A common question of those who own commercial buildings with flat roofs is whether their installation can be repaired or if they need an entire roof replacement. The answer to this question depends on many things. Naturally, you would prefer that issues be corrected with an appropriate roof repair since it seems that would be easier and less expensive; however, there are times when repair is not enough and the best solution is to replace.
When Can My Flat Roof Be Repaired?
The most important factors about whether a flat roof can be repaired is the age of the roof, its current condition, and the extent of present damage. The older your roof and the closer it is to the end of its estimated service life, the less likely it can be repaired. This is due to the fact that materials degrade over time from exposure to the sun and weather, making them less resilient and able to function even after roof repair.
If your installation is fairly new and you have kept it well maintained, repairing is much more feasible. There are a number of products and methods that roofing contractors can use to correct problems such as leaks, ponding and poor drainage, and hail damage, rather than replacing the roof. Provided the current roof is in good enough condition to stay watertight after it has been fixed, contractors can usually make a repair that is appropriate for the specific type of material installed.
When Should My Flat Roof Be Replaced?
The main things to think about in determining whether you need commercial roof repair services to replace rather than repair your structure are the quality of the original roof, its age, and its current condition. As mentioned above, flat roofs near the end of their service life that are experiencing problems should be replaced, as repairs may not be possible or may not last. This is also true for structures in poor condition due to neglect and lack of maintenance or those with widespread damage.
What if my Roof was Improperly Built?
Besides the age and existing condition, your contractor may suggest roof replacement if the original installation was poorly or improperly done. One of the biggest problems a contractor may see that causes this kind of damage that really needs to be corrected with a new roof is a structure that is not properly leveled to promote good drainage.
Flat roofs are technically not completely flat; they are slightly angled by a few degrees to prevent damaging drainage issues like ponding. When this detail is ignored, there is a possibility of widespread damage as the structure ages. If your roof exhibits these problems, your contractor may suggest total replacement even if the roof has not reached its full service life. Once the first leak due to ponding and drainage occurs, it is likely you will see more.
The answer as to whether you should repair or replace commercial flat roofs is different in every situation and depends largely upon the structure that is currently on top of your building. If you are experiencing leaks or other problems, call a qualified commercial roof repair service to assess the damage and condition of your roof and to explain the best available options. Even though a roof replacement can initially be more expensive, it can save you money in the long run as well as the aggravation of having to deal with continual roofing problems!