Roof Restoration or Roof Replacement – Which is Better?

flat roof just restored

What is a roof restoration?

Roofing is vital for all structures, but for a commercial structure, there can be more inside at stake. Damage from roof leaks can shut a business down, and that affects the employees and customers. However, this doesn’t mean a business owner has the financial means to completely replace a roof, which makes commercial roof restoration a more viable option in some cases. 

The basic definition of restoration is the process of restoring. It is a matter of taking something that has deteriorated or wearing out and makes it like new. The restoration process often requires removing the deteriorated and worn before applying the new. 

However, with commercial roof restoration, the process is to add to the existing. For a commercial roof restoration to be worthwhile of the expense and time, though, it has to be applied in a manner that will last, which means the existing must be in good structural condition before any commercial roof restoration materials are used. 

The materials used for commercial roof restoration are highly-engineered coating products. They restore the existing roof deck, making it like-new condition. The current roofing material is one of the following: 

  • BUR
  • EPDM
  • PVC
  • SPF
  • TPO

How long does a roof restoration last?

A commercial roof that has been properly maintained with regular inspections and repaired as needed typically last 20 years. A professional commercial roof restoration job can give that roof another 15 years of life. This process allows the building owner to plan the budget for total roof replacement expenditure in the capital budget.

Which is better value, roof restoration vs roof replacement? 

A total new commercial roof is expensive. However, replacing everything inside the structure if the roof were to blow away or cave in for disrepair is more expensive, not including possible liabilities.  Five things to consider when trying to decide if commercial roof restoration is the way to versus complete roof replacement: 

  1. Restoration Less Expensive: A complete commercial roof replacement is expensive, we’ve stated that already. Labor and materials, the possibility of removing the existing first, along with the possibility of closing the business during the job, can affect the overall cost. A new commercial roof can cost up to $22 per square foot, depending on the type of roofing material to be used.  A commercial roof restoration can cost less than $10 per square foot, there is less labor for the job to be done, and business and remain open and operating. 
  2. Restoration Extends Roof Lifespan: A commercial roof that is maintained correctly will last up to twenty years. With a commercial roof restoration, you can expect another fifteen years. 
  3. Eco Friendly and Sustainable: Roofing waste adds tons to the landfills every year. Commercial roof restoration that is done on an existing roof eliminates or minimizes how much waste goes to the landfill. The right roofing restoration material could get the owner a LEED credit.
  4. Restoration Tax Benefits: As we mentioned earlier, a commercial roof restoration is a maintenance expenditure. Commercial roof replacement is a capital expense. Business owners will pay less tax for maintenance activities by using the current deduction versus expense capitalizing and recover the cost through depreciation. Commercial roofs have a 39-year schedule of depreciation according to federal rules, so with the average 20-year lifespan, extending the roof life makes more sense. 
  5. Restoration Is Catastrophic Loss Prevention: You can ignore that deteriorating roof, but it isn’t going to disappear or fix itself. The longer you ignore the situation, the worse condition it is getting, and the higher the possibility of damage to the structure and the contents. When a roof gets to a certain point of deterioration, a commercial roof restoration isn’t enough. 

Does roof coating stop leaks?

There are different types of commercial roof restoration products on the market, and depending on which one you choose can stop leaks. A silicone roof coating is the best at sealing and stopping existing roof leaks. Silicone will stop those leaks without a preliminary walk over the roof, locating the leaks too. Simply coat the entire roof with a silicone coating.

You want to contract with a commercial roofing contractor that knows how to commercial roof restoration correctly. Confirm with them what type of product they are using and get a written estimate, guarantee, and warranty. 

What is the best commercial roofing material?

The roof is an integral part of any commercial property and protects the building’s overall health and longevity. So, the longevity of the roof needs to be withstanding of its surrounding climate, environment, and extraneous variables like animals, foliage, etc. The following is a list of the most common commercial roofing materials, each has its pros and cons, depending on where the structure is located as to which is the best material: 

  • BUILT-UP MEMBRANE: This is standard tar-and-gravel roofing that is built up with multiple layers. A flexible roofing material that can be adjusted to fit a budget. 
  • METAL ROOFING: A popular material for commercial roofing and comes in a variety of metal types including Corrugated galvanized steel, Aggregates of aluminum, silicon-coated steel, and zinc.
  • MODIFIED BITUMEN: A roofing material that is reinforced with fabrics and acts as a “carrier” for bitumen. 
  • THERMOSET MEMBRANE: Commonly referred to as EPDM and offers durability, long-lasting, and versatile. Ideal for structures where the weather is cold most of the year. 
  • THERMOPLASTIC ROOF: Referred to as PVC or TPO, a lightweight material that is UV reflective, making this an ideal material to roof structures in the south where the UV rays are the strongest most of the year. 
Flat roof with discoloration

How do you repair a commercial roof?

It depends on the issue that needs repairing and what type of material is on the roof. A general blister repair, a slice is made down the center of the blister, and any presence of water is soaked up.  Then a thick layer of roof cement is applied on the blister’s edges, starting at the bottom, and going up the sides then the top.  Those edges are then reinforcing with galvanized roofing nails.

As mentioned earlier, any roof is an essential feature of any structure, but the possible loss of contents for a commercial structure can affect the employees and customers.  It is vital to stay on top of maintenance, and if commercial roof restoration works, it is worth the expense until the budget can afford a new roof. Need to get started on a commercial roof restoration service in Tulsa, OK? Call the experts today at 918-280-9661.