Roof Replacement or Restoration?
A common question that any facility managers have is, “When will my building’s roof need to be replaced?” This is a question of concern for many because of all the complications that can come with a new roof. Complications this type of project brings consist of a significant cost and causing operations to be disrupted. In order to delay a whole roof replacement, a restoration and cost-effective repairs can drastically increase the longevity of roof life. New roofing technology has improved the approach of a restoration or repair.
There are a few key ways to maximize a roof’s lifespan. These include semi-annual roof inspections, initializing a proactive maintenance schedule or checklist (See Blog On Roof Checklist), and having repairs and restorations done professionally and in a timely manner.
Can my roof be repaired?
In every roof’s lifespan, there will be leaks of some sort. Over time, roof’s will crack, gain damage from weather, and naturally decay under the ever changing climate. Every type of roofing has its advantages and disadvantages in longevity and durability. Knowing these strengths and weaknesses will show you just how easily repairable they are and at what cost.
All leaks, big and small, need to be resolved in a timely manner. The longer the roof is damaged the harder and more expensive the repair will be. Water will seep into cracks and can damage insulation, roofing materials, equipment inside the building, inventory, and could even cause injury.
When a problem arises, the first step is to contact your trusted roofing contractor and explain the issues. Once the contractor is well informed, they can inform you on the best and most cost-effective method for taking care of the issue. Typically, the most cost-effective and quickest option is a repair. These can be done quickly and effectively fix the issue. Always remember that a repair is going to be the first course of action in fixing the issue, saving money, and ultimately extending the lifespan of your roof.
Signs of a roof issue
The first sign of a roof issue is water penetration, leaks, and drips. This is a telltale sign that the waterproof roofing has an issue. There are four common fail points on a roof.
- Penetrations: Components on a roof, such as a vent, HVAC system, sky light, antennas, etc, are a potential weak point. Roofing is sealed to these items, but with them being of different materials, they expand and contract differently to temperature change. This causes separation from roofing material and causes leaks. Properly sealing and maintaining will reduce leaks in these areas.
- Seams: A seam in a roof is sheets of roofing materials come together. Seams are vulnerable to pull apart and crack as they are not solid material, but they are hot welded or fastened together. Weather, temperature change, and time can cause seams to separate and leak.
- Water Collection: Proper roof drainage is important to reduce leaks. Water will pool due to an un-even surface, clogged gutters, and other events. When water sits for more than 48 hours, it has potential to leak through and is a telltale sign of drainage issues.
- Membrane Failure: Commercial roofs often use a membrane made of some sort of
rubber poly mix. Weather, UV rays, wind, debris, freeze-thaw cycles, and drastic change can cause a membrane to crack, split, tear, and open laps. This causes leaks. These leaks are generally easily repairable if caught in a timely manner.
Roof Restoration or Replacement
Before even considering a roof replacement, restoration may be the option to go. A restoration is far cheaper and can give you years longer on replacing your roof. Restoring a roof in a timely manner will effectively give the roof its watertight properties back and can even extend the warranty depending on the contractors policies. Restoration is the cost-effective option which results in less disruption to operations, and can greatly reduce pollution in landfills that replacement creates.
There are only certain issues that a restoration can fix on certain roof types. For example, if the problem has been occurring for a long period of time or the damage is too extensive like wet insulation, a restoration is out of the question. Furthermore, a restoration will only last for so long before another one is needed or full replacement is needed.
Roof replacement is the last resort for fixing issues. There are many factors in selecting what roof is best for each and every building such as climate, exposure, building type, roof slant, and what life expectancy is necessary. There are many roof replacement systems available, but choosing the correct one and knowing what is out there is a perfect job for your contractor.
Hiring a professional contractor that knows the new technology, knows installation processes, and offers exceptional service and warranty are just as important as getting a new roof. A good contractor will do a full analysis of your roof. They will recommend any option before roof replacement such as repairs, restoration, and as a final resort, roof replacement.
Follow these key steps in order to successfully extend the life of your roof. Knowing the difference in leaks, roof types, and possible causes can help your contractor know exactly how to help in a cost-effective, and timely manner. Do not rush into an expensive roof replacement until you have all the facts and have exhausted every option. Finally, hire the right professional for the job.