The average life expectancy for commercial roofing is about 20 years, which means every year 5% of the industrial, commercial, and institutional roofs in the US need to be replaced. Some roofs may get patched and repaired which is relatively less costly instead of the complete replacement of the roof. This can only be done for so long, as the cost of repairs will eventually become restrictive for the owners of existing buildings, thus the decision to retrofit a roofing system ultimately becomes inevitable.

There are ample options with respect to materials and systems, depending on the current roof weight and the building codes, the new single-ply roofing system can be installed directly over the existing roof without any need to tear off the existing one.

Retrofit has several advantages these are:

  • Re-covering without anything to tear means that the building operations can continue their business without any disruption. Also, the installation will be faster than on a project requiring tear-off time.
  • If the old underlying roof system and insulation have good integrity, the new retrofit roof will ensure to remain the same qualities. The R-value can further be added with a layer of new insulation between the old deck and the new single-ply membrane.
  • The old roofing system 20 years ago was black due to EPDM (extremely durable synthetic rubber roofing membrane). From that time till now, the market has shifted significantly toward lighter-colored, reflective thermoplastic single-ply systems made up of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) membranes.
  • The Single-ply systems also deliver other environmental benefits, as they are lightweight, due to which less fuel is consumed to deliver material to the site. And as per the analysis, almost five to ten percent of landfill waste is accountable for roofing materials, no tear-off means less old roofing material will end up in the dump.

Many manufacturers have followed the quality rating system also known as Master or Elite Contractor programs to ensure that contractors installing their roofing systems are proficient in their work. These rating systems are intended to give the building owners and their managers the confidence that the roof will be installed with high-quality standards.

Experience and competence are major qualities for any roofing project, whether it’s new construction or a retrofit application. But if a new roofing membrane needs to be installed over an existing roof, then the owner/manager should expect the contractor to evaluate the current roof deeply in order to ensure a trouble-free installation by following:

  • Perform core cuts and infrared scans to look for any moisture in the deck or insulation. Repair the roof area that is damaged or saturated.
  • Review rooftop drainage and add appropriate water-directing accessories and materials for installation.
  • Make sure that the new membrane is compatible with the old, if is not then an appropriate separator must be installed.
  • Do Check for local codes to ensure that roof overlays are acceptable.

Regardless of the type of retrofit system getting installed, the owners and managers must check for the roofing manufacturers, specifications, and warranties available for the specific installation that is being considered. For more details call us today.