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Repairing vs. Replacing An Older Commercial Roof | R&A Contracting Commercial Roofing St. Louis

As a business owner, you have a long list of responsibilities. Keeping a roof over your head is a basic one! You can easily miss warning signs that your roof is in need of attention when you’re busy with the day-to-day demands of your business.  

Are you beginning to see roof wear and tear, small leaks, or fluctuation in temperature? This means your roof is aging, and it’s time to stop and take inventory of the situation. Your roof is not fully effective when it is wearing down or leaking. You are losing energy and losing money. If you take no action, your roof will continue to deteriorate and could suffer structural damage.

I don’t have room in the budget for a new roof this year! Don’t panic. People wrongly assume that the only solution for a leaky or worn out roof is a brand new roof (with a big price tag attached). Good news! There is a more cost-effective solution- you can renew an old roof rather than replace it. Using a coating system, your roof can be restored to its former glory.

If you are considering replacing your old roof because you thought that was your only option, check out the benefits of renewing vs. replacing a roof. You’ll be surprised how much money you can save without sacrificing on quality.

Learn about the quick, cost-effective process of using a coating system to renew your old roof. We’ll cover what a coating system is, how it works, and when it is an appropriate method to use.

What is a Coating System and How Does it Renew a Roof?

Aged roofs develop weak spots (cracks, small holes, protrusions) that compromise the overall effectiveness of the roof. Normally, these weak spots are on the surface layer. A coating system fills and seals these weak spots, while also creating a strong protective layer to prevent future damage.

The process is quick and simple. A liquid coating is sprayed right onto the existing roof surface. No major modifications are made to the roof deck. Structurally, the roof remains exactly the same.

To prepare for roof coating, the old roof receives a good power wash. In rare cases, the application of a  primer might be needed. Caulk is used prior to coating to take care of tricky protrusions in the roof. After these two steps (which take a minimal amount of time), the roof is ready to be renewed with a coating system.

What a coating system is: a legitimate and effective method for restoring an old roof to like-new condition. What a coating system is not: a band-aid solution for a larger structural problem with the roof. If you are questioning how serious your roof damage is, contact our R&A roofing experts for a consultation. They can determine whether or not a coating system is a suitable solution for renewing your roof.

What Types of Roofs Can Be Renewed?

The coating system can be used to renew all types of single-ply roofs. Our roof experts have a special coating appropriate for each type. Find out how the coating system can extend the life of the roof, and compare renewing vs. replacing.

TPO: Made from polypropylene and ethylene-propylene rubber polymerized together, Thermoplastic Polyolefin roofing is a single-ply reflective membrane. Newly installed TPO typically lasts 15-20 years. TPO roofs can cost about $7.00 to $13.00 per square foot to be replaced, but it could cost more depending on the removal cost of the old roof and insulation layers.

Application of a proper coating system can prevent premature failure from solar loading and high heat. It will extend the life of the roof for at least 10 years. The cost to coat a TPO roof can be as low as $3.00 per square foot.

EPDM: EPDM (ethylene propylene diene terpolymer) is a super durable rubber roofing membrane. The rubber is resistant to the sun’s UV rays, high winds, and even hail, making it possible for a newly installed EPDM roof to have a lifespan of 50 years. The average cost to replace EPDM roofing is $12.00 to $15.00 per square foot, including installation. But again, the cost may increase depending on the tear-off needed for the existing roof.

Coating an EPDM roof is safe and requires no heat. According to the EPDM Roofing Association, a high-quality coating will improve the weatherability, reflectivity, and longevity of the roof. It can protect the membrane and address minor issues with seams and flashings. Overall, coating can add 20+ years to the lifespan of an EPDM roof! The cost to renew an EPDM roof with a coating system can be as low as $4.00-$5.00 per square foot.

Gravel and BUR: Gravel and Built Up Roofs are made up of 3 to 5 layers of asphalt, hot tar, and roofing felt. Light gravel is used on top to keep the sun’s heat off the roof and helps protect the roof from weathering and cracking. Newly installed, it has a lifespan of 20 to 25 years. A gravel roof costs upwards of $6.00 per square foot to remove and replace.

Without too much labor, the top layer of gravel can be removed from an aging roof, allowing it to be power washed and ready for coating. A coating system will adhere to the roof and provide waterproof protection that increases energy efficiency. It can add 10 or more years to the roof’s lifespan. The cost to coat a gravel roof is similar to cost to replace, but requires much less time and effort, saving you money on manual labor.

Modified Bitumen: Designed to divert water off the roof, this type of roofing system is used for buildings and tanks. Modified bitumen roofs are usually low maintenance and can last for 12-20 years.

Coating a modified bitumen roof will improve its reflectivity and durability. The cost to coat can be anywhere between $3.00-4.00 per square foot. Adding an elastomeric coating will extend the life of the roof for 10-plus years.

Metal: A metal roofing system is made from zinc, copper, aluminum, or steel alloy pieces. Known for being impermeable, a new metal roof can last for 50 years or more! A metal roof will cost between $7.00-12.00 per square foot to replace, possibly more when you factor in removing old roof material.

