In the roofing industry, we collaborate with building owners and property managers who are rightfully concerned about issues that can compromise their properties. They look for repairs and/or improvements that can be accomplished in the quickest, safest, and least disruptive way to prevent loss of income and keep costs down. Clearly, the condition of the roof plays an important role in all of that, particularly regarding the decision to restore or replace it. Pass this blog along to them as they consider their options.

There are many factors to consider when making this decision: long-term performance, the impact on building occupants and operations, and of course, your bottom line. A licensed roofing contractor can provide insights from detecting problems to pinpointing causes and outlining solutions. They can take into account key factors like your geography, weather challenges, current membrane system, construction schedule, occupant requirements, budgets and the long- and short-term use of the building. 

In some situations, replacing the roof may be the best option. For instance, roofs with systemic problems and structural deterioration may need a drastic overhaul in the form of a complete tear off roof replacement. But replacing a roof has some serious drawbacks, which is partly why many building owners delay having it done. Replacement can be expensive, labor intensive and disruptive to tenants and business activities. Depending on the size of your roof and the complexity of the job, the work can last several weeks and up to a year.

In many cases, roof restoration is the better option.


Roof restoration can extend your roof's life and prevent costly deterioration of the building envelope and damage to interior finishes, furniture and equipment. What is roof restoration? Roof restoration involves a thorough assessment of existing roof conditions and a plan to address all deficiencies as well as preventing new ones. The process begins with cleaning the surface with brushes, brooms, power washers, wet vacuums or spudding machines depending on the surface. When the surface has been cleaned, you are better able to identify problem areas with small issues and those that will require significant attention. All damaged materials including the membrane, flashings, curbs, penetrations, etc., must be identified and repaired. All leaks must be sealed before proceeding. Priming or applying a base is next in the process. This is typically followed by installing reinforcing layers and finally applying the protective coating. All are critical to a successful restoration.

The identify and repair stage of the process will solve a number of issues including removing extra weight and unnecessary elements like abandoned pipes, fixing membrane cracks, sealing laps that may be peeling back and replacing fasteners that are backing out. Leaks and problem areas will be addressed. This process will ultimately reduce ongoing maintenance costs.

During the coating stage, your roof is further protected from the elements. Reflective or “cool roof” coatings have the added benefit of reflecting heat and UV rays away from your building and lowering the roof surface temperature, reducing thermal shock. High reflectance can translate into cooler interior temperatures, decreasing the stress on your HVAC system and providing energy savings.

One particularly effective option is a liquid applied roof system. It offers tremendous durability, increased life expectancy and easy maintenance while avoiding issues like odor, burn hazards and disruptions to facility operations during project execution. Once again, a licensed roofing contractor makes all the difference in this decision-making process. They’ll be able to discern the key signs that your roof is a great candidate for repair by looking at factors like the health and life expectancy of the membrane and insulation. They can correctly assess issues for your particular roof system and recommend appropriate roof restoration systems. For example, their investigation may reveal extensive moisture below the roofing membrane or the need to repair isolated leaks along perimeter edges. Repeated leaks don’t always mean the entire roof is faulty and needs replacing, but quite possibly, that there are a few installation or design errors that can be resolved. Ultimately, a licensed roofing contractor can choose repair materials compatible with your existing roof and make recommendations based on your budget and long-term facility plans


There is no substitution for a well-crafted maintenance plan. Proper roof maintenance involves regular inspections and minor repairs which are often enough to prolong roof life for many years. Drains, scuppers, and downspouts are kept clear to prevent ponding water. Metal coping and counter flashing are secured. Keep in mind that even regular roof foot traffic, toolboxes or equipment drops can scuff the membrane while HVAC unit, skylight and sign installations or repairs can result in damage. There can even be issues arising from snow removal or window washing. Thorough, twice yearly inspections by a licensed professional can identify these potential pitfalls and address them before they become problematic.

Don’t wait for your first leak to think about regular roof inspections, maintenance and long-term viability. Often times, detailed investigation, customized solutions and careful, consistent maintenance can make restoration a viable option. With roof restoration, you can benefit from an economical roof system that gives you solid performance for many, many years.

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