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Bob Spreat

Roof Restoration or Replacement? 5 Things to Consider.


Is your roof looking worn? Has it been leaking? Is it nearing the end of its expected lifespan? Not sure if you can restore your roof or should completely replace it? Below are five reasons why restoration may be your best choice.

1. Restoration Costs Less

A complete roof replacement can be expensive in labor and materials, particularly if the existing roof must be removed first. Depending on the roofing system selected, costs average between $18 and $22 per square foot. Restoration, on the other hand, requires less labor and materials, and thus costs about $6 to $9 per square foot.

2. Restoration Extends Your Roof’s Life

Commercial roofs typically last about 20 years — restoration can add 10 to 15 years of life. You can defer complete replacement and make future plans for the expenditure in your capital budget.

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3. Restoration is More Sustainable

Millions of tons of roofing waste end up in landfills annually. Because it allows you to reuse your existing roof, restoration is a much more environmentally friendly option. Plus, it can make your building more energy efficient and may help it qualify for ENERGY STAR or LEED credits.

4. Restoration Provides Tax Benefits

Roof restoration is classified as a maintenance expenditure, while replacement is considered a capital expense. In most cases, you will pay less tax on maintenance by taking the current deduction versus capitalizing the expense and recovering the cost through depreciation. According to federal rules, commercial roofs are depreciated on a 39-year schedule. Since roofs have an average life of 20 years, it’s wise to extend the useful life of your roof as long as possible.

5. Restoration Helps Prevent Catastrophic Loss

Ignoring the fact that your roof is deteriorating doesn’t make the problem go away; it can only get worse. The more time passes, the greater the potential damage and the more it costs to restore it. At some point, the only option will be total replacement. Continued neglect can put your business, employees and tenants at risk.

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Start with a Visual Inspection

The best starting point in determining whether your roof can be restored is a simple visual inspection. Some things to look for are pools of standing water, tears or bubbles in the roof cover, wet insulation, cracking seams and gaps in flashing. These issues can accelerate the deterioration of the roof cover and lead to leaks, mold growth and failure during a windstorm. Problems can also be detected from inside the building — water stains, mold growth and unusual odors are indicators of possible roofing issues.

Get a Professional Opinion

If any of the above problems are present, it’s a good idea to bring in a professional who can conduct a thorough inspection. This inspection should include use of equipment to locate moisture beneath the surface, a core analysis of underlying materials and an examination of the roof’s slope. It should be followed with a report on your roof’s condition and recommended solutions, including a cost/benefit analysis of restoration versus replacement. If damage is minimal, or confined to a small area, restoration is likely the best option. Replacement is usually required if damage is extensive or the roof is nearing the end of its lifespan.

Let Tremco Roofing Calculate the Difference for You

Tremco Roofing has more than 85 years of roof restoration expertise. Schedule a consultation with one of our roofing professionals today. We can calculate the difference between roof replacement and restoration for you. Plus, learn more about our comprehensive roof and building envelope management services. Contact Kristen Weiss at 877-432-1132 or


Roofing & Weatherproofing Peace of Mind

We deliver peace of mind to building owners and facility managers by managing roofing and building life cycles for customers in all industries, including education, healthcare, government, manufacturing and more.

  • Tremco Roofing offers the industry's most comprehensive roofing and weatherproofing solutions for restoration, repair, maintenance, replacement and new construction.
  • WTI (Weatherproofing Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Tremco Incorporated), provides roofing services, construction management and general contracting.
  • Our Canam Building Envelope Specialists affiliate provides building envelope solutions to eliminate air leaks, improve energy efficiency and reduce costs.


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