Is It Better To Replace Or Repair A Commercial Roof?


There’s no understating the importance of commercial roofs. Without them, buildings would be vulnerable to extreme weather, utility systems, inventories, furnishings and electronics would all be wiped out. For these reasons and more, deciding whether to replace or repair your commercial roof requires thought, financial considerations and the input of experts, some of whom have contributed to the following information.

10 Reasons To Repair A Commercial Roof

  1. You save money. If the roof’s structure and framework remain intact, undertaking roof repairs could buy you extra years of occupation, especially if you are growing your company and expect to need a larger facility down the road.
  2. To mediate a drainage issue that has the potential to (or is already) impacting the building structure and leaving it vulnerable to collapse. This is especially important if your building roof is flat or low-sloping and it’s subject to snow and rain. Every square foot of pooled water adds 5 pounds of weight.
  3. If your building is old or it’s been poorly maintained, a thorough inspection of the roof can be a decent predictor of whether or not it makes sense to rehabilitate it.
  4. You may be able to get away with roof repairs rather than replacement if whomever installed the original roof did a lousy job but there’s enough integrity left to make repairs a viable, cost-saving measure.
  5. Repair if, upon examination of roof-penetrating pipes, drains, HVAC systems and other protrusions, there is sufficient strength in membrane surrounding what are normally weak points to warrant investing in fixing the roof.
  6. Choose the repair route if you can salvage or easily replace roof flashings. There are three main types of damage to flashings that make them vulnerable: incorrect installation, aging and exterior weather damage.
  7. Undertake a repair if the process of rehabilitating your roof is easily handled and the business can absorb the cost. A proper repair job could extend the life of your roof by forestalling additional damage.
  8. Choose repair if your business can undergo the process without disrupting your operation. Deciding to re-roof the entire building could impact operations.
  9. Repair if you can identify sound structural elements. Cost-effective remedies like recovering a roof can give you another 20 years of coverage.
  10. If only part of your commercial roof is damaged, does it make sense to add an entire, expensive, pricey new roof? Probably not.

10 Reasons To Replace A Commercial Roof

  1. If seasonal weather patterns have so seriously impacted the strength and integrity of your roof, the damage may be too extensive to consider repair.
  2. Replace your commercial roof if yours is beyond repair and you have enough business insurance coverage to help you pay for the replacement.
  3. A roof replacement may be necessary if you decide to add improvements like skylights, HVAC systems or you want to use the rooftop as a worker gathering place.
  4. If the shingle damage to your building is so extreme, it has undermined the roof framework because most or all shingles are bald, broken, curled or missing, a new roof is likely to be your best solution.
  5. If your roof has been identified as a health hazard and the source of mold, mildew and rot that can’t be rehabilitated, replacing the roof may be your only solution.
  6. If the roof’s sheathing has deteriorated so badly, it could even present a problem to the crew tearing it down, it’s probably reached a stage where it must be replaced.
  7. An ancient roof that’s subjected to extreme circumstances that range from tornadoes to hail is likely a good candidate for replacement.
  8. If you’re selling your business and you know that your roof could scare or become a bargaining chip for potential buyers, replacement will add to the building’s value.
  9. Full replacement may be your only option if it’s been recovered once before.
  10. If your operation changes and the roof on your headquarters isn’t sufficiently engineered to deal with an environmental change like moisture generation, a new roof makes the most sense.

If You Replace, What Are Your Options?

According to Armor Services roofers in Northern Kentucky, they suggest several options to customers to fit their operations, their budgets and even area weather. These are the 3 most popular types of commercial roofing systems on today’s market. One of them is likely to meet your needs.

Roof type #1: Spray polyurethane foam roofing


-Enjoy low maintenance. Forget cleaning and sealing.

-Installation is a breeze. No interruption of business as usual required.

-The old roof can stay put as long as it’s not a health hazard to your employees.

-Expect lower energy bills thanks to the insulation barrier built into the material.

-No lumps and bumps. A seamless finish stops rain from seeping in.

-Competitive pricing makes this a popular option.

-Since this roof isn’t petroleum-based it won’t cost a fortune to remove it.

-This material is lightweight, durable and strong.


-You’ll have to re-coat after 5 years, and then every 15-to-20-years.

-Not every commercial roofing contractor has experience with this material.

-Timing is everything: Weather conditions must be favorable in order to apply this spray.

-It can’t be installed when ice, frost or moisture are on the existing roof.

Roof type #2: Built-Up Roofing (BUR)


-This unique tar and gravel combination is installed in layers to produce an ultra-thick roof.

-BUR roofs are low maintenance and don’t require frequent inspections or maintenance.

-A great choice if your building roof is going to sustain foot traffic (e.g., you’re adding a rooftop deck).

-These are less expensive to install than other materials.


-Locating the origin of leaks can be a hassle; it’s hard to find cracks and tears penetrating any of the layers if water is getting in.

-These roof types don’t last as long as competitors; perhaps only up to 15 years.

Roof type #3: Metal roofing


-From copper and aluminum to steel, aluminum and zinc aggregates, you can choose the metal that suits your budget.

-You could enjoy 70 years of use, depending upon the material you choose.

-Extreme weather rarely impacts these roofs.

-Interiors stay cooler in summer and power bills could be cut by up to 25-percent.

-A majority of these roofs include recycled metals that can ultimately be recycled down the road.

-Metal roofing can be installed over asphalt, so construction doesn’t impact your operation.

-Some metal roofs are coated with agents that cut back on heat retention.

-The number of colors available total 100+ or you can paint your roof if you like.


-Experts say metal roof costs can be three-times that of spray foam (#1).

-This is not the roofing material for people who hate noise and rattling.

-Metal can dent if pelleted by hail or foot traffic.

-You may have to pay extra to have the metal treated so it won’t rust.

-Panels of metal roofing are seamed so water could leak in.

-You can’t roof over metal. You must tear it off to replace it.

Whatever you decide to do about your commercial roof—and whichever material you choose to do the job—count on Armor Services in Northern Kentucky to give you the best advice and the best price. Call today to find out which options are your best bets!

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