Your commercial roofing may not get much attention, but it is a very important structure. Roofing can get damaged if it is not properly maintained so it is important to always keep it in good condition. One of the best approaches to roof longevity is with a renovation, but there are a few important things to remember before you get started.
Commercial Roofs: Renovation
1. Evaluate your current roof
Decide if you need a full replacement or just an overlay. A replacement will involve a complete tear-down of the current roofing all the way down to the deck.
This is more time-consuming and expensive, so you want to be sure. The decision will be based on roofing damage because if any extensive damage to the foundations of the roof is identified, replacement is required. Smaller problems like water damage may be taken care of with repairs and then an overlay. If you are getting a new roof, make sure the existing structure can support the weight, especially if choosing different materials.
2. Inspect your materials
Check that the existing materials on the roof are in good condition. Are there any cracks in the coating? Is the membrane torn?
You also want to inspect areas where there are seams, such as around HVAC units for any seams that have pulled away. If you are planning to lay new materials over an existing roof, you need to make sure all these problems are repaired first. If your roof has insulation, this can be reused. Unless you are doing a full replacement as this will require thicker layers of insulation, so it will need to be removed and recycled.
3. The big picture
Chances are you made an investment in your building so you want to think long term. What will your commercial building be used for in ten or even twenty years? You also need to consider the average wear the roof will get including foot traffic and heat exposure. Once you know how the roof will be used, you can pick the best materials to make sure it lasts. For warmer climates, consider reflective roofing to reduce energy costs and protect the roof. If your goal is to become more ‘green’ consider renovating with a vegetated roof which also saves in energy costs. If you are switching to a new style of roofing, make sure the underlying system is in good condition and does not need any repairs.
4. Consider all the alternatives
Full roof replacement is not your only option unless the current roofing system is severely damaged. Liquid-applied coatings are also a great solution for extending the life of your commercial roof. In most cases, these coatings also help with energy savings over the long term. Check with your roofing contractor about applying a coating as a quick fix for roof renovations.
Just be sure the current system is in good condition because roof coatings are preventative and cannot repair any damage already done.
5. Remember roofing codes
As a commercial building owner or manager, you should be aware of roofing standards and codes. It is important to know when things can change and how these changes will affect roofing systems. Learn the codes for buildings in your area and stay in touch with trade associations. This way you can stay abreast of roofing industry changes and new codes that will impact your commercial property.
Most important, don’t wait until a serious problem has occurred to evaluate renovation options. Schedule regular maintenance and roof inspections each year. This way, you can start renovation before major problems develop such as leaking and water damage.
Roof renovations will most likely depend on the roofing system you have, the state of the materials, and factors like climate. In some cases, you may just want a new look for your roof, but more often than not, roofing renovations are done to extend the life of a roof.
Whether it is repairs, an overlay, or a full replacement, what matters most is quality work so you get a safe commercial building. Reach out to us today so we can help you determine the best renovation approach for your commercial roofing.
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