Restore Rather than Re-roof
Building Owners and Facility Managers must balance short-term budget realities with the need to maintain properties for the long term. Advancements in Fluid Applied roofing membranes can help reduce capital costs by restoring rather than replacing roofs.
Roof condition, age, material type, and climate zone all can influence whether a commercial roof can be restored or whether it should be completely removed and replaced—the latter of which is a costly and disruptive solution. Operational realities also can influence the decision about whether to reroof or restore the existing roof. Re-roofing typically shut downs or at least severely interrupts productivity during the re-roof project.
Another growing concern in the roofing industry is the amount of waste that re-roofing generates. Fluid Applied Roof Restoration Solutions significantly reduces waste materials headed to landfills. In addition, new lighter-colored roof materials reflect rather than absorb the sun’s radiation, which helps lower roof temperatures and reduce a building’s energy load.
Cool Roof Technology
According to the RCMA’s Solar Reflective Coatings Council, white roof coatings can provide three key attributes to a building when installed: assistance in shedding water and keeping interiors dry; reduction of cooling costs for buildings with air-conditioning units as well as a reduction of interior temperatures in buildings with no cooling units; and the ability to protect and prolong the roof system’s life cycle by reducing the stress of thermal shock associated with large changes in temperature.
White roof coatings can help protect a roof against excessive temperatures by reflecting visible light and stopping ultraviolet radiation. Expansion and contraction of roofing materials, especially with metal roofs, can then lead to additional problems and ultimately can result in leaks. Applying a light-colored coating to a low-slope roof can help reflect sunlight and reduce temperatures on the surface of the roof. These lower temperatures should extend roof life, according to the RCMA findings.
The decision to restore or re-roof ultimately depends on how much useful life remains in the existing roof materials. Shortened roof life occurs as a result of thermal failure caused by high roof temperatures. Mitigating those roof temperatures can help prevent the need for re-roofing by maximizing the useful life of the materials.
1. Restoration Costs Less
A complete roof replacement can be expensive in labor and materials, particularly if the existing roof must be removed first. Depending on the roofing system selected, costs average between $18 and $22 per square foot. Restoration, on the other hand, requires less labor and materials, and thus costs about $6 to $9 per square foot.
2. Restoration Extends Your Roof’s Life
Commercial roofs typically last about 20 years — restoration can add 10 to 15 years of life. You can defer complete replacement and make future plans for the expenditure in your capital budget.
3. Restoration is More Sustainable
Millions of tons of roofing waste end up in landfills annually. Because it allows you to reuse your existing roof, restoration is a much more environmentally friendly option. Plus, it can make your building more energy efficient and may help it qualify for ENERGY STAR or LEED credits.
4. Restoration Provides Tax Benefits
Roof restoration is classified as a maintenance expenditure, while replacement is considered a capital expense. In most cases, you will pay less tax on maintenance by taking the current deduction versus capitalizing the expense and recovering the cost through depreciation. According to federal rules, commercial roofs are depreciated on a 39-year schedule. Since roofs have an average life of 20 years, it’s wise to extend the useful life of your roof as long as possible.
5. Restoration Helps Prevent Catastrophic Loss
Ignoring the fact that your roof is deteriorating doesn’t make the problem go away; it can only get worse. The more time passes, the greater the potential damage and the more it costs to restore it. At some point, the only option will be total replacement. Continued neglect can put your business, employees and tenants at risk.
Start with a Visual Inspection
The best starting point in determining whether your roof can be restored is a simple visual inspection. Some things to look for are pools of standing water, tears or bubbles in the roof cover, wet insulation, cracking seams and gaps in flashing. These issues can accelerate the deterioration of the roof cover and lead to leaks, mold growth and failure during a windstorm. Problems can also be detected from inside the building — water stains, mold growth and unusual odors are indicators of possible roofing issues.
