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Replacing a roof on a commercial building can be one of the most expensive investments over the life of the property. Preventative maintenance and repairs can help extend the life of a roof system. A recovery is more economical than replacement, but not always the best long term option. Here are a few factors to consider when deciding if it is better to recover rather than replace your commercial roof.

What is the age of the existing roof and its life expectancy?

If your roof is near the end of its expected life, it may be time to consider recovery or replacement.

Is the owner looking for long-term options or a quick fix to roof issues?

If a short-term fix is what the owner has in mind, a repair would be the most economical, immediate solution. Keep in mind that commercial roof repairs are expensive. If they become necessary on a regular basis, there is a good chance money is being thrown away. It is time to weigh the options of recovery or replacement.

Is the roof properly insulated?

A low-slope roof system over a controlled temperature structure that lacks proper insulation is highly inefficient. If your roof system is near the end of its life and not properly insulated, adding insulation should be highly considered. Though it will be more expensive on the front end, it can be a huge savings in energy cost over the lifetime of the roof system.

Does the roof have occasional leaking, or are new leaks constantly popping up?

If leaks become a common issue, recovery or replacement planning should begin. Delaying this can cause the substrate to become saturated and ruined resulting in more expensive solutions to fix the problem.

Is the roof substrate saturated? If so, to what extent?

Can small areas of the roof substrate be discarded and replaced or should an entire tear off be considered?

How easy is it to tear off the existing roof system?
How is the building be used? Is the building being occupied?

The options for fixing a commercial roof may not always be black and white. The long-term plans and use of the building should be considered, as well as the intentions of the building owner for the property. Is the building an investment property that will be held for a specific amount of time or is it an owner occupied, commercial facility that will function as the home a specific business long-term? Several factors should be considered and questions asked when consulting a roofing contractor about the best options for your commercial property. Ask your roofing contractor to provide options and explain the pros and cons of what’s available.

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