Replacing a commercial roof is a major expense for any business, but it’s important to know when the time for replacement has come. Still, most business owners dread having to go through this capital expenditure. The occasional roof repair might provide a reprieve from this hefty bill, but there comes a time when periodic repairs are no longer cost-effective and a replacement is necessary. In this article, we’ll discuss signs that it’s time to replace a commercial roof and how to plan for the endeavor.

Reasons to Replace a Commercial Roof

Age of the Existing Roof System

The natural aging process of a roof is a primary sign that it should be replaced. A commercial roof typically has a lifespan of between 15 and 20 years depending on its type, but some materials can rust or degrade faster. The age of the current roof system is a major determining factor of when to replace the existing one. Also, the natural sun and weather exposure can accelerate the deterioration of the materials.

Inadequate Maintenance

Regular maintenance and inspections are important for preserving the condition of the roof. Outdoor weather causes stress and damage to all materials, but proper maintenance can help minimize this. The inadequate maintenance of a commercial roof can lead to serious damage that will require expensive repairs or full replacement. It’s important to check for any loose or missing shingles and other visible signs of damage. Also, have an expert inspect the roof at least once a year to identify potential weak spots that need repairs.

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Leaks are the most visible signs of roof damage and require immediate repairs. Depending on the extent of the leakage, it might take a few smaller repairs over time. If the roof is more than 10 years old, however, it might be better to go for a full replacement instead of investing in short-term solutions.

Advanced Deterioration

If roofing materials are in a state of disrepair due to extreme weather conditions or lack of care, they will display signs of advanced deterioration. Things such as broken shingles, sagging, and standing water on the surface of the roof all point towards the need for a complete re-roofing.

Installation Of a New Building Addition

If a business is planning to add a new building addition, it could be a good idea to have the current roof replaced at the same time. This way, any installation work for the addition won’t disrupt the current roofing. Furthermore, the business will save money by doing both projects simultaneously.

Agreement With Manufacturer or Contractor

Sometimes, a manufacturer or a roofing contractor might suggest that a roof be replaced due to deficiencies related to their specifications or warranty. If a business ignores these recommendations, they could be held liable for any unexpected repairs or damages caused by their current roof.

Cost of Repairs

If a roof has sustained too much damage, the cost of repairs will be greater than the cost of a complete replacement. In this situation, it makes more sense to replace the roof rather than invest in repairs. By re-roofing, the business owner can improve their roof’s durability and avoid any further issues down the road.

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People Also Ask Questions

How long does a commercial roof last?

A commercial roof typically has a lifespan of about 15-20 years, depending on the type.

How much does it cost to replace a commercial roof?

The cost of replacing a commercial roof can vary depending on the size of the building, materials used and other factors. The average cost ranges from $5-$14 per square foot.

What are the warning signs for a failing commercial roof?

The warning signs for a failing commercial roof include leaks, visible cracks and holes, loose or missing shingles, advanced deterioration of the materials, sagging, and standing water.

Should I replace my 30-year-old commercial roof?

If your commercial roof is more than 10 years old, it’s likely due for a replacement. Consider having an expert inspect it first to determine if your roof needs repair or replacement.

What materials are used for commercial roofs?

Common materials used for commercial roofs are single-ply, Built-Up-Roof (BUR), metal and asphalt shingle.


Replacing a commercial roof should not be done lightly, as it requires a considerable amount of money to complete this project. It’s important to look at the signs that a roof is due for replacement, such as its age, deterioration of the materials, leakage, and the cost of repairs. Some business owners, however, opt for a new roof installation when they plan to add a new building addition. In any case, it’s best to consult a professional roofer before starting the project.