How to Determine if You Can Recover an Existing Roof

December 3, 2020

Considering a recover? There are loads of advantages to installing a new roof over an existing one:

But can you do it? That’s a whole other question. There are three factors that influence your roof’s eligibility for this kind of project.

No. 1  Condition of the Existing Roof System

You should not recover the roof system if it has a history of leaks, the presence of moisture, or damaged insulation (either because it was crushed from repeated foot traffic or has deteriorated from long-term moisture exposure even if it’s currently dry). A weak deck (e.g. if the steel deck is corroded or wood deck is deteriorated) also makes recover impossible.

To check the condition of the substrates, a visual inspection of the underside of the deck, core samples, and/or infrared thermography may be used by your roofing contractor.

No. 2  Applicable Building Codes

Check building codes to see what the restrictions are. It’s important that the recover still meets specified requirements for wind uplift and fire ratings. Most building codes only allow you to have two insulated roof assemblies on a facility. Depending on how the code is interpreted, you might be able to add another layer of membrane (with no insulation) or more plies of felts and asphalt to an asphaltic roof; this is sometimes considered a repair.

No. 3  Structural Load

Your roofing contractor can determine the weight of the existing roof components and the proposed roof system, but an engineer will have to determine what the structure is capable of holding. If the recover involves the removal of gravel or pavers, it’s not likely your roofing contractor will be putting back as much weight as was removed.

Your roofing contractor can help determine the eligibility of your roof for a recover project, the length of the warranty you’d get, and the means and methods required for roofing over an existing system. Lean on them to help you evaluate the feasibility and discuss the best type of project for optimum roof performance.

Call D. C. Taylor Co. at 319.363.2073 to discuss your roofing project options today.

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