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When is it Really Time to Replace Your Commercial Roof?

March 20, 2017

When is it Really Time to Replace Your Commercial Roof?

Every commercial roof ages. Some age far faster than others, whether from location, poor maintenance, rough weather or some other cause. How can a St. Louis facilities manager or building owner know when the time is right to replace a commercial roof?

Commercial Roof Inspection

St. Louis businesses should plan on at least annual roof inspections by qualified, professional roofers. Regardless of the building’s age, your roof could have accelerated aging or show characteristics of a much younger roof despite being in service well past its warranty.

Commercial roof inspections reveal little signs that are often warnings of conditions to come. Your own maintenance crew may interpret a problem — like blisters — as no problem, but a blister could be a symptom of a bigger issue. A blister in a modified bitumen roof may not be a major problem. A blister in a built-up roof (BUR) indicates the wrong temperature of the hot asphalt during installation, so the failing layers are not adhering.

Repair, Don’t Replace

Some problems look very big and scary, but do not indicate replacement. Problems can be repaired if:

  • The roof’s chronological age is young for the material used
  • No unusual weather exposure, chemicals or foot traffic has contributed to rapid aging
  • The roof has not experienced ponding, substantial water infiltration or structural damage
  • The existing surface is not a re-cover atop a previous roof

Crazing and crackling of the roof surface may be widespread, but again may not be a reason to replace your roof.

Replace, Don’t Repair

According to industry experts at Facilities Net, replacement, rather than repair, is warranted in a few situations:

  • Water infiltration has not been stopped by repeated repairs, so structural members, insulation and roof layers are water damaged. Do not continue to spend money on repairs; replace the roof and solve the water infiltration.
  • Tear-off may be mandated by the building code, by a measurable lack of wind uplift resistance in the existing roof, or due to inadequate fire protection.
  • If your building is old enough, the roof insulation could be phenolic foam, which may create sulfonic and formic acids when wet. These acids corrode steel in you roof deck.

Only the trained eyes and practiced hands of a commercial roofer can help you learn the truth about your roof. Contact Jewett Roofing today to schedule commercial roof inspection and to determine the best time for your commercial roof replacement.


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