Why You Should Repair Vs Replace Your Roof

Roofing can be an expensive necessity which is just one of the many reasons why you should repair versus replace your roof when possible. A reputable roofing company should do everything they can to help extend the life of an existing roofing system rather than replace it entirely. This is generally better for a commercial building owner’s budget as well as the environment.

To keep yourself from becoming a victim of an unnecessary roof replacement, keep reading to learn more about why you should repair versus replace your roof when possible.


It is normal for a roof to incur problems over the years due to external forces such as intense heat, heavy winds, or monsoon rains, but not every problem requires replacing a roof. In many cases, the roof can simply be repaired which in turn yields a number of substantial benefits for commercial building owners, such as:

Being a more cost-effective alternative

A completely new roofing system can cost thousands of dollars and put a major dent in a building’s maintenance budget. Repairs tend to cost a fraction of a complete replacement and can typically extend the life of a roofing system without breaking the bank.

Requires less time to complete

A replacement requires bulk orders of multiple materials and will take a longer time to finish. In contrast, many materials needed for repairs are often already on hand since they are not needed in bulk, and with only the fraction of work that a replacement requires, repairs tend to be much faster to complete.

Less disruption to people inside the building

The noise level that naturally accompanies a roof replacement may interfere with the work being done inside the building, and because the process can take an extended amount of time, it may ultimately hamper work and production levels. Repairs typically result in less disruption to people and processes inside the building, which can allow interior activities to proceed as normal.

Yields less waste than a complete roof replacement

At a time in which many commercial building owners are committing to more sustainable processes, a roof repair can better complement that goal than a replacement. The waste created by tearing off an existing roof is vast and contributes to the overall footprint of the facility on the environment. Repairs yield much less waste and allow for a much lower impact on the environment.


It may be possible that a roof does not qualify for a repair. This can only be determined once the roof is professionally inspected, available moisture finding techniques are employed, and the drainage systems have been thoroughly inspected.

In the case that a roofing system has sustained a leak that was left unchecked and has allowed water and moisture to be absorbed into the insulation, that insulation must be removed and replaced before repairs in that area can begin.

As a general rule, if a quarter or more of the existing roofing system is found to be saturated with moisture, or if the materials have deteriorated to a state that is beyond repair, it may require more serious measures such as a complete roof replacement.


Roofing systems that require multiple, detailed repairs may require a roof renovation. A thorough inspection of the existing system including modern moisture detection techniques will help roofing professionals ensure that it does qualify for a fluid-applied renovation.

System selection and application for renovations are customized for a structure based on its location, geographic climate, and roof traffic. In addition, professional roofers will also ensure that the manufacturer reputation, warranties, and cost meet a client’s needs.

While a roof renovation may be more costly than a single repair, it is necessary in some cases and is also still less expensive than that of a complete roof replacement.


If you do not have a professional roofing company you work with on a regular basis, one of the best ways to know if you really need a roof repair, renovation, or replacement is to find a reputable company you can trust. Unfortunately, there are some roofing companies that may make recommendations to clients solely based on the number of dollar signs it will yield them. This is not true of all roofing companies, but it does require careful research by a building owner to ensure they find a respectable company to partner with.

Some considerations to keep in mind when searching for a quality roofing company should be:

  • Their combined number of years of experience
  • The number of years the company has been in business
  • The number of additional services the company provides in addition to roofing (skylight maintenance, power washing, etc.)
  • The company’s philosophy on saving existing roofing systems
  • Warranties offered
  • Client and industry reviews


Respectable professionals will offer a variety of inspection and maintenance plans designed to ensure that potentially harmful issues are discovered as soon as possible. Roofing inspections should include leak inspections, identification of leak sources, examinations of a roof’s age and defects, a detailed report, and recommendations for the future.

One of the key areas of an inspection report is moisture retention findings in the roof. As noted above, moisture retention can determine if a system is eligible for repairs. Moisture retention testing should include multiple tests such as:

  • Core sample analysis – For this method, samples of the roof are taken so a laboratory can better analyze the physical make up, tensile strength, and moisture content of a system.


  • Infrared scans – This technology can help professionals find moisture taking root in an area such as an open seam.


  • Tramex – The Tramex Moisture Scanner is a tool that can help find sometimes hidden pockets of moisture in the roof.


For building owners, the detailed report an inspection yields can be key. This should clearly document the issues experts find in a roofing system. Many professionals also provide the client with pictures of the problems they find. This should give owners a better idea of the scope of problems which can better equip them to know if a roofing company is recommending an unnecessary replacement.


Whether the roof of your structure requires repairs, renovation, or a complete replacement, the longevity of it will depend heavily on how it is cared for. Look for a professional roofing company that offers a portfolio of services designed specifically to proactively manage roofing assets. SmartCARE is one such program that ensures regular maintenance and repairs which will extend the life of the roof and ensure that any warranties from material manufacturers stay in effect.

Roof maintenance through the smartCARE program offers several different plans that range in focus, including:


This protected plan is usually comprised of a standard inspection, an inspection report, roof clean up, and a five-year management plan.


This step up from basic generally includes all the components of that plan plus sealing and caulking services as well as wall inspection and maintenance.


This top of the line plan should be comprised of the components of the basic and premium grade plans as well as include a leak-free warranty, rapid leak response, and up to five year coverage.

When it comes to why you should repair versus replace your roof, the difference can be thousands of dollars and hours of time involved. If you have not had your commercial building inspected or maintained by a professional roofing company, put an inspection on the books as soon as possible for better odds on being eligible for repairs instead of a complete roof replacement.

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