If you’re a building owner or manager, you know that commercial roof replacements can be a significant investment in time and money. The cost, timeline, and extent of work can be influenced by several factors, including access to the roof, the height of the building, and whether a complete replacement or an overlay is necessary. It’s also essential to consider the weather conditions and the time of year when the replacement will take place. That’s why we’ve created this commercial roof replacement guide to help you navigate the process and make informed decisions about your roofing project.
In this guide, we’ll cover everything from budgeting and selecting the right roofing material to find a reputable roofing contractor and managing the installation process. So whether you require a complete roof replacement or just looking to maintain your existing roof, our guide will provide you with the information you need to ensure a successful project.
Our Ultimate Roof Inspection Guide
We will walk you through All Star Roofing’s tried-and-true process of roof inspection, estimating and planning, budgeting, and all the other important variables and considerations that you need to consider when replacing your commercial roof. Learn more about All Star Roofing’s roof replacements, and book an inspection here.
There is no one-size fits all approach to commercial roofing replacements. However, a commercial roofing contractor who has experience should conduct an in-person assessment to assess the roof and review any existing conditions e.g access, height, etc. Core samples can also be taken to give customers multiple options regarding the scope of the project.
They will create a 3-part timeline for your commercial roof replacement. This includes design, mobilization, crew size, footprint, closeout, and all while considering the building type, customer needs, as well as the comfort of the building occupants.
There are many other factors to consider before you decide to replace your commercial roof. We’ve provided details below. To help you understand the entire process, we have included information about warranties, types of commercial roofs, and other important details.
What Are the Most Important Factors to Consider When Replacing My Commercial Roofing?
When determining the scope and timeframe for any commercial roof replacement, there are many variables and factors to take into consideration.
Is it necessary to replace the roof? Is there any equipment on the roof that needs to be removed? Access to the roof and building height, weather conditions, and the time of year ie. The time frame for a commercial roof replacement will be affected by the building’s height and access to it.
You should also consider the types and number of layers involved, as well as the depth of the removal/replacement. The project scope can be extended by adding overburden such as pavers, furniture, and gravel. The most important thing is the type and type of commercial roofing system being used, including single-ply, traditional, or inverted asphalt, as well as the attachment method for the insulation or membrane.
Our team has created a three-part plan for customers to address all possible variables. It includes the following breakdowns.
Safety Plan: This plan provides fall protection, personal safety, and public protection for the entire commercial roofing replacement project.
Stage Plan: Outlining the access for employees to the roof and the location of roofing equipment. Also, shows the staging areas where toilets, chutes dumpsters cranes, or other large elements are located.
Phasing plan: This document outlines the daily work areas for coordination with building managers and occupants. It will also list the most important times and days for building users such as when the roof is being removed overhead or concrete drilling is taking place to fix mechanical anchors.
The type of commercial roof system that is best for you depends on what type of building it is and the equipment inside. For example, a hospital roof will require a different approach than if it were a regular shopping center.
Average Time for Commercial Roof Replacement
The most important consideration in any major project is the timeline. It will vary depending on the type of building and the scope of the project, but the general timeline for commercial roof replacement is roughly the same:
Site Visit (1 week): Our contractors will visit your site within one week to conduct a walkthrough and roof inspection, collect core samples and report our findings to you.
Proposal (1-2 Weeks): We will develop and build a formal proposal tailored to your commercial roofing system, taking into consideration all its unique complexities.
Approval and Permitting (1-3 Weeks): After the proposal has been approved and executed, we will obtain all permits necessary for the project. We’ll also hold a preconstruction meeting to discuss all details and coordinate logistics.
Start (1-2 Weeks): Depending on weather conditions, the roofing services will start within a few weeks.
There are many crew members needed to replace a commercial roof. However, the average crew size is 8 with an additional Foreman, Superintendent, and Project Manager. To provide safety reports and random inspections, third-party independent Safety Contractors will periodically audit the job site.
There will always be noise. However, these noises will only be present during overhead work. There are many ways to reduce disruption. We can perform the noisier tasks early in the morning or later in the evening depending on how flexible we can be with customers. The timing of the roofing service will depend on the customer’s preferences.
What to Know Before Commercial Roof Replacement
There are many misconceptions about commercial roofing replacements. We also get asked a lot of questions by potential customers. Below is a list of some of them:
We Always Replace What’s Being Removed
The roof’s entire structure is removed and then replaced in the same day. To ensure that the roof stays waterproofed, we don’t ever take out more than what can be replaced in a given day.
There Is No One Size Fits All Approach to Roofing
When it comes to commercial roofs, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. The best roofing system for your building will be custom-designed to meet your specific needs and budget.
This Is a Huge Project
For large-scale roofing projects that require multiple weeks to complete, we take a strategic and comprehensive approach. Our team works closely with you to create a detailed project plan that outlines each step of the process, including the timeline for completion.
Warranty Can Be Complicated
System Warranties (i.e. labor and material warranties) cover the installation of materials and the quality and workmanship. However, not all manufacturer warranties are created equal. Many building owners are shocked to learn that their roof leaks may not be covered. Similarly, “No Dollar Limit” warranties do not have coverage limited to the cost of the initial roof replacement/installation.
What Is Not Covered?
Punctures are caused by rooftop HVAC services, occupants of the roof, satellite dish installation, standing water from drainage points blockage, and many other variables that can be avoided through bi-annual inspections. Unqualified roofing contractors can also cause damage or punctures. Wind damage beyond the warranty’s coverage is usually 55 mph unless your roof has enhanced wind speed coverage. You are also responsible for any details that may be found on a roof, such as a sealant at pipe penetrations and exposed termination bars, as well as pourable sealer pockets.
There Are No Roof Overs for Soaked Roofs
You will need to replace your entire commercial roofing system for warranty coverage. It may also cause damage to your structural decking depending on how saturated it is. This can be another huge cost.
Waiting to see if there is a leak can cause irreparable damage to your tenant relationships and compromise the building’s integrity. Preventative maintenance can save you money and extend the life of your commercial roof by many years.
Why Is It So Difficult to Repair or Seal Leaks and Punctures?
Store-bought materials can cause serious damage to your commercial roofing system. These materials are not compatible with commercial roofing systems and can be difficult to find at your local hardware store, regardless of how confident you may be in your DIY skills.
Considerations for Commercial Roof Replacement
We also have a list of common misconceptions and questions. Here are some other potential pitfalls or unforeseen factors that could affect the timeline, scope, or budget of a commercial roof replacement.
Design is determined by budget. The customer’s predetermined financial limit will determine the scope and design for a commercial roof replacement. It is important to determine the customer’s preferred length of warranty coverage. A roofing system that has been in use for 10-15 years will have a different design than a roof that is 20 years old.
Drainage design. A proposal will be presented early in the process. It will include all design elements including industry-standard drainage. This will ensure that it is compatible with your existing drainage system. Our team will replace it if it does not meet current requirements.
Energy and cost conservation by design. Commercial roofing replacements must meet the energy code of the local jurisdiction where the building is situated. Proper energy design will greatly reduce energy costs for the building owner.
No change orders except where required. Many people don’t expect to receive change orders. This is because contractors often fail to inform customers about potential contingencies before replacing commercial roofs. Our roofing experts insist on being transparent with customers and making them aware of all possible variables prior to the project’s commencement.
A wet roof cannot be overlaid. It’s cheaper to tear the entire roof off. If there is more than one roof, both must be removed from the decking.
It is important to maintain your commercial roof. You should inspect and service it just like you did with your old roof. Protecting your investment is in your best interests.
How Can I Tell If My Commercial Roof Requires Replacement?
Most of the time, a replacement of a commercial roof is part of a long-term building plan. However, it depends on the type and condition of your roof.
The age of your roof is an important factor. This is not only due to the standard 20-year warranty that most roofs offer, whereas warranties from 20 years ago were only 10-15 years. But also because of any history of leaks and repairs. Most repairs and replacements are budget-friendly. Typically, repairs last between 2-5 years.
Commercial roofs with chronic, long-term leakage issues should be replaced or major repairs made. Without a professional commercial roofing company, it is impossible to know how large a roof leak is.
It is not easy to choose the right time for your roof replacement. It’s not easy to choose the right time to replace your roof.
Most Popular Commercial Roofing Types and Common Problems We Encounter
Commercial roofing types vary depending on the building’s structure, climate, and other factors. Some of the most popular commercial roofing types include:
Modified Bitumen Is Killed by the Sun
This is especially true for modified bitumen roofing. The asphalt roof is protected by the top ply which acts as a granule. However, if granule loss occurs it will only take a few years before it begins to fall apart.
EPDM Wears Down Like a Tire
Based on its cosmetics, an EPDM roof’s condition can be determined. Because it is a single-ply roof, EPDM can show problems differently from other roofs. Bridging and tenting are common problems because EPDM shrinks over time, pulls on the flashing, creating tears or holes. EPDM roofing systems are chemically bonded at the seams. Open seams are generally a red flag that the roof may need to be replaced.
TPO/PVC Roofs Need to Be Replaced When You Feel the Bitterness or See the Seams Open Up
The weathering layer that is placed on top of these roofs erodes approximately 1mm per year. The scrim can’t be waterproofed once it is exposed and must be replaced. Single-ply roofs such as EPDM, TPO, and PVC, are faster and more efficient than multi-layered roofs, like BUR or Modified Bitumen.
Built-Up Roofing (BUR), systems are the most difficult to read. They display their repair history.
Metal Roofs Can Be Very Costly to Replace
Replacing metal roofs can be quite expensive. As a result, we often opt for more cost-effective solutions such as extensive coatings or retrofitting repairs instead of a full replacement.
All Star Roofing Is a Unique Company That Handles Commercial Roof Replacements
We are often approached by potential customers to replace a commercial roof. They don’t always have an idea of what they want.
Our Team Provides Absolute Pricing Transparency
We will ask for a comparison of our project scope with the scope of other bidders. There is a chance that the lower-priced jobs will offer a smaller scope or may simply be due to the smaller contractor being less reputable or perhaps more desperate for work.
We recommend that potential customers interview commercial roofing contractors. Hold them accountable. Ask them why they are the best choice for your commercial roofing system. Ask for copies of letters from the manufacturer and references. Our experts have a long track record and can anticipate all unforeseen circumstances and bring them to the attention of the owner to highlight any potential problems.
Our Roof Experts Are Proud to Minimize Change Orders
We make five to six core cuts during our initial walkthrough to make informed recommendations for the owner. Sometimes, we will find rusted or rusted decking or buried conduits, or deep rot or water intrusion later on in the project. Often, owners will request changes to expand their project scope because they are satisfied with our work.
We are proud to match the final product with the presentation. What we show you before you buy is exactly what you will get. All commercial roofs we install are correctly sloped. We are also certified by almost every major commercial roofing manufacturer. These certifications must be maintained so that you have the assurance of working with an industry-approved standard bearer.
For All Star Roofing, it’s important to consider the financial impact of replacing your commercial roofing. Without the proper funds for maintenance and coverage, it can become a costly investment that is more expensive than simply replacing the roof altogether.
In addition, many manufacturers require basic proactive maintenance to maintain warranties and extend the life of your roof. As such, it’s important to keep in mind the unique requirements of your commercial roofing system before, during, and after the process to ensure the comfort and peace of mind of your building tenants, as well as the short and long-term costs for you as the building owner or engineer.
When it comes to fulfilling these responsibilities, it’s crucial to find a licensed, trustworthy, honest, and transparent commercial roofing contractor to handle the majority of the work.
If you’re in need of a commercial roof inspection, All Star Roofing offers comprehensive services to help ensure the longevity of your roof. To learn more and schedule an inspection, click below.
Services We Offer
- ROOF INSTALLATION
- SHINGLE ROOFS
- TILE ROOFING
- FLAT ROOFING
- METAL ROOFING
- EMERGENCY ROOF REPAIR
- HURRICANE HELP