Should You Repair or Replace Your Flat Roof?

Should You Repair or Replace Your Flat Roof?

With proper installation and high quality materials a flat roof should protect your commercial building for many, many years. However, as the years go on and repairs become more frequent, the question will eventually arise: How do you know when it’s time to replace a flat roof versus continuing to make repairs?

Here are some factors to consider:

1. Is there excessive pooling of water?

One of the key weaknesses of flat roofs compared to sloped roof designs is a tendency to develop pooling. Pooling is a condition where a flat roof retains water for 48 hours or longer, and can shorten the life of a roof significantly.

2. Are there extensive or large tears or rips in the membrane or seams?

As flat roofs age they may eventually develop tears and holes, particularly along seams in the roofing material where the pieces were joined together. Minor hold and tears can be repaired, but extensive damage may signal that it’s time to replace the roof. Complicating the issue is the type of roofing material the roof is covered with. For example, tar and gravel roofs can make finding holes and damage a challenge.

3. How old is the roof?

Ultimately, the question of whether to replace or repair usually comes down to the age of the roof. Have the materials used on the roof reached the end of their service life? If this is the case you may end up spending in excess of 20 percent of the cost of a new roof to simply keep the old roof functioning a little longer.

The answer of when it’s time to replace an old roof is a complicated question, with many variables that are unique to each situation. A professional roofing contractor can help determine the best option for your situation.