To Repair or Replace: What is the Best Option for Your Roof?

To repair or to replace? That is the question. In fact, industry experts have been grappling with this age-old query for years. But what is the very best option for your roof? How you choose to answer this question depends on a variety of factors, including personal site goals, budget, and more. Other points of consideration include issues like safety/protection, cause of damage, and curb appeal, to name a few. What follows is a set of comprehensive lists with suggested reasons to either repair or replace your existing roof. A closer look at these top suggestions will help to clarify your own roofing challenges and offer new insight into general roof maintenance.

Top Reasons to Repair Your Roof

  • Limited Damage – If damage is confined to one particular area of the roof, it may be more practical and economical to repair it rather than replace it. After all, why reinvent the wheel simply because one tire needs patching?
  • Optics – Whether you have recently updated the look of a commercial property or wish to preserve the integrity of a historical build, optics may influence your decision to repair (rather than replace) your roof. Imagine, for instance, the CN Tower decked out with a wooden roof instead of the SkyPod, or Buckingham Palace sporting solar shingles rather than traditional marble. Sometimes repairing damage is the best way to maintain a curated appearance.
  • Time Sensitivity – How soon do you need the fix? If your answer is “yesