Instacoat Premium Products (IPP) wants to help you decide whether a commercial roof replacement or roof restoration is the right choice for your building.

We are going to start with a quick overview of the differences, give you some signs when a repair might be better than a replacement, and finally offer you a list of the pro and cons of both.


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When To Do A Commercial Roof Replacement

A commercial roof replacement is often the last choice a building owner has when faced with a damaged roof. Compared to restoration, a roof replacement often represents a greater cost to the building owner.

With that said, there are times when roof restoration is not feasible due to the extent of the damage.

Here is a golden rule: if upon inspection, more than 35% of the commercial roof is damaged, it might be time to consider a roof replacement.

This is due to various reasons, but the main one is that after this percentage of the roof is damaged, a restoration is more like an attempt to put a bandaid on a gaping wound.

As for types of damage that might indicate a roof replacement is needed, the telltale signs are issues finding their way into the building itself.

For example, a moldy or dank odor in your building is a sign that your roof has severe problems with leaks.

Mold takes time to develop, a damp odor is a sign your roof has had leaking problems for a longer time, which could indicate serious structural damages.

Another sign your roof might need a replacement is staining near the ceiling inside of a commercial building. Like a dank odor, a stain inside your building can indicate a leak that has had time to develop into a severe problem.

These more severe issues can be identified earlier as ponding. To learn more about the signs of ponding on a commercial roof, click here.

When To Do A Commercial Roof Restoration

While a commercial roof replacement is a final measure, a commercial roof restoration is a perfect choice for building owners who have been lucky enough to catch their problems early.

Because a roof restoration is often a far cheaper option, any building owner who can opt for a restoration instead of a total replacement should choose it!

As for when roof restoration is appropriate, the golden rule we shared earlier is reversed. If a roof replacement is suitable when the damage is greater than 35% and not localized to a few spots, a roof restoration is perfect when a smaller area of your roof is damaged.

The types of damage a roof restoration works well for vary, but they all have this in common: they are less severe than the damage that elicits a total roof replacement.

This could mean minor leaks at a poorly installed seam or other localized points of damage.

Storm damage can also be a good candidate for roof restoration. If the rest of the roof is young and healthy, the localized damage of a storm can often easily be repaired via a roof restoration.

One of the best ways to assess a roof’s local damage is in an infrared moisture survey. To read our blog that discusses everything you need to know about it, click here.

Pros And Cons Of A Commercial Roof Replacement

The major con of a total roof replacement is the price. Besides the cost of the materials themselves, a commercial roof replacement takes longer to complete than a restoration, which means your labor costs will be higher also.

As for the pros, you will have a brand-new roof! This means your building will have the best protection, especially with all the new and updated elements on your roof.

Another benefit of a roof replacement is the opportunity to inspect deeper structural elements that your roof has been covering up for years.

Finally, with a new roof, you can once again be certain that your roof is under warranty. Nowadays, with nearly all roofs, the materials will be covered under warranty.

As for the labor, that depends on the roofing contractor you’ve hired. To learn more about the importance of roof warranties, check out this blog we’ve written.

Pros And Cons Of A Commerical Roof Restoration

Because we started the last section with the major con of a roof replacement, let’s start this one with the major pro: the price! Compared to a roof replacement, a roof restoration is typically significantly more economical.

It is cheaper for the exact same reasons that make a roof replacement expensive: fewer labor costs, fewer materials, and less total time spent fixing your roof.

As for the cons, one of the biggest cons of a roof restoration is that no matter what, you will eventually need to replace your roof. That said, a roof restoration can give you roof years more life on a budget. All roofs have an expiration date and will need to be replaced.

Whether you need a roof restoration or a roof replacement depends on the needs of your commercial roof. For significantly damaged roofs, specifically with damage in more than a few areas, a roof replacement is what your building needs to get back to 100%.

If your roof only has minor damage or damage only in a few areas, a roof restoration might be an efficient way to get your roof back to working order.

With all this, a professional roofer is the best way to assess your building’s needs. They will be able to do an inspection and let you know exactly what your roof needs.

How IPP Can Help With Both Options

Whether you are doing a roof replacement or a roof restoration, IPP has the set of products & systems you need to get the job done right. We are proud to have served roofers with the highest-quality commercial roofing systems for over 20 years. To find out what system you need for a project, click here.