“Is it time for me to replace the roof?” you think as you gaze at the flat top of your business. You might not know much about roofing, but those bubbles you see are probably a bad sign. That is when you pick up the phone and go to RGB Construction and let us know what is going on. We may be able to tell you from a description alone whether or not it is time to replace your commercial roof or if it only needs some repairs.
Or, you can read this final chapter of The Ultimate Guide to Commercial Roofing! If you are wondering if commercial roofing is always going to be torn off and replaced with every little tear or leak, this chapter is for you. Similarly, if you don’t know the difference between restoration, repairs, and replacement, you can keep reading.
We hope to answer all those questions and more today.
When You Can Repair a Commercial Roof
In the fourth chapter of the guide, we discussed the absolute importance of building a maintenance routine and keeping up with it. From time to time, the inspector or contractor who is maintaining your roof might report that you need to get some repairs. This usually happens closer to the estimated end of a roof’s lifespan, and the reports may increase in frequency. When that happens, yes, you most likely need to have the roof replaced, because it won’t last much longer.
However, if those issues that pop up seem almost random and are not problematic, it often boils down to aging or the elements. Ponding, drainage issues, and damage from a storm can all be quickly repaired when caught quickly enough.
Also, a contractor will be more willing to repair a roof if they can check off the three following conditions:
- The membrane is in decent shape and is not yet near life expectancy
- The insulation is in great condition
- The owner is seeking to reduce repair costs to a minimum
Replacement May Make More Sense
Is the commercial roof on your facility experiencing one of the following:
- Leaking that is getting increasingly worse?
- Major damage from a strong thunder or windstorm?
- Missing patches of the single-ply membrane?
- Bubbling under the membrane?
- Divots and cracking in the layers of the BUR?
- Moisture saturating the insulation or roof deck?
- Uneven wear and tear in many places?
Then, you most likely need to have a total replacement of the commercial roofing. Assessing damage on your own can be challenging, so it is best to call a professional contractor for an inspection.
There is one other scenario where replacing a commercial roof makes the most sense: poor installation. Anytime the installation was done improperly and gave you issues since then, or the materials are defective, or you don’t know the history of the building and don’t want to take any risks, you should get the roof entirely replaced. Some signs that the roof was not correctly installed or has defective materials include improper drainage, missing flashing, and water damage inside.
The good news is that these issues can be corrected with a replacement roof.
What Is Commercial Roof Restoration?
When you are in the market for a commercial roof replacement and are scouring the internet, you may come across contractors who are well-versed in something called “roof restoration.” Such contractors may claim that they will return your current roof to working order, but you should be careful about that. Most of the time, restoration work can only apply to coatings that are spread during the preparation phase or single-ply membranes.
If you have a single-ply membrane roof, you may be able to utilize restoration services. A note of caution, though: While restoration is viable, less experienced roofers are known to offer the service at unreasonable prices. Keep in mind that the type of materials on the roof, as well as the age of the building, and the business you conduct, could affect the availability of restoration services.
That brings us to the end of The Ultimate Guide to Commercial Roofing. Hopefully, it has been educational and answered your questions. Are you ready for a pop quiz? Just kidding.
If you need assistance with your commercial roofing, be sure to give us a call. The RGB Construction team is ready to help!
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