When It’s Time To Replace A Flat Commercial Roof
For most commercial property owners, the lifespan of a flat commercial roof is a matter of maximizing efficiency. You want to get as much life as possible out of your roof before you commit to the expensive process of replacing it. When leaks become a significant problem, though, it’s time to bite the bullet and gather your resources for a replacement. Delaying this process could cause structural damage to your building, adding extra costs to the expense of a new roof.
Roofing Material Options
The cheapest materials used to cover a flat roof are modified bitumen (MB) or a built-up roof (BUR) system. These were once extremely popular, but today professional roofers hesitate to use them. More modern roofing options last longer, resist damage better, and offer better UV protection. This increased durability translates to a lower cost when spread out over a longer lifespan.
The most common materials used today for flat commercial roofs are PVP and TPO. EPDM is also a decent option, and it’s attractive to many property owners because it is slightly cheaper than the other modern alternatives.
How Your Old Roof Affects The Price Of Your New Roof
Before your roofing contractors can install a new flat roof, they have to remove the old one. If your old roof is one of the older types described above, MB or BUR, you can expect to pay more to have it removed. This is because they are multi-layered systems and they require significantly more labor to take off. If your contractor is removing a PVP, TPO, or EPDM roof, the process will be faster and cheaper. (This is another point in favor of investing in these modern materials.)
Additional Variables Afftecting Roof Replacement Costs
Even if water hasn’t penetrated your old roof, your roofer may need to do a significant amount of structural work before laying down a new roof membrane. Despite their name, “flat” commercial roofs do need a slight pitch so that water drains off them. Your roof sub-surface may need to be repaired to ensure good drainage. If your building requires repairs or additions to properly handle water runoff, these will increase the cost of the job.
Your contractor will also need to check any roof-mounted equipment (like air conditioners) to confirm it’s properly supported. If reinforcements are required, they will add to the overall cost of the job. Vents, skylights, and other features that penetrate your roof all add to the cost of a professional roof replacement. Each of these penetrations needs to be properly sealed to prevent leakage. And any complications in your roof’s design (if it is, for instance, very high or hard to access) will add to the cost of replacing it.
Commercial Roofers With the Experience You Require
Roof replacement costs also vary based on your building’s location. If construction in your region is more expensive than the national average, the cost of a new roof will also be higher. If your community requires complex permits for these kinds of repairs, you will need to foot the bill for them.
Finally, the season you schedule your roof replacement can change its overall cost. Contractors may raise or lower their rates to reflect how busy they are at a given time. The local climate may make it easier or harder to work on your roof in particular seasons, which can add to or reduce the overall cost.
Rough Cost Guidelines For Commercial Flat Roof Replacement
Bearing in mind the points raised above about the many variables that affect your particular job, here are some general figures for roof replacement costs based on national averages:
* Removal of existing roof material: $2-4 per square foot
* Installation of new roofing, MB or BUR; $5 per square foot
* Installation of new roofing, EPDM, TPO, or PVP: $7.5 per square foot
A typical commercial flat roof replacement costs more than four times as much as a similar job on a home. The average cost of a residential flat roof is roughly $8,000, while the cost of a commercial flat roof can be $29,000 or more.
The Importance Of The Contractor You Choose
The last variable that affects the cost of your roof replacement is the roofing contractor to whom you entrust the job. Contractors with extensive experience installing commercial roofs deliver better results and better prices than firms that concentrate on residential projects. A commercial roof replacement is a big enough job that you need to get estimates from multiple contractors. When choosing between these bids, don’t assume that the lowest estimate will translate into the lowest final cost. Study your potential contractors’ reputations to ensure that the one you choose is giving you an accurate estimate.
Armadillo Roofing & Exteriors (512) 333-7663, provides commercial flat roof repair, commercial flat roof replacement and commercial flat roof installation services to Austin, Texas and the surrounding communities. We have been providing commercial roofing services to the area for over 19 years. When you need advice about your commercial flat roof, give us a call. And, for info regarding commercial metal roofing, visit us at our sister site ArmadilloMetalRoofing.com.