How To Wisely Plan For The Cost Of Replacing A Commercial Roof

How to wisely plan for the cost of replacing a commercial roof

Your commercial roof has reached the end of its lifespan and it’s time to have it replaced. There’s no question that a new commercial roof is a costly investment. But understanding the main factors that will determine the costs of your commercial roof replacement can give you an idea of what to expect and how much to budget for your project.

Roofing Material

One of the leading factors in driving the cost of commercial roof replacement is the type and quality of roofing materials. Different roofing systems have different costs based on their durability, longevity, and maintenance needs. In the majority of cases, commercial roofs have single-ply systems (PVC, TPO, or EPDM) or built-up roofing (BUR) systems.

Each material has its pros and cons:

  • PVC is strong, fire-resistant, flexible, and recyclable. However, it has a higher upfront cost than the EPDM and TPO.
  • EPDM comes in at the lowest cost. It is lightweight, flexible, and easy to install. But it can become fragile towards the end of its 20-year lifespan and black EPDM is not energy efficient.
  • TPO is flexible, lightweight, reflective, and energy-efficient. It is highly resistant to hail, mold, and chemical exposure. However, it has a shorter lifespan than EPDM.
  • Modified bitumen roofing and asphalt-based BUR roofs last for 50 years or more, often exceeding their warranty. But their installation is more labor intensive.

To choose the right roofing system for your commercial property, take into consideration the initial cost, lifespan, performance, and maintenance costs for the roof.

Roof Access

The accessibility of your commercial roof can have as much impact on the replacement cost as the type and quality of the material. Accessibility factors include:

  • The height of the building
  • Property access
  • Occupancy
  • Materials storage areas

Reroofing a 10-story building will be much more costly than a 2-story building. A taller building will need more equipment to get materials to and from the roof and more man-hours to get the job done. Also, a large roofing project will need a large area to store roofing materials. Wide open areas near the building can make the process easier and less costly.

If access is more restricted due to the presence of trees or a tighter fit between buildings, it may be time-consuming to get the right equipment or supplies into position, increasing the replacement cost.

The occupancy of the building will also pose additional challenges since the roofing contractor must take into consideration the health, safety, and comfort of occupants. If this means adjusting work hours, additional costs will likely be incurred.

What’s Underneath

In addition to the cover material, the roofing system is made up of several other components, including:

  • Metal, wood, or concrete decking
  • Insulation
  • Underlayment
  • Cover boards
  • Ventilation
  • Flashing
  • Other important substrate materials

The condition of underlying components will impact the cost of your commercial roof replacement. If the components are damaged or deteriorating, they will need to be repaired or replaced to ensure the longevity of your new roof. The cost will vary based on how much work and materials are required.

Once the roofing material is removed, your commercial roofing contractor will thoroughly inspect the substrate materials to determine whether they need to be repaired or replaced. This often involves the use of infrared technology to detect and measure the amount of moisture trapped by your roof.

Fasteners and Wind Loads

Depending on the geographical location of your commercial property, weather and local building codes will determine the type of fasteners your roof system requires and the wind load the replacement new roof must be able to handle.

In some areas, for example, a commercial roof must be designed to withstand up to 150 mph winds and resist about 900 pounds per square foot. This requires stronger fasteners installed at more frequent intervals. The stricter the requirements, the higher the cost of compliance

Code Requirements

Other than wind load and fastener requirements, there are other state, regional, and local building codes that will affect your commercial roof replacement bill. The codes require commercial roofs to be built to specific standards when it comes to slope, roofing materials, roof structure, ventilation, flashing, and other components. They also set some regulations for roof replacement.

Building codes are often updated to make sure roofing systems are resistant to fire, wind, cold, and moisture. If your roof was installed at a time when building code requirements were less strict, the replacement may have to be done under newer, more rigid requirements. As such, it’s important to work with a commercial roofing contractor who is well versed with local and state building codes and is committed to meeting the requirements.

Choose a Reliable Commercial Roofing Contractor in Colorado

The reputable roofing pros at Red Diamond are proud to offer reliable, high-quality, and competitively priced commercial roof replacement services in the Denver and Fort Collins area. We are wholly committed to ensuring the satisfaction of our customers when it comes to their projects. We will help you choose the right roofing material for your building, provide a detailed written estimate, explain all costs upfront, and answer the questions you may have about your project. Contact us today to schedule a roof evaluation.

Posted in Commercial
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