commercial roofing

Commercial Roof Replacement Guide: What To Expect

When it comes to maintaining your commercial property, few things are as crucial as the integrity of your roof. Over time, wear and tear can compromise its structural integrity, leading to:

  • Leaks
  • Energy inefficiency
  • Safety hazards

In such cases, opting for a commercial roof replacement becomes imperative. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about commercial roof replacement, from recognizing the signs to understanding materials, costs, and lifespan.

Signs That You Need to Replace Your Commercial Roof

pooling water on a commercial roof

Not sure whether or not your commercial roof needs replacing? Here are some tell-tale signs:

  • Leaks and Water Damage: If you notice water stains on ceilings, damp spots, or actual leaks during rainy weather, it’s a clear indication that your roof’s waterproofing has been compromised.
  • Visible Wear and Tear: Cracked, blistered, or missing shingles, as well as general deterioration, are signs that your roof has reached the end of its lifespan.
  • Sagging or Uneven Roof Surface: This can indicate structural damage, which poses a significant risk to the safety of your building and its occupants.
  • Increased Energy Bills: An inefficient roof can lead to poor insulation, causing your HVAC system to work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature.
  • Age of the Roof: Most commercial roofs have a lifespan of 20-30 years, depending on the material used. If your roof is approaching or has surpassed this age range, it’s time to consider replacement.

What Makes Commercial Roof Replacement Different

Commercial roof replacement differs from residential replacement in several key ways:

Size and Complexity:

Commercial roofs are typically larger and more complex than residential roofs, often incorporating features like HVAC systems, skylights, and drainage systems.

Regulatory Compliance:

Commercial buildings are subject to stricter building codes and regulations than residential properties, requiring adherence to specific standards during replacement.

Business Interruption:

The replacement process for a commercial roof can disrupt business operations, so careful planning is necessary to minimize downtime.

Different Types of Commercial Roofing Materials

A key part of your commercial roof replacement, is choosing the materials that you want to use. Here are 5 of the most popular commercial roofing systems on the market:

1) Built-Up Roofing (BUR):

Consisting of multiple layers of tar and gravel, BUR is durable and provides excellent waterproofing but is heavy and requires regular maintenance.

2) Single-Ply Membrane Roofing:

Options like TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin) and EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) offer lightweight, durable, and energy-efficient solutions.

3) Metal Roofing:

Metal roofs are known for their longevity, durability, and low maintenance requirements. They come in various materials such as steel, aluminum, and copper.

4) Modified Bitumen Roofing:

Combining asphalt with modifiers like rubber or plastic, modified bitumen roofs offer enhanced flexibility and resistance to damage.

5) Green Roofing:

Increasing in popularity due to its environmental benefits, green roofs consist of vegetation and soil layers that provide insulation and reduce stormwater runoff.

The Steps in a Commercial Roof Replacement

commercial roof replacement

Wondering what to expect during your commercial roof replacement? Here are the common steps that most roofing contractors follow:

  • Inspection and Assessment: A professional roofing contractor will conduct a thorough inspection to evaluate the condition of your existing roof and determine the scope of work required.
  • Planning and Permitting: Detailed planning is essential, including obtaining any necessary permits and ensuring compliance with local building codes and regulations.
  • Tear-Off: The existing roofing material is removed, exposing the roof deck for inspection and repair as needed.
  • Installation of Underlayment and Flashing: A waterproof underlayment is installed, along with flashing to seal joints and transitions.
  • Application of New Roofing Material: The chosen roofing material is applied according to manufacturer specifications, whether it’s BUR, single-ply membrane, metal panels, or another option.
  • Final Inspection and Cleanup: Once the new roof is installed, a final inspection is conducted to ensure quality and compliance. Any debris is removed from the site.

How Long It Takes

The duration of a commercial roof replacement project varies depending on factors such as the size and complexity of the roof, weather conditions, and the availability of materials and labor. Generally, it can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to complete the process.

How Much It Costs

The cost of commercial roof replacement also varies widely depending on factors such as the type of roofing material, the size and slope of the roof, the condition of the existing roof, and labor costs. On average, you can expect to pay between $5 and $12 per square foot for a commercial roof replacement.

How Long Your New Commercial Roof Will Last

The lifespan of a new commercial roof depends largely on the type of material used and the quality of installation. Generally, you can expect:

  • Built-Up Roofing (BUR): 20-30 years
  • Single-Ply Membrane Roofing: 20-30 years
  • Metal Roofing: 40-70 years
  • Modified Bitumen Roofing: 20-30 years
  • Green Roofing: 30-50 years

Regular maintenance, such as inspections, cleaning, and minor repairs, can extend the lifespan of your commercial roof and protect your investment for years to come.

Commercial Roof Installation You Can Count On

Recognizing the signs that indicate the need for commercial roof replacement is crucial for maintaining the safety, integrity, and efficiency of your building. By understanding the different types of roofing materials, the steps involved in the replacement process, and the associated costs and lifespan, you can make informed decisions to ensure the long-term success of your commercial property.

If you suspect that your roof may need replacement, don’t hesitate to consult with the trusted team at Roof Medic to assess your options and develop a plan that meets your needs and budget. Contact us today to learn which one of our commercial roof systems is right for you.


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