Get to know the difference between commercial roof restoration and commercial roof replacement.

Whether you’re a commercial property owner, a facilities director, or a property manager—knowing the differences between commercial roof restoration and replacement is important for a few reasons. This information can help you maximize the lifetime of the building’s rooftop (which in turn will maximize the overall investment) while not risking any damage. Sometimes a full replacement isn’t required because the overall structural condition of the roof is already pretty good. Other times, however, there is no other choice and a commercial roof replacement is the only option. How do you know when you need a restoration vs. a replacement?

What is commercial roof restoration?

When it comes to restoration vs. replacement—commercial roof restoration usually costs less. In order to make the investment worthwhile, however, the project should extend the lifetime of the roof by 10–15 years, and the roof must be in good structural condition. This means being proactive and not letting your roof’s condition deteriorate past a certain point. Restoration is all about using as much of the existing roofing material as possible. Layers and materials that are rotted, punctured, or wind-damaged will need to be replaced, but the idea is to do this as little as possible without risking further damage to the building. It’s environmentally friendly, economical, and—when done properly—it will add to your roof’s life expectancy. This has become one of our most popular services because there are many instances where restoration is a very smart option. In some cases, the rooftop’s condition has deteriorated past the point of restoration and a full replacement is required. A restoration sometimes works well for damage from an event like a fire, wind, hail, or water damage. These are very common weather events in Colorado and Wyoming that can damage your rooftop (and restoration is a great fit for this kind of specific damage — as long as there are no water intrusions or rot).

What is commercial roof replacement?

You’ve probably already guessed it, but a commercial roof replacement is when every aspect of the roof is replaced with brand new materials. A flat rooftop replacement project can require new TPO membranes, flashings, scuppers, vents, and sealants. For a sloped commercial roof, it could mean the replacement of decking, shingles, sheet metal roofing, and more. While the replacement process varies for sloped or flat roofs, the average life expectancy of a commercial roof is approximately 20 years. You can stretch that to 25 or 30 years with really great maintenance and a mid-life restoration project, but sooner or later, a full replacement project is inevitable. If you call a commercial roofing company to talk about what your roof requires, they should take a few steps to provide you with the best options:

  • They should complete a thorough inspection and evaluation of the current roof to see if a full replacement is required.
  • If a full commercial roof replacement is required, they should review the available options with you before assembling a quote.
  • If it’s possible to restore the current roof to like-new condition, a detailed plan should be created of which materials and structures can remain and which materials need to be replaced.
  • From there, they will assemble a quote for the restoration project.

Some other items to consider. 

There are other things to consider before making a decision between restoration vs. replacement. Cash flow, business interruptions, selling the building, and more are all items that should be processed before the final decision is made. For example, if you are selling the property and the rooftop is in pretty poor shape, a replacement project is probably the best option to optimize the investment. If your company’s cash flow is a bit low and the roof is in good structural shape, a commercial roof restoration project might be the best solution. If there is a business operating in the building and they can’t afford the interruptions that come with a longer project timeline, you might more carefully consider the timeline as part of the decision. The most important thing is to talk to a commercial roofing company to get as much information as possible.

Do you have any questions? Contact Front Range Roofing Systems today.

We are more than happy to take a look at your commercial roof and give you a recommendation on which avenue to take. Even if your roof is in good condition with no leaks, it’s never a bad idea to consider a restoration project. Think of it as an overall “tune-up” to get your commercial roof back to like-new condition. If we find that your roofing materials are in very poor condition, allowing for water intrusions and deeper building damage—a full commercial roof replacement will likely be required. Remember, a restoration project is really only possible when the current roof is in decent condition. If the roof is past a certain point, restoration might not even be an option. We’re here to help you, so be sure to contact us if you have any questions during the decision-making process.