A DIFFICULT QUESTION FOR BUILDING OWNERS TO ANSWER IS WHEN SHOULD YOU REPLACE YOUR ROOF?
It can be very difficult to know if you need to replace the roof on your building these days, because there are so many different options available to you. In the past, if you were having roofing problems, you had to ask yourself should you replace your roof or should you make repairs to your roof? It was pretty much an either-or decision. However, today if you are having roofing problems, you can replace your roof, you can repair your roof, you can install a new system above the failing roof, you can install sprayed polyurethane foam directly over the roof, or you can coat the roof with a silicone or acrylic coating.
Instead of two options to choose from, now there are five options you have to consider, and this is overwhelming for many building owners. Read on to see why you might replace your roof, and how you should make this decision.
In What Situations Should You Replace Your Roof?
The most obvious situation where you should consider replacing your roof is if you have leaks coming into your building. If you have one or two leaks, a roof replacement is probably not required. You should be fine to simply repair the areas of the roof that are leaking. However, you may have a serious roofing problem and the leaks are only a symptom of that problem. The leaks may inspire you to enter the roof surface and check on the roof, and you may then find bigger problems. In this case, you may consider other options outside of repairs, such as roof replacement.
Sagging Roof Deck
Another problem that often requires roof replacement, or at the bare minimum consideration of roof replacement, is when you see the roof deck sagging underneath the roof membrane. This can indicate many different things: poor construction, ponding water, too much weight on the roof surface, or many other causes. If the roof deck is sagging, you may have to tear out your roof membrane, repair the deck, and the then you will obviously have to replace your roof.
Perhaps the insulation of your roofing system isn’t performing as you’d like it to, and you need to tear off your roof, replace the insulation and then replace your roof. This is a problem that is not as easy to detect, it usually requires scanning through past utility bills and noticing a pattern of increasing energy bills.
What Are Your Options Besides Roof Replacement?
If you have minor problems, a common option is to simply repair the roof and patch the problem area. This is not a long-term solution because if you repair every problem that occurs, you will eventually have a roof that is nothing but patchwork and is ready to fail at any moment. However, for minor issues that seem rare, roof repairs are a great way to save money. If you see a small leak, or a small area of ponding water, you can patch the leak or raise up that small portion of the roof. Again, you shouldn’t repair every problem on your roof as some issues require more long term solutions, but many problems can be solved with a minor repair.
When you perform repairs on your roof, you can either perform the repairs yourself if you are experienced or are willing to learn, or you can also hire a professional to make the repairs. In many cases, the professional may save you money by doing it well and doing it correctly the first time.
Install a System above the Roof
Many roofing problems are solved by installing a new roofing system above the old system. By going in and installing a new system, the building owner gets the new waterproofing and protection properties of the new roofing system, but doesn’t have to pay to tear off the old system and put all that waste in the landfill. This option cannot be done too many times without having to reinforce the roof deck underneath the roofing membrane(s).
Sprayed Polyurethane Foam
Spray foam can be applied directly to many roofing systems, and it can be installed above many others very inexpensively with minor modifications. Spraying foam directly to an existing roofing system makes the roof stronger, more energy efficient, repairs all leaks and prevents most future leaks. Sprayed Polyurethane Foam is a great roofing system that can solve many roofing problems with minimal investment of time and money.
Roof Coating Restoration
Another material that can be applied directly to existing roofing systems is a restoration coating. These coatings are typically silicone or acrylic, and they are spray-applied directly to the existing roof system to provide better waterproofing properties. Roof coatings are not a good choice for a roof that is in poor structural condition, but they can be a great choice for a roof that is strong but is simply leaking. These coatings will extend the life of the existing roof 10-15 years before a recoat is needed.
If you see any of the three situations mentioned in this post in your roof, it may be time to consider a roof replacement, or one of the other options described here. Fixing your roof is no longer a two option decision, and it doesn’t have to break the bank when you fix your roof. Call us if you’d like to learn more about any of these options.