Friday, August 31, 2012

Re-covering your roof is faster, less expensive and better for the environment than tear-off and replacing it

Installing a new roofing system over your existing roof (if viable) is an alternative approach to roof replacement.

The major advantage is the cost savings associated with not having to remove and dispose of the existing roof membrane. This can be acheived with a variety of materials including cool roof coatings like those from Conklin. Another advantage is the reduction of materials sent to landfills because labor, disposal and trucking costs are high and are climbing faster than material costs.

There is also an opportunity to improve the thermal performance of the roof system, as most re-covers include the installation of a thin section of insulation or other material to separate the new roof membrane from the existing roof membrane. A final advantage that re-cover has over replacement is that the existing membrane stays in place, protecting the interior from water damage while the new roof is being installed.

Determining the Presence of Moisture
As with repairs, an issue that must be addressed prior to any re-cover is determining whether moisture is present under the existing system. Trapping water within an existing roof assembly is a problem that often occurs with improperly executed re-cover projects.

If moisture is present under the existing system, additional investigation is warranted. If the subsurface moisture is extensive (30-35% or more of the entire roof area) it may be more practical and cost effective to remove the entire roof system and replace it rather than attempting a re-cover.

There are many devices and methods used to detect and quantify subsurface moisture including nuclear backscatter, infrared imaging and capacitance meters. There are advantages and disadvantages of each system, and these should be explored.

Roof Layers and Weight
Another factor influencing whether or not a re-cover project is feasible is establishing how many roof systems or layers are currently in place, which requires making inspection openings. Most modern building codes allow a maximum of two non-ballasted roof systems on a structure, mostly due to the weight associated with the roofing materials. 
Other code-related issues are wind up-lift and fire resistance, which the building’s insurance carrier may also influence through specific requirements. The length of the warranty required for the new roof also needs to be considered, because many roofing manufacturers will limit the duration for the warranty available on re-cover projects.
Consider Re-Covering Your Roof
Before you tear-off and replace your aged roof, consider getting a quote from a professional roofing contractor who specializes in re-cover systems for a more affordable, more energy efficient, more environmentally friendly, more sustainable, and faster-to-install alternative to re-roofing.

To learn more about re-covering your roof, please watch this short video:

Find a Contractor here

Patton Services | (309) 303-3128 | | 


  1. This time when I went for re roofing,I took special care of my roof and kept in mind the climate as this time I preferred tiles according to the roof.

  2. When it comes to repairing the roof of a home, an individual would need roofing materials in order to complete the house roof.

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