Get a Professional Opinion
If any of the above problems are present, it’s a good idea to bring in a professional who can conduct a thorough inspection. This inspection should include use of equipment to locate moisture beneath the surface, a core analysis of underlying materials and an examination of the roof’s slope. It should be followed with a report on your roof’s condition and recommended solutions, including a cost/benefit analysis of restoration versus replacement. If damage is minimal, or confined to a small area, restoration is likely the best option. Replacement is usually required if damage is extensive or the roof is nearing the end of its lifespan.
Introducing ETERNA-SIL Premium Silicone Fluid Applied Roof Restoration Systems
Complete roof replacement is expensive, and isn’t always the best solution. Roofing Contractors know the value of time. After all, time equals money. And, Tropical Roofing Products believes “it’s about time” professional roofing contractors had a Fluid Applied Roof Restoration System that can save both time and money.
Tropical Roofing Products ETERNA-SIL Premium Silicone Solutions offer the professional roofing contractor many advantages over other Silicone Coating Technology including the opportunity to reduce installation time and labor with a Primer-less, single-coat Silicone Coating solution. And, in a business where time equals money, roofing contractors will enjoy improved installation efficiency and building owners a sustainable roofing system with low life-cycle costs.
Roof restoration requires less labor and materials, so it’s significantly less expensive than a re-roof. It allows you to re-use and extend the useful life of your existing roof.
Contractors, architects, building owners and specifiers trust Tropical Roofing Products Fluid Applied Solutions to restore, preserve, and protect the building envelope. Tropical Roofing Products has been restoring roofs, and confidence, for over 60 years. Our restoration coatings are Cool Roof Rating Council CRRC and Energy Star rated, California Title 24 compliant, UL Class A, Factory Mutual (FM) and Miami-Dade County approved. 10, 15 and 20 Year System Warranties are available.
To learn more about our Fluid Applied Restoration Systems that will extend the life of your roof, enhance your building’s comfort, and dramatically reduce cooling costs, contact your Tropical Roofing Products District Sales Manager. Visit us at www.tropicalroofingproducts.com and download our dynamic mobile app by texting the word “ROOFING” to 94502.
The Value of Roof Coatings and Preventive Roof Maintenance Programs
by Ed Leshansky, Director of Marketing, Tropical Roofing Products
While a roof may account for only 10 percent of the cost of constructing a building, it is frequently the source of many of the building's chronic problems and its repair and maintenance expenses. Among the structural, mechanical and protective systems comprising a building, protective systems in general, and roof systems specifically, are subject to the most distress. Unfortunately, a building's roofing system is often the most neglected asset. Out of sight, out of mind.
Let's take a look at the roof coatings categories used in the repair, restoration and maintenance of roof systems and their value in a long-term roof maintenance program.
There are a variety of effective roof coatings available to the commercial roofing contractor for most low-slope roofing systems and the number of coating options for BUR, Mod-Bit, Single-Ply, Metal, Concrete and SPF are increasing with the continual manufacturing research and design efforts seeking improvements.
Some coatings are integral to the original or re-roof system. Others are used to maintain specific roof systems, usually as part of a coating manufacturer's system warranty specifications.
Essentially, there is not a "one-size-fits-all" solution. Roof Coatings can generally be grouped into three categories; functional coatings, reflective coatings, and maintenance system coatings.
Functional coatings, such as those with fibered solvent-based asphalt and asphalt emulsions, can seal minor imperfections in the underlying roof membrane and provide protection from the elements.
Reflective "cool roof" coatings protect and extend the life of the roof system by reflecting solar ultra violet radiation before it can be absorbed into the roof as heat. Depending on a number of factors, including the local and regional climate and building design, reflective coatings will reduce building energy consumption and costs for the building owner and keep its occupants more comfortable.
Maintenance systems are professionally applied combinations of coatings and reinforcement fabrics creating a secondary waterproofing membrane attached to the first one. Often involving a reflective roof coating, they can significantly extend the useful life of the existing roof system and often provide long-term, renewable warranties from reputable manufacturers.
No coating, even those as part of a maintenance system, can repair a failed roof. But, by implementing a proactive, routine maintenance program that includes the proper use of the specified coatings, building owners can extend the life of the new or existing roof membrane at a much lower life-cycle cost compared to the unfortunate but common approach of neglect, repair and re-roof.
