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Has it been a while since you’ve re-roofed your building? Maybe it still looks good, or maybe it is looking a bit worn down. Either way, here are a few tips for knowing if it needs to be replaced or repaired.

  • Age – The best indicator that you should replace your roof is age. Generally speaking, commercial roofs do not usually last as long as residential. An EPDM rubber roof should last about 30 years and can vary slightly depending on thickness.
  • Damage – If your roof is relatively new, looking for obvious signs of damage would be a good start. Whether from catastrophic incident or natural aging, a good rule of thumb is that if 25% or more of the roof is damaged, it should be replaced.
  • Insulation – Another sign that may be obvious is the condition of the insulation. Low quality insulation may be cause for replacement, as would the presence of moisture or mold.
  • Practicality – How easy would it be to replace your roof? Maybe the building is occupied, or the damage occurred in the middle of Winter. Replacement is the best option, but it may be prudent to repair damage for the time being.
  • Roof Leaks – If your roof leaks, this would indicate that replacement is necessary. If there is a singular leak, a repair job may be sufficient; however, multiple leaks would indicate that the roof should be replaced.
  • Energy Bills – If your bills are soaring, this could be a sign that your roof is not energy efficient. Replacing the roof would provide an opportunity to take advantage of the latest technologies and turn your roof into an energy and money saver.
  • The Membrane – Assess the basic condition of the PVC or TPO membrane. Whether or not the membrane is within its life expectancy should also be considered. A new membrane can be installed over an existing one; however, this can only be done once.
  • The Long Term – Consider that replacement would be a long-term solution and would allow an upgrade to the newest technologies. If possible, a replacement might be a good option for even minimal damage.

If there isn’t extensive damage, you may have the option to repair or recover your roof. Repairing instead of replacing is cost-effective and can extend the life of your roof. However, this course should only be taken if the roof is in good condition and still up to code.

A damaged or aging roof can present serious problems if not taken seriously. Keep an eye on the condition of your roof. A little problem now may be a large one later.

For further questions remember to contact the Southeastern Michigan Roofing Contractors Association at SMRCA.org.