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Recoating Could Extend Roof's Life, But Moisture Survey Is Necessary Step

By Karen Warseck, Contributing Editor - February 2014 - Roofing


If you have walked your roof and determined that the roof is still in fairly good condition, you may want to consider coating the existing roof to avoid the cost of reroofing for another five to 10 years, depending on the coating and the condition of the original roof. A coating usually has a five-year life over an aged roof system. However, before doing so, a moisture survey is a necessary step.

Recoating has the advantage of being least costly of the options for reroofing and, because they are generally light-colored, coatings can reduce air conditioning costs. However, a wet roof should never be recoated. So before you make the decision to coat the roof, get a moisture survey done to determine the percentage of wet roofing. If the roof is more than 25 percent wet, don't waste your money coating it. Keep reading for some other possible solutions.

If your roof has many of the above problems and has been leaking for a while, you can safely assume you need a new roof. If you are still undecided, use the Economic Indicator on page 16 to decide your next step.

Economic Indicator

Three steps can help you decide whether reroofing is a better investment than repairing the existing roof.

  1. Figure out the amount of money you have been spending on repairs each year over the last few years. Divide the total by the number of years you have included in your analysis.
  2. Figure out the cost to reroof and divide by the number of years the roof is expected to last. A good suggestion is 15 because that is an average warranty length.
  3. If No. 1 is more than No. 2, it makes economic sense to reroof because it is costing you more per year to keep the old roof in place than the yearly cost of a new roof. It is time to reroof.

— Karen Warseck





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