Coated metal roofing systems reflect solar energy and can cool your building by re-directing most of what solar radiation is absorbed. Coating can help keep moisture out by closing the seams between tiles, it can also envelop and contain existing rust. The renewed protective layer can extend the roof life for another 50 years. The average cost for coating a metal roof is $3.00-5.00 per square foot.

SPF: A SPF-based roof system is rigid, closed cell, spray polyurethane foam insulation. Its average lifespan is 20 years, at which point water and UV rays begin to break down the foam. The cost of replacing an SPF roof is upwards of $5.00-6.00 per square foot. Adding elastomeric coating protects the foam, improves energy efficiency, and increases the durability of the insulated SPF roof. Adding a coating system costs approximately $3.00-4.00 per square foot.

Any single-ply roof can be renewed with the proper coating system. By renewing with a system you will save significant money over a roof replacement! The key is to be proactive. At R&A, we have a coatings system for every roof type and the expertise to install it flawlessly. Don’t wait until it’s too late! Extend the life of your roof and reap the benefits with a coating system.

How Does a Coating System Save Money?

  • No tear off necessary
  • No fees for disposal of the old roof
  • No primers required
  • Lower labor costs
  • Project gets done much quicker than a replacement
  • Minimal business interruption during application
  • Turns dark roofs into cool roofs by using white coatings saving money on energy bills
  • Extends the life of the current roof, pushes roof replacement years down the road.

Roof replacement requires significant time and labor. Tearing off and disposing of an old roof is a mess! No doubt the construction would affect how operational your business could be. Replacing a roof also involves many more steps than renewing. Coating your roof could be a project that is complete in 2-3 days! When you want to minimize your roofing project time and get back to business as usual, renewing is the way to go.

Renewing your roof is time-efficient, but also cost-efficient. Don’t overpay for labor! Stretch your dollar by investing in a quality coating system that will be energy efficient. Prevent future repair costs and enjoy lower energy bills for years to come.

Benefits of a Coating System

  • Excellent water resistance and adhesion
  • Long-term durability
  • High elongation and tensile strength
  • Corrosion protection
  • Miami Dade County and Energy Star approved
  • 87% solar reflectance (white coatings)
  • Easy maintenance

Choosing to renew is an easy way to improve the integrity of your roof, protecting it for years to come. With a coating system, your stronger, reflective roof can resist weathering and corrosion. You will spend less time maintaining it and more time focusing on business.

Make a smart investment in the future of your business. Explore grant options for buying, building, and remodeling here, and contact us to discuss the best coating option for your roof today!

I’d be an idiot if I did not take this opportunity to communicate to you how much we appreciate the way in which you conduct business and take care of our facility. In my experience you, and your team, are at the top of the list of all the roofing companies I’ve dealt with over the years. Thank you!

Jim Lowry - Bissinger's Handcrafted Chocolatier

Eric and crew were really nice to have around. They were courteous, careful and caused little if any disruption. Their work looks good too! To be honest… a good experience with a product that I initially had misgivings about. I’m a convert because of Bubba, Sam and Eric. Thank you.

Jim Lowry - Bissinger's Handcrafted Chocolatier

“I want to thank the crew at R&A for a job well done on our very leaky roof at the shop. It is certainly nice to have the drips and rivers gone from the shop when it is raining. I also wanted you to know how much we appreciated that the guys were able to stay out of our way and allowed us to do business as usual without any problems or interruptions. The roof looks great and the clean-up after the job made it so we couldn’t even tell you’d been here. Thanks for doing what you do so well!”

Jay Moore, President of Safe Way Tire and Auto Center

“My wife and I were on vacation when water pipes burst in our house. We got a hold of Craig and the R&A crew was able to start evacuating the water immediately. The best part was that they were able to start work before we even returned home. It was a very fast turnaround considering the extensive amount of water damage.”

Will from Dardenne Prairie, MO

“Craig and Mike came out in a timely fashion when we needed the work done. They did a reliable and quality job.”

Jerry from SLR Properties

“Craig helped us out tremendously with the insurance process. Timely and very professional.”

Lindell from Greater Missouri Builders (GMB)

“We purchased a house and there was some damage to the roof. Very impressed with the thoroughness of Mike’s inspection. Very comfortable with their explanation of what needed to be fixed. Most impressive was the way they protected our landscaping. Really liked the way they treated me as a valued customer, even though it was only a small project.”

Ross from Troy, MO

“I use R&A Contracting when my commercial roofs receive storm damage. They work on our behalf through every step of the insurance claim process. They perform all of the work and complete the insurance process, making our roofs better than they were before the storm.”

Director of Facilities for a large Property Management Company

“The team at R & A Contracting responded immediately when notified of our water disaster. They removed water-damaged materials and property quickly and restored our home even before the final settlement from our insurance company. They minimized how long our family had to live in a hotel and got us back to normal as fast as possible.”

Will from O'Fallon, MO