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By Dave Lubach, Associate Editor
Roofing Article Use Policy
The condition of a roof is an important gauge of whether replacing or recovering a roof is necessary, Oliver says.
“I’m not a fan or advocate of reroofing on a calendar schedule by age,” he says. “Some roofs, because of the way they are originally installed or designed, are failed at 12-13 years, (while) some are 23 to 25 years.”
The type of facility is one important factor in determining whether the time is right to replace a roof.
“If it’s a warehouse and you’re storing non-critical materials in there, you can absorb a few leaks that are not catastrophic,” Oliver says. “It’s not a big problem.
“If it’s a school, particularly a cafeteria where food is served, then you can’t have roof leaks because of potential food contamination. If it’s a health care facility or a hospital, you really can’t have roof leaks at all. The type of facility has a lot to do with the critical nature of when you reroof.”
Managers should take a long-term view over short-term cost savings when considering whether to repair, recover or replace a roof.
“The one area we focus on most is life-cycle costs,” Oliver says. “What is the roof costing you over the long term? When you mention recover or reroof, we tend to not recover very much. We tend to be proponents of removing the roof and replacing it. That costs more, clearly, but the roofing industry has found that when you replace the entire assembly, the probability that you are going to get a longer life out of it is pretty high.”
One wise strategy for managers is to think of their roof as part of a management program that incorporates regular inspections and maintenance costs into the overall plan.
“There are probably 100 roofing systems in the U.S. today,” Oliver says.
“Having an independent consultant is a pretty good way to find out if you are installing the right kind of roof. Some of these roof systems have great track records over a long period of time. Facility managers have a lot of roofing manufacturers and marketing companies calling on them, and there’s this tendency to think the last guy they called has the best products.
“Getting an independent assessment is very important so you have a knowledgeable person who understands all the products out there — which ones have a strong track record and which ones don’t.”
Roof Strategies: Repair, Recover or Replace?
Roof Replacement Recommendations