Roof Repair or Roof Replacement? | Date: 12/11/2015

In our last blog post we discussed the roof inspection process and some of the potential causes that contribute to an industrial or commercial facility having a leaky roof. Let's now focus on roof repair and the replacement options for your roof system.

To re-cap part of our last blog, repairs versus replacement are contingent on a number of factors:

  • How severe the leaks are
  • The age of the roof system; i.e., how much life is left in the system
  • The long term objectives for the building; in other words do you as the owner intend to keep the building for the short or long term
  • Are you looking to improve energy efficiency
  • Available capital

Once the factors above are reviewed and discussed, there is generally a clear direction as to whether the roof should be repaired or replaced.

Industrial/Commercial Roof Repair

Based on the issues noted by the professional who inspected your roof the following general guidelines will be employed in repairing your roof system:

  • All roof penetrations will be patched and/or replaced as required
  • All seams, joints and transitions will be re-sealed or attended to as required.
  • The two areas noted above are subject to the greatest stresses due to the movement that naturally occurs in all roofs and consequently are the main causes of leaks.
  • Weather damage, especially from winter weather, to the roof system as a whole
  • And as previously noted simple maintenance to remove leaves and other debris from roof drainage system will often remedy leak issues
  • Regardless of the repair(s) employed the key is to use the proper materials that are compatible with the roof system being repaired;
    • Our specialty is standing-seam and through-fastened metal roofs and speaking from years of experience, tar based and silicone caulking are NOT products for repairing these type of roof systems; at best they will fail and the leak will reoccur, at worst they will compound the problem and greatly reduce the life span of the roof system!

Industrial/Commercial Roof Replacement

If the decision is made that roof replacement is required the following considerations should be taken into account:

  • Life Cycle Cost of the replacement system as opposed to Initial Installed Cost; we strongly recommend to all of our clients that they give consideration to Total Cost of Ownership #TCO as opposed to upfront/initial installation costs – we have some simple tools available to assist with this type of comparison – just contact us. 
  • Roof drainage – is the roof system part of the facilities storm water management system?  Are there other drainage issues that should be addressed as part of a re-roof program?
  • Insulation levels – what can be done to improve them? Rule of Thumb; $1 spent on improved energy efficiency will typically return $6 in savings on future energy costs
  • Are there redundant openings through the roof that can be eliminated when the new roof is installed?  Properly detailed openings cost money, eliminate all that you can!
  • Are either the roof mounted equipment or mechanical vents through the roof in need of upgrade or replacement?  We often find these items in need of attention at the same time as the roof.  So it is best to have the new equipment mounted on new curbs and have the proper roof penetrations installed at the same time as the new roof
  • How will the re-roof of my facility impact day-to-day operations?  Consideration should be given to contingency plans, required temporary protection, phasing, and whenever possible coordinating the work in good weather!

Our next blog post in this series will cover metal roof systems.

As stated in our last blog post, we cannot stress enough that it is imperative to have your roof reviewed and repaired or replaced by professionals who know the applicable roof systems and how to utilize them to provide you, the owner with peace of mind and the best value for your investment!

If you suspect you have leak or other maintenance issue, please get in touch and we'd be happy to perform an inspection of your building’s roof. Our service area is GTA to Kingston, north through to Peterborough. This includes the Quinte region (Belleville, Trenton, Picton and surrounding area) as well as Port Hope, Cobourg, and Napanee.

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