Revitalize Your Commercial Roof: A Comprehensive Guide to Roof Restoration

As a commercial building owner or manager, you understand the importance of protecting your investment and maintaining a safe, functional environment for your tenants or employees. Your building’s roof is a critical component of that environment, and when it begins to show signs of wear or damage, you may be faced with difficult decisions. 

Commercial roof restoration offers a viable alternative to costly and disruptive roof replacements, providing a cost-effective solution that breathes new life into your existing roof and helps you avoid potential disruptions to your business operations. This comprehensive guide will explore different types of commercial roofing systems, their respective restoration methods, and the benefits of commercial roof restoration.

Types of Commercial Roofing Systems and Restoration Methods

Each commercial roofing system has unique characteristics, and the restoration process for each type varies accordingly. In this section, we’ll discuss various commercial roofing systems and the specific restoration methods applied to each.

Single-Ply Membranes: TPO, PVC, and EPDM

Single-ply membrane roofs are popular in commercial buildings due to their durability, energy efficiency, and ease of installation. The restoration process for these roofing systems typically starts with a thorough cleaning to remove any debris, dirt, or contaminants that could hinder adhesion. Damaged areas are carefully repaired using compatible materials, ensuring a seamless transition between old and new sections. A liquid-applied membrane or elastomeric coating is then applied, providing a watertight seal that enhances the roof’s performance and energy efficiency.

Table 1: Comparison of Single-Ply Membrane Roofing Materials

DurabilityModerate to HighModerate to HighModerate
UV ResistanceHighHighModerate
Energy EfficiencyHighHighModerate
Chemical ResistanceModerateHighModerate
CostModerateModerate to HighLow to Moderate

Built-Up Roofs (BUR)

Built-up roofs, composed of alternating layers of bitumen and reinforcing fabrics, have been a staple in commercial roofing for decades. To restore a BUR, the roof is first inspected for any damaged areas that need to be repaired or replaced. Seams and flashing are then reinforced with a suitable fabric and adhesive. Finally, a durable, waterproof coating is applied to the entire surface to protect the roof from further damage and increase its longevity.

Metal Roofs

Commercial metal roofs, including steel, aluminum, and copper, are known for their longevity, low maintenance requirements, and aesthetic appeal. To restore a metal roof, any damaged or rusted areas are repaired or replaced, and seams and fasteners are sealed with appropriate sealants. A specialized metal roof coating is then applied, which helps prevent corrosion, improves energy efficiency, and extends the roof’s service life.

Table 2: Common Types of Metal Roofing Materials

SteelAffordable, strong, resistant to corrosionHeavier than other metals
AluminumLightweight, corrosion-resistant, energy-efficientLess strong than steel
CopperAesthetically appealing, long-lasting, corrosion-resistantExpensive, softer

Modified Bitumen Roofs

Modified bitumen roofs combine the benefits of BURs and single-ply membranes, offering flexibility and durability. The restoration process for these roofs involves repairing any damage, reinforcing seams, and applying a high-quality, weather-resistant coating to extend the roof’s lifespan and protect it from the elements.

Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) Roofing

SPF roofing systems consist of a spray-applied polyurethane foam that expands and solidifies, creating a seamless and highly energy-efficient layer. The restoration process for SPF roofing involves repairing damaged areas, cleaning the surface, and applying a protective coating. This coating maintains the integrity of the foam, enhances its energy efficiency, and extends its service life.

Green Roofs

Green roofs incorporate vegetation and soil layers to provide environmental benefits, such as improved stormwater management, enhanced insulation, and reduced urban heat island effects. Green roof restoration focuses on repairing any damaged areas, ensuring proper drainage, and maintaining the vegetation. This process helps to keep the roof functioning optimally and provides the environmental benefits associated with green roofs.

The Commercial Roof Restoration Process

1. Inspection and AssessmentA thorough inspection of the existing roof to identify problem areas and assess its overall condition. This inspection helps to identify any damage, potential issues, and the overall condition of the roof. Based on the findings, a customized restoration plan is developed, tailored to the specific needs of your building and roofing system.
2. Cleaning and Surface PreparationThe roof surface is cleaned to remove dirt, debris, and any loose or damaged materials. This ensures proper adhesion of the coating.
3. Repair and WaterproofingDamaged areas are repaired, and seams and details are waterproofed to ensure a watertight seal.
4. Base Coat ApplicationA base coat is applied to the entire roof surface to create a strong foundation for the top coat.
5. Top Coat ApplicationA top coat is applied to provide a durable, weather-resistant, and reflective finish, extending the life of the roof.
6. Inspection and Quality ControlA final inspection is performed to ensure the roof restoration has been done correctly and meets the required standards.

Benefits of Commercial Roof Restoration

Commercial roof restoration offers numerous benefits, including:

  • Cost-Effectiveness: Roof restoration is a more affordable option compared to a full roof replacement, as it requires less labor and materials.
  • Extended Roof Lifespan: A well-executed restoration project can add up to a decade or more of life to an existing commercial roof.
  • Improved Performance: The restoration process can result in a more watertight, energy-efficient, and durable roofing system.
  • Reduced Energy Bills: Roof restoration systems offer solar reflectivity and emissive qualities that can improve the energy efficiency of your building, potentially reducing energy costs and extending the life of your HVAC equipment.
  • Environmentally Friendly: Roof restoration extends the service life of your roof, delaying the need for a full replacement and the associated landfill waste.

Commercial Roof Restoration vs. Full Roof Replacement

AspectCommercial Roof RestorationFull Roof Replacement
CostLess expensive, typically 50-70% less than a full replacementMore expensive
TimeframeFaster, less disruptiveLonger, more disruptive
Environmental ImpactMore eco-friendly, less wasteHigher waste generation
Energy EfficiencyImproved due to reflective coatings, reducing energy costsMay not provide the same level of energy efficiency
Service Life ExtensionAdds 10-20 years to existing roof lifespanFull replacement of existing roof
Structural ImpactMinimal, focuses on improving the existing roofSignificant, involves removing and replacing the entire roof
Warranty10, 15, or 20 years, depending on the restoration systemVaries depending on the type of roof system and materials
Maintenance RequirementsLower, restoration can reduce the need for frequent repairsHigher, new roof may require ongoing maintenance and repairs


Choosing the Right Contractor

When selecting a commercial roof restoration contractor, consider the following factors:

  • Experience: Choose a contractor with a proven track record of successfully completing commercial roof restoration projects.
  • Credentials: Ensure the contractor is licensed, insured, and holds any necessary certifications related to the roofing systems they work on.
  • References: Request references from previous clients to gauge the quality of the contractor’s work and their customer service.
  • Warranty: Look for a contractor who offers a comprehensive warranty on their workmanship and materials.

Commercial roof restoration is a valuable option for building owners and managers seeking to extend the life of their roofing systems, save on energy costs, and avoid the disruption of a full roof replacement. By understanding the different types of commercial roofing systems, their restoration methods, and the benefits of roof restoration, you can make an informed decision that best suits your building’s needs.

Are you ready to give your commercial roof a new lease on life? At Eskola Roofing Company, we specialize in top-quality commercial roof restoration services that save you time and money while enhancing the performance of your roofing system. Don’t wait any longer – contact us today at  (800) 884-3211 or  schedule a free, no-obligation inspection and consultation. Trust the experts at Eskola Roofing Company to restore your roof and protect your investment.

Once your roof is restored, it’s important to maintain it properly. Learn why you should invest in a Commercial Roof Maintenance Plan.

Additionally, find out if commercial solar roofing systems could add value to your restoration project.