Friday, August 19, 2011

Roofing: Recover or Replace? (Part 5 - Replacing Roofs)

Replacing Roofs
The complete removal and replacement of an existing roofing system, known commonly as a tear-off, is warranted if one or more of the following situations exist:

  • Tear-off is mandated by the building code.
  • The existing roofing system has deteriorated beyond being serviceable as a substrate for a recover system.
  • There is extensive moisture below the membrane.
  • The existing roof system attachment cannot provide the wind up-lift resistance or fire protection required for the new roof assembly.
  • There is significant deterioration to the underlying structural deck.
  • The existing roof assembly contains phenolic foam insulation, which, when wet, may create sulfonic and formic acids that will promote the corrosion of steel.

Exposure of the interior finishes to water damage during the construction process is a major concern and will influence the selection and design of the roof replacement system. One approach that will facilitate the safe installation of a new roof over an occupied space is to install a temporary roof. In northern and moderate-temperature climates, this temporary roof can remain in place and serve as a vapor retarder in the new roof system.

A typical building will accommodate several roofs throughout its existence. Educated decisions pertaining to maintenance, repairs, recovers or replacements can only be made when there is a thorough understanding of the roofing materials and their relationships within a system and to the building. Please consult a professional roofing contractor when making this decision.

We hope you have enjoyed this five-part series on making the decision to recover or replace your roof. If you have any questions, please call (309) 303-3128 or email

Find a Contractor

Tired of labor problems and low profit margins? Make more $$ spraying coatings with Conklin Roofing Systems! Patton Services | (309) 303-3128 | |


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