“Functionally, the roof is the most vital component of a building’s structural make-up and yet it is arguably the most overlooked and neglected part of the structure . With rare exceptions, building owners invest routinely and without hesitation to maintain, clean, update, and care for the interior contents, landscaping, and other visible assets to protect their value and aesthetics. Routinely scheduled maintenance of HVAC, fire protection, security alarm, and other vital systems that protect and provide value and functionality to the building are given scheduled care, explained Mike Ferraro, Vice President/COO of Tropical Roofing Products. With rare exception, the aforementioned systems that receive this scheduled care are part of a well developed maintenance program driven by the professional who installed the items.”
In fact, most manufacturers’ warranties require a planned roof maintenance program for the warranty to remain valid. Research has shown that as much as nearly 30 percent of roof leaks are caused by HVAC systems, and 25 percent caused by skylights and/or louvers. Less than 1 percent of roof failure is caused by defective roofing materials, leaving improper installation, severe weather, and lack of maintenance to blame.
And it's not only the roof deck and insulation that will be damaged and/or destroyed when a roof fails and leaks occur. When you factor in interior ceiling tile, walls, floors, fixtures, furnishings, electrical systems, finished goods, and inventory, the financial impact can be enormous.
Add in the hidden costs of potential lost revenue and income, lawsuits, slip and fall accidents, mold problems and employee productivity impact and it's obvious why a roof maintenance program is so very important and offers real value.
As such, the National Roofing Contractors Association advocates the best way for a building owner to obtain satisfactory roof system performance is to implement a long-term maintenance agreement with a professional roofing contractor.
There are four primary benefits of a formal roof maintenance program; Protecting and extending the useful life of the existing roof, allowing for budgeting and scheduling of needed repairs, avoiding interruptions to normal business activity, and ultimately that it is simply a less expensive option than re-roofing.
According to Keith Borden, National Sales Director for Tropical Roofing Products, “Roof maintenance is one of the key components to any coating or restoration system to ensure proper long-term performance and Warranty compliance and all too often, it is the one thing that goes unnoticed. Aside from the obvious performance aspects, the business advantages of a maintenance program will maximize profitability and promote long standing partnerships with your current customer base. It’s a ‘win-win’ for your clients and your business.”
If your contracting business does not offer a formal roof maintenance program, having one could help you successfully grow your business revenue. The maintenance add-on cost to the coating repair or restoration job have higher profit margins and will help your bottom line. Additionally, going back on your customer's roof once or twice per year will keep out your competition and strengthen your customer relationships.
This can also ensure the opportunity to eventually re-roof the existing building and help land other new project, as well.
Developing, building and managing strong relationships will help you build a loyal and committed customer base. This class of customer is less price sensitive and is typically willing to pay more for your services. Price is less important in their purchase decision. More so, loyal, committed customers will be a good source of leads through their recommendations of your services to their business connections.
If you don't offer a maintenance program and are now convinced it is good for your business, establish a plan. To get started, prepare an overview of what you envision, including key milestones and financial goals. Consider your best customer prospects to target and how you plan to communicate and promote this new service offered at of your contracting business. And be prepared to make the investment, of both time and finances, to make it a success. The most successful roof maintenance programs have a dedicated team performing only maintenance work.
Once you follow through on your commitment, it's time to market your maintenance services to prospective clients. Remember, most building owners wisely purchase a comprehensive manufacturer's system warranty to ensure protection against failures. However, a guarantee is only in force if regular roof maintenance is performed and recorded properly. If the property owner doesn't follow the warranty terms of roof maintenance, they are not likely to be covered for the damages and cost of further repairs.
About Tropical Roofing Products
Tropical Roofing Products is a trusted American manufacturer of quality roof coatings and adhesives serving the professional contractor trade with innovative products used in the repair, restoration, and maintenance of roofing systems. For more information, visit www.tropicalroofingproducts.com or call 800-432-2855.