Building Operating Management

Benefits of a Roof Recovery

Although some cases call for replacement, there are major advantages to recovering a roof that might make that option right for a facility. Recovering is faster and less intrusive than replacing.

“A recover provides less risk to the contractor because the roof isn’t opened up to the weather,” says Willers. “And depending on what’s going on inside the building, the owner might prefer less risk as well.”

That’s especially true if the facility houses sensitive materials or equipment. “Warehouses and materials storage are generally less sensitive to moisture damage,” says Downey. “But if you have a data center or telecom system, the tolerance for leakage is zero.”

For this reason alone, facility executives at data center facilities can make a good argument for recovering the roof.

Another consideration for some facilities may be environmental concerns. If that’s the case, recovering may be a better option.

“Environmentally speaking, you’re not contributing to the landfill with a recover,” says Warseck. The amount of materials going to a landfill during a recover is much less than tearing off the entire roof. Continuing to use existing insulation and replacing only what’s needed creates less manufacturing waste than if the insulation was replaced.

Roof replacement does give an organization a chance to be more sustainable, however. Putting on an entirely new roof allows for more insulation to be put on, saving energy on heating and cooling the facility. Facility executives can go one step further and install a reflective or vegetative roof for more energy savings. And because the service life of a brand new roof may be longer than a recover job, that may mean less materials go to the landfill in the long term.

Another consideration for facility executives who manage high-rise buildings in urban areas: The high cost of staging work in that setting may tip the scales in favor of a replacement. “We’ve seen downtown office buildings and high-rise schools who put on a more expensive roof,” says Downey. “It’s so expensive to stage this kind of work that the longer service life offsets that.”

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  posted on 4/1/2009   Article Use Policy

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