Making the Right Decision: Repair or Re-Roof? A Guide for Building Decision Makers

aerial photo of in progress reroof downtown

As a building decision-maker, one of the crucial choices you may face is whether to repair or re-roof your building. The condition of the roofing membrane and the type of leaks experienced play a significant role in determining the best course of action. In this blog post, we will explore the key factors that should guide your decision-making process. While there may be some outliers and special circumstances to consider, we will focus on the general approach to help you make an informed choice between servicing or re-roofing your building.

  1. Assessing Roof Condition: When evaluating the condition of your roof, it is essential to consider the level of roof deterioration. If your current roof is experiencing moderate to severe deterioration, it is a clear indication that it is time to start planning for a replacement. Allocating funds in the owner’s capital budget for a new roof becomes imperative in such cases.
  2. Bridging Membrane: Another significant factor indicating the need for a roof replacement is the presence of a bridging membrane, particularly in EPDM roofs. Bridging occurs when the membrane shrinks, causing it to pull away from the roof surface. This is a clear sign of roof failure, and addressing it through re-roofing is highly recommended.
  3. Open Laps or Seams: If your roof exhibits numerous open laps or seams throughout its surface, it may be more prudent to consider a re-roofing option rather than opting for repairs. Open laps or seams compromise the integrity of the roofing system and increase the risk of leaks and water damage. By choosing to re-roof, you ensure a comprehensive solution that addresses these issues and provides long-lasting protection.
  4. Manufacturer Warranties: Determining whether your roof is still covered by manufacturer warranties is an essential step in the decision-making process. If your roof is experiencing any of the aforementioned issues and has more than five years of warranty remaining, it is advisable to report all leaks to the manufacturer. Requesting a Manufacturer representative to inspect the roof can provide valuable insights and potential solutions. For roofs with less than five years of warranty remaining, it is recommended to include the cost of replacement in your budget while reporting the leaks to the manufacturer.

When faced with the choice between repairing or re-roofing your building, considering the condition of the roofing membrane and the types of leaks experienced is crucial. Moderate roof deterioration, bridging membrane, open laps or seams, and manufacturer warranties are key factors that can guide your decision-making process. By assessing these factors and evaluating your budget and long-term goals, you can make an informed choice that ensures the integrity and longevity of your building’s roofing system. While some scenarios may warrant different approaches, this general framework can help you navigate the decision-making process effectively. Remember, a well-maintained and robust roofing system is vital to the overall health and longevity of your building.