Commercial Roof Replacement (Explained Start to Finish)

5 minutes read

Commercial property owners, we’ve got you covered in this guide that delves into the intricate process of commercial roof replacement. Whether you’re a business owner, property manager, or investor, understanding the entire process can help you make informed decisions and ensure a successful roof replacement.

Inside this blog:

  • 11 steps that explain the commercial roof replacement process
  • Tips + tricks under each step to ensure a successful roof replacement

Keep reading to learn how to keep your business protected with a durable and beautiful commercial roof!

1. Assessing the Need for Replacement 🤔

The journey begins with an assessment of your existing commercial roof. Here’s where you start:

  • Roof Inspection: Hire a professional roofing contractor to inspect your roof thoroughly. They’ll identify issues such as leaks, water damage, membrane deterioration, or structural problems.
  • Age of the Roof: Consider the age of your existing roof. Most commercial roofs have a lifespan of 20 to 30 years, but it can vary depending on materials and maintenance.
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis: Evaluate whether repairing the roof or opting for a full replacement makes more financial sense in the long run. Sometimes, frequent repairs can add up to more than the cost of replacement.

2. Budgeting and Financing 💸

Now that you’ve determined that a commercial roof replacement is necessary, it’s time to budget and secure the necessary funds:

  • Cost Estimation: Get quotes from multiple roofing contractors to estimate the cost of your project accurately. The cost can vary based on the size of your roof, materials, labor, and additional features.
  • Financing Options: Explore financing options, including loans, lines of credit, or leasing arrangements, to cover the expenses. Some commercial property owners may qualify for government incentives or tax benefits related to energy-efficient roofing.

3. Choosing the Right Roofing Material 🛠️


Selecting the appropriate roofing material is a critical decision that affects your roof’s longevity and performance:

  • Single-Ply Membranes (TPO, PVC, EPDM): These lightweight, durable materials offer energy efficiency and are relatively easy to install.
  • Built-Up Roofing (BUR): Consisting of multiple layers of asphalt and reinforcement materials, BUR provides excellent protection but is heavier and requires more labor.
  • Metal Roofing: Metal roofs are known for their durability, energy efficiency, and aesthetic appeal.
  • Modified Bitumen: This asphalt-based roofing material is highly resistant to extreme temperatures and weather conditions.

4. Hiring a Professional Roofing Contractor 👷

Finding the right roofing contractor is crucial to the success of your commercial roof replacement project:

  • Check Credentials: Ensure the contractor is licensed, insured, and certified for the type of roofing material you’ve chosen.
  • References and Portfolio: Ask for references and review their portfolio to assess the quality of their work.
  • Detailed Contract: Sign a detailed contract that outlines project timelines, materials, warranties, and payment schedules.

5. Preparing Your Property 🧹

Before the actual replacement begins, you need to prepare your property:

  • Notify Tenants: If your commercial property is leased, inform tenants about the upcoming roof replacement and any temporary disruptions it may cause.
  • Safety Measures: Ensure the safety of your employees, tenants, and contractors during the construction process. Establish safety protocols, designate work zones, and provide proper signage.
  • Clearing the Area: Remove any equipment, furniture, or obstacles from the work area to facilitate a smooth installation process.

6. Removal of Existing Roofing 🏗️


The removal of the old roofing material is a crucial step in the process:

  • Tear-Off: The existing roof material is removed to expose the deck. This process can be noisy and messy, but it’s essential to ensure a proper installation of the new roof.

7. Roof Deck Inspection and Repair 🔍

With the old roofing material removed, it’s time to inspect the roof deck for any structural damage:

  • Structural Repairs: Address any damaged or weakened sections of the roof deck to ensure a solid foundation for the new roofing material.

8. Installation of New Roofing Material 🚧

Now, it’s time for the main event – the installation of the new roofing material:

  • Underlayment: Install an appropriate underlayment or insulation layer to enhance energy efficiency and protect against moisture.
  • Application: Depending on the chosen material, the installation process may vary for your commercial roofing system. For single-ply membranes, the roofing material is adhered or mechanically attached. Built-up roofing involves multiple layers of asphalt and reinforcement.

9. Quality Control and Inspection 🕵️

Throughout the installation process, quality control and inspection are critical:

  • Roofing Inspector: Hire an independent roofing inspector to evaluate the installation and ensure it meets industry standards and manufacturer specifications. Their expertise can provide you with peace of mind and a certified seal of approval for your new commercial roof.

10. Final Touches 🖌️

As the roof installation nears completion, there are a few final touches:

  • Flashing and Sealing: Install flashing around roof penetrations like chimneys, vents, and HVAC units to prevent leaks. Ensure all seams and joints are properly sealed.
  • Clean-Up: Thoroughly clean the work area, including gutters and downspouts, to remove any debris or leftover materials.

11. Warranty and Maintenance Plan 🛡️

After your new commercial roof is in place, it’s time to think about long-term protection:

  • Warranty: Understand the warranty provided by the roofing material manufacturer and the contractor. Ensure you have all the necessary documentation for future reference.
  • Maintenance Plan: Establish a regular maintenance plan to prolong the life of your commercial roof. Routine inspections and minor repairs can prevent costly issues in the future.

Get A Solid Roof Over Your Business

A commercial roof replacement is a significant undertaking, but with proper planning and execution, it can provide long-lasting protection for your business or property. By following these steps and investing in quality materials and professional installation, you can ensure that your commercial roof continues to shelter your business for years to come. 

Get in touch with our top-notch roofers at Next Dimension and we’ll make sure your next roofing project goes off without a hitch! We’re happy to answer any questions you have about the roof that hangs over your head.

Where Quality Matters
& People Come First

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