will help the company maintain its position in the industry, hopefully with room to grow. “I really don’t see the economy doing anything very extreme in the near future,” says Petrachek. “And the good news about our market, especially because we don’t do any new construction, is that demand for our services is almost recession-proof. We work predominantly with ‘blue-chip’ companies, and even if they don’t have the capital to invest in a re-roof, they will channel the capital they do have towards maintenance and repairs.”

Well-tuned in regards to infrastructural development, trade training and an emphasis on service,  Atlas-Apex Roofing Inc. continues to make the investments that will assure its success into a second century.

June 2011

Atlas-Apex Roofing Inc. announced today that it has moved its head office to 65 Disco Road in Etobicoke.  The new location is a state-of-the-art building specially designed for the operation of a roofing company.  Special emphasis was put on the creation of indoor storage space. Most roofing companies use outdoor storage. Atlas-Apex Roofing is also pleased to announce an additional new location at 390 Trillium Rd in Kitchener. 

March 2011

Atlas-Apex Roofing Inc is pleased to announce a 2 year exclusive application agreement with Concrecel Canada.  Concrecel Canada is a sister company to Concrecel USA who is the largest Light Weight Insulated Concrete applicator south of the boarder.  Atlas-Apex Roofing Inc is pleased to support the continued efforts of an independent LWIC applicator.

January 2011

Atlas-Apex Roofing Inc is pleased to announce a 3 year exclusive application agreement with AMP Solar Group and MCI Construction.  In this agreement Atlas-Apex Roofing will provide networking abilities with any one of the 2 entities to its client in the event they are interested in pursuing a solar installation.