To Re-Roof Or Not To Re-Roof?
Commercial roofing systems tend to last for a very long time, but they're not designed to last forever. Sooner or later, you'll eventually find your building in need of a roofing solution that's able to protect your investments underneath. If the cost of a complete replacement seems unreasonable for your budget, you may be better off having your existing roof re-covered using high-quality materials.
The Case for Re-Roofing
Replacing any type of commercial roof, whether it's a flat roof made from EPDM or a steep-slope roof covered in asphalt shingles, clay tiles or wood shakes, could easily be the costliest investment you'll make in your commercial building. Having your existing roof torn off and rebuilt by a professional could put a significant dent in your building's maintenance fund.
Given the high cost of materials and manpower involved in complete roof replacements, a re-roofing could prove a more financially sensible solution for many building owners. It also takes significantly less time to place another roof over an existing roof than to tear off the original roof and start over from scratch.
Re-roofing is also a better choice for commercial building owners whose roofing systems have only suffered minor damage throughout their life. If there aren't any major signs of mildew or moss growth or if there's little to no water damage, then the roof in question may be a good candidate for re-roofing.
Caveats to Consider
While re-roofing offers an effective alternative to a complete replacement, there are some cases where it may not be the best option for your building. One such case is if your roof was already re-covered at some point during its lifespan. Adding more than one membrane onto a roof can increase the amount of weight your underlying roof structure carries. In some cases, the excess weight of multiple membranes may be more than what the roof was designed to carry in the first place.
For this reason, most municipalities prohibit roofs from being re-covered more than once. If there are any signs that your roof was re-covered before, your roofing contractor may decide against re-roofing and recommend a complete replacement as the safest option available.
Another reason to avoid re-covering your commercial roof is if it has sustained extensive or severe damage during its lifespan. Some building codes prohibit re-roofing if over 25 percent of the existing roof's total surface area is damaged in some form or fashion. As a result, most roofing contractors will recommend a complete roof replacement if there's any damage that approaches or exceeds the 25-percent threshold.