The Risks of Delaying Commercial Roof Replacement

June 24, 2024

There’s competition for capital and the roof often loses, but the cost of deferring capital and the consequences for delaying a roof replacement project can range from inconvenient to downright dangerous. We’ve got five reasons why putting off reroofing is risky.

1. Leaks

Roof leaks are the biggest risk. Not only are they a nuisance, but for food and product manufacturers, there is also the potential for product recalls and damaged goods. Medical facilities will need to relocate patients, schools might have to cancel classes for the day, and retail stores may need to close for business. Regardless of the type of facility, maintenance will need to put out a “caution wet floor” sign; roof leaks create slip and fall hazards for building occupants. For aging roofs past their service life, expect a higher frequency of leaks.

2.  Moisture Damage

Water that penetrates through your roofing system decreases the R-value of insulation, which translates to higher energy costs over time. This moisture may also reduce the integrity of the roof’s structural support (e.g., wood decks rot, metal decks corrode/rust). The longer you wait to reroof, the more likely it is that moisture damage could become widespread.

3.  Escalating Repair and Maintenance Costs

The more you postpone a replacement project beyond your roof’s service life, the greater the frequency and cost of repairs and maintenance become. Roof materials and roofing labor costs typically run higher year to year. It also increases the risk for emergency repairs, as your roof system may not perform as well during inclement weather (e.g., harsh winters, freeze-thaw in spring, intense UV during summer, and wind/hail events).

4.  Health and Safety Concerns

Leaks create numerous concerns. Once you have moisture, mold growth is possible. This health concern is especially troubling for people with respiratory conditions. Deterioration or corrosion caused by moisture can also impact the structural integrity of the roof deck; this puts rooftop workers at risk of falling through. Although extreme, roof collapse is also possible.

5.  A More Expensive (and Lengthier) Replacement Project

Allowing your roof to deteriorate well past its service life could result in thousands of dollars difference in the cost of the eventual roofing project. If you time it right, you might be able to recover the existing roof or reuse the dry insulation. Let it go too long? A total tear-off is likely, possibly even with a new roof deck. Lack of action can lead to a much larger future capital investment, not to mention a reroofing project that’s longer in duration.

Not sure about the age of your roof or its condition? Contact D. C. Taylor Co. for an inspection and roof management plan. Call 319.731.4118 or email [email protected] today.

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