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Managing a commercial property comes with various responsibilities, and one of the most critical aspects is maintaining the building's roof. A well-maintained roof not only protects the property and its occupants but also has a significant impact on energy efficiency and overall costs.

When it comes to addressing roofing issues, commercial property owners often face the decision of whether to restore the existing roof with a coating or opt for a complete roof replacement.

Here are the advantages of roof coating, the situations in which it is a viable option, and when roof replacement is the more suitable choice.

The Benefits of Roof Coating

Roof coating, also known as roof restoration or roof re-coating, is a process that involves applying a protective layer to the existing roofing material. This protective layer can be a variety of substances, such as acrylic, silicone, or elastomeric coatings.

Here are some of the significant benefits of opting for roof coating in commercial roofing projects:

  • Cost-Effective: Roof coating is generally more cost-effective than a full roof replacement. It can extend the life of your existing roof by several years, saving you the substantial expense of a complete tear-off and replacement.
  • Energy Efficiency: Many roof coatings are designed to reflect sunlight and heat, reducing the roof's temperature. This can significantly lower cooling costs for your commercial property, especially in hot climates.
  • Waterproofing: Roof coatings provide an added layer of waterproofing, preventing leaks and water damage. They can seal small cracks and punctures, improving the roof's overall integrity.
  • Sustainable Choice: Roof coating is a sustainable option because it reduces the environmental impact associated with disposing of old roofing materials during a complete replacement.
  • Minimized Disruption: Roof coating projects are typically less disruptive to your business operations compared to a full roof replacement. There's less noise, dust, and downtime associated with the installation.
  • Longevity: When professionally applied and maintained, roof coatings can significantly extend the lifespan of your existing roof.

Situations Ideal for Roof Coating

While roof coating offers numerous advantages, it's not suitable for all situations.

Here are some scenarios where roof coating is an ideal choice for commercial properties:

  • Existing Roof in Decent Condition: Roof coating is best applied to roofs that are still in relatively good condition. It works well on roofs with minor issues, such as small leaks, surface cracks, or a loss of reflectivity.
  • Flat or Low-Slope Roofs: Roof coating is particularly well-suited for flat or low-slope roofs commonly found on commercial buildings.
  • Energy Efficiency Upgrade: If you want to improve the energy efficiency of your commercial property and reduce cooling costs, a reflective roof coating can be an excellent choice.
  • Sustainability Goals: If your business is focused on sustainability and reducing its environmental impact, roof coating aligns with those goals by extending the life of the existing roof.
  • Limited Budget: When a full roof replacement isn't currently within your budget, roof coating can be a cost-effective way to address roof issues and prolong the life of your roof.
  • Minimal Disruption: If you want to minimize disruptions to your business operations during the roofing project, roof coating is an excellent choice due to its quick and less intrusive installation process.

When Roof Replacement Is Necessary

While roof coating can be a fantastic option for many commercial properties, there are situations where roof replacement is the more appropriate choice.

Here are some scenarios that may necessitate a complete roof replacement:

  • Severe Damage: If your roof has extensive damage, including major leaks, structural issues, or widespread material deterioration, it may not be a candidate for roof coating. In such cases, replacement is often the only viable solution.
  • Advanced Age: If your current roof is nearing the end of its expected lifespan, roof coating may not be the best choice. Coating may extend the life somewhat, but it's not a long-term solution for an aging roof.
  • Change in Roof Design: If you are planning to make significant changes to the design or structure of your roof, such as altering the slope or configuration, a full roof replacement is typically necessary.
  • Budget for Full Replacement: If you have the budget for a complete roof replacement and the existing roof has significant issues, it might be more practical to invest in a new roof rather than coating the old one.
  • Warranty Considerations: Roof coatings usually come with limited warranties, whereas a new roof can often be covered by more extensive warranties that provide greater peace of mind.
How to Make the Right Choice

The decision between roof coating and roof replacement is a crucial one, and it's best made after a thorough assessment by a professional roofing contractor.

Here's how to make the right choice:

  1. Consult a Roofing Professional: Engage with a reputable commercial roofing contractor who can perform a detailed inspection of your existing roof. They will assess its condition, identify any issues, and provide recommendations.
  2. Consider Your Goals: Consider your goals for the roofing project, including budget, sustainability, energy efficiency, and long-term plans for your property.
  3. Evaluate the Cost-Benefit: Compare the cost of roof coating with the potential benefits it offers against the cost of a full roof replacement and the benefits of a new roof.
  4. Review Warranties: If warranties are important to you, evaluate the warranty options available for both roof coating and roof replacement.
  5. Long-Term Plans: Assess your long-term plans for the property. If you plan to keep the property for an extended period, a roof replacement may offer a more durable solution.

The decision to opt for roof coating or roof replacement in commercial roofing projects depends on various factors, including the condition of the existing roof, your budget, sustainability goals, and long-term plans for the property.

Roof coating offers many advantages, such as cost savings, energy efficiency, and sustainability benefits, but it may not be suitable for roofs in poor condition or nearing the end of their lifespan.

To learn more on how roof coatings can extend the life of your commercial roof in Oklahoma City or any nearby area, call Draper Construction & Commercial Roofing today at (405) 972-5199.