Commercial Roof Restoration Versus Replacement: How to Determine Which Is Necessary

A roofer using pliers to fold and finish metal roofing

Should you restore or replace your commercial roof? The answer is more complicated than you may initially think and requires some critical thinking.

In this post, we’ll discuss scenarios where commercial roof restorations and replacements are necessary. We’ll also discuss some of the factors you need to be aware of when making this big decision.

When to Consider a Commercial Roof Restoration

One of the biggest benefits of restoring versus replacing a commercial flat roof is that the cost will likely be significantly less. And a proper restoration job is likely to add several more years, if not decades, to the roof’s functional life.

However, although restorations can be beneficial, not every roof is a good candidate. 

Commercial roof restorations should be considered if:

  • There Is Isolated Damage: Damage is isolated to one specific area on the roof, and the rest of the roof is in good condition.
  • The Roof Is Relatively New: The roof is still fairly young and in good condition, aside from the trouble spots.
  • There Are Only Minor Damages: Restoration is ideal if the damages can be easily repaired. Minor issues may include punctures, blistering, and caulk deterioration.

When to Consider a Commercial Roof Replacement

While a commercial roof replacement tends to be more expensive than restoration, it’s often necessary to safeguard a facility from leaks and help prevent any business interruption. Here’s a look at some of the factors that usually indicate roof replacement is necessary:

  • Old Age: Commercial flat roofs typically only last for 20 to 30 years before replacement is needed. If your roof is reaching the end of its lifespan, it often makes more sense to replace it altogether rather than attempt to manage more frequent repairs.
  • Significant Drainage Issues: If water is pooling in certain areas of your flat roof and not draining properly, you’ll likely develop leaks sooner or later. Some drainage issues can be easily resolved, but more significant issues may be indicative of compressed insulation or other major issues with the roof. Sometimes, a replacement may be the only way to solve it.
  • Widespread Damage: Any damage that’s more widespread and visible throughout the entire roof is typically a better candidate for replacement versus restoration. Holes or tears, damaged flashing, blistering and bubbling, and drainage issues that are evident throughout the entire roof are some examples of problems that likely require replacement to resolve in full.

Factors to Consider

There are three primary factors to consider when deciding between a replacement or restoration: roof age, roof condition, and overall cost.

While a replacement will be the more expensive option, it may likely be the best option for older roofs or roofs in very poor condition. Conversely, restoration tends to be the better option if a roof is still relatively new and any issues are isolated. Restoration is also an ideal option if there’s a desire to improve the roof’s overall appearance and make it more energy-efficient.

Restore or Replace Your Commercial Flat Roof With Help From Summit Commercial Roofing

Let Summit Commercial Roofing help you weigh your options. We’re a family-owned and -operated commercial flat roof contractor that has helped small businesses in Southeast Michigan for over five decades. We can help you find the most cost-effective solution for your unique situation. Contact us today to get started with a roof inspection. 


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Summit Commercial Roofing is proud to be an industry leader in commercial flat roofing replacement, repairs, maintenance and installations. Courtesy, integrity, and transparency are a big part of everything that we do. Are you ready to see why we’re one of the best commercial roofing companies in Southeast Michigan? Call (734) 564-0371 or fill out our online form today to request a quote on our commercial roofing services.

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