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Avoid Tear Off While Replacing Your Roof


As many building owners have found (to their dismay, over the years) most roofing systems require tearing off the old roof before the new system can be installed. This means that the inside of your building could have the potential to be exposed from above during the course of the project. This is obviously not a good situation. So, how can you replace your roof without tearing off the old one and exposing the inside of your building to the heat, cold, rain, or snow? The best way to ensure that your roof is torn off and the new one is installed quickly: COMPLETELY AVIOD TEAR OFF ALTOGETHER.

Install a Spray Foam Roof

A great alternative to tearing off your roof is to install a spray foam roof over top of your existing roof. In most cases, a spray foam roof can be installed directly over top of your existing roof, as long as it is clean and dry. The foam fully adheres to your existing roof and provides better insulation, waterproofing, protection from wind uplift, and reflectivity than most roofs do. So, not only do you avoid tear off, you also get a roof that is superior to your old roof.

Ironically, while a quick roof installation is no longer necessary with foam since it keeps your building covered for the entire process, spray foam offers a quicker installation than most other roofing systems out there. It can be installed quicker than most other systems because it is spray applied, which allows contractors to easily maneuver around curbs and penetrations while sealing them tightly.

SPF Application no tear off

On top of its quick and painless installation and performance once installed, spray foam offers you the ability to recoat your roof every 15-20 years and receive a new warranty with it. This recoat once again prevents the need for tear off, so your building will still not be exposed to the elements.

However, once you’ve installed two roofs on your building, you are no longer permitted by law to install another roof over top of the existing system. You cannot have three roofs on your building. But you also can’t just tear off one; you have to go back and tear off both roofs – exposing the inside of your building to the elements – before you can install a new roof.

Restoration Coatings

Restoration coatings are installed in a manner similar to spray foam. Though their performance is quite different, both systems help the owner to avoid tear off. Almost any existing flat roof that is clean and dry is a candidate to receive a new coating over the roof. Restoration coatings are designed to adhere to a number of different roofing materials. Once a roof is ready, simply spray or roll-apply the coating directly onto the existing roof. This will create a seamless, waterproof membrane over the existing roof all while avoiding tear off during installation.

Restoration coatings aren’t a great option for roofs that aren’t structurally sound or for someone looking to greatly increase their R-value for better insulation, but if you’re looking for leak protection and a warranty, a restoration coating is a fantastic option that can save you money and keep your building safe and covered.

RCR - no tear off

One thing to note about restoration coatings: they don’t add any strength to your roof. Where as foam is a great roofing system that resists wind uplift, adds strength to your building and roof, and can be a standalone roofing system, restoration coatings are designed to adopt whatever properties the roof beneath them already has in terms of strength. So, if you have a structurally weak roof, a restoration coating is not for you.


There are many different things you can do to avoid roof tear off and therefore avoid exposing the inside of your building to the elements. If you’d like more information on spray foam or coatings and how they can keep your building protected, just give us a call.


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