The roof over a commercial building represents a notable investment. Owners will eventually have to confront a scenario, though, where they'll need to choose between repairing and replacing the roof. Commercial roof contractors can explain the following four items to help you make your decision.
1. Long-Term Maintainability
Repair is a common solution because many commercial roofs are meant to be highly maintainable. For example, a lot of buildings have flat roofs made of rubber, tar, or other materials. The commercial roof repair process for these structures may involve swabbing coatings on or applying patches to damaged sections.
2. Previous Repairs
Notably, repeatedly repairing the same area on a roof isn't a great idea. If you've had commercial roofing professionals fix the same spot on a roof, there may be a bigger problem. For example, the roof might be warped more than its original design allows, and that could encourage water to pool in one spot. This can lead to recurring problems. In that scenario, a commercial roof replacement project may be the best option.
You'll want to have someone experienced in doing commercial roof inspections check out the entire structure. Not only can they identify the specific sources of issues you're seeing, but they may spot problems that haven't yet come to your attention. An inspection will provide clues about how likely a repair project is to succeed. It also will inform you of the potential risks of not replacing the roof.
Roofing systems for commercial buildings tend to last between 10 and 40 years. There is a wide range of possible outcomes because the conditions at buildings and locations vary widely.
If you have a business in a region that gets lots of precipitation and also sees wintertime swings between freezing and thawing, the roof may crack. This isn't dissimilar to how cracks form in highways. Water will find micro-fissures, work its way in, and freeze and expand. If this happens repeatedly, it can do a lot of damage. UV exposure in sunny regions can have a similar effect. Even if you don't get a lot of rain, one or two storms can damage cracked surfaces, too.
Regular maintenance will help. However, even with consistent maintenance and ideal conditions, the roof will eventually fail. You'll start seeing pooling or leaks. The important thing is to perform a commercial roof replacement before the damage permeates supporting structures and causes potentially more trouble.