Should You Repair or Replace a Compromised Commercial Roof?

commercial roof being repaired

Commercial roof materials are stronger and more durable than ever, but they can still become compromised during their lifespan. Familiarize yourself with the benefits and considerations of replacements, repairs, re-covers, and coatings.

Consider your options.

Commercial roof materials are stronger and more durable than ever, but they can still become compromised during their lifespan.

If a commercial roof system was installed incorrectly, poorly designed, or not maintained well, many problems can arise.

If you notice that your commercial roof has a significant problem, there are typically 4 options: repair it, fully replace it, re-cover it, or coat it.

Before you make a major decision, consider the following questions:

  • How bad is the problem, and how much of the roof is compromised?

  • Are you looking for a long-term or short-term solution?

  • How difficult would a full tear-off be?

  • Does the building generate moisture?

Seriously consider these questions and then go forward with the best option suitable for your business property and commercial roof. 

Option 1: Repair

A knowledgeable contractor can easily repair the problems that plague a commercial roof.

Repairs can be a great option, as they are far less expensive than a full replacement.

There are a number of reasons why a repair might be the best option.

  • The owner may want to keep costs down

  • The roof may still have solid insulation

  • A large percentage of the membrane may still be in great shape and has not reached its life expectancy

Paying for quality repair work is still less than a full replacement and extends the life of the roof.

Option 2: Re-cover

Recovering your commercial roof could be the right choice if the roof’s structure is fundamentally sound and has proper insulation.

In most cases, if your commercial roof only has one membrane, you can install a second on top of it; but a commercial roof can only be re-covered once.

You may want to re-cover your commercial roof if...

  • the roof system still has undamaged insulation

  • the membrane has met its life expectancy (usually around the 15-year mark)

  • it has not been re-covered before

Recovering is cheaper than a full commercial roof replacement, you receive a new warranty for the new membrane, and you don't have to deal with the disruption of a tear-off. It also won’t leave your property exposed to the elements—all of which is a very good thing.


Option 3: Replace

replacing commercial roof

If your commercial roof is suffering from extensive damage and has already been re-covered, a full roof replacement may be necessary.

A full replacement is the best option if the owner plans on staying in the building for years to come.

3 most common reasons property owners get a full roof replacement:

  • Repairs would be too extensive. (If more than 25% of the roof is damaged, it’s often advised that you replace the entire system.)

  • The insulation is wet and/or damaged.

  • The owner is looking for the latest technology that offers a long-term solution.

A new roof membrane with the latest technologies may be eligible for a tax break and may cut down on energy costs. It’s also less likely to need maintenance in the near future.

Option 4: Coat

A roof coating is applied to commercial roofs to extend their lifespan. Property owners may choose to coat their roof to add extra protection against leaks and improve the aesthetic value of the building. 

In addition, coatings are a cost-effective solution for minor problems, are less disruptive than a total tear-off, and provide energy savings by reflecting UV rays.

At Hometown Roofing Contractors, we'll help you find the right commercial roofing contractor. Business owners can research which roofers have experience with commercial repairs and coatings, see what other customers have to say about their services, and compare multiple quotes.

Find a knowledgeable commercial roofing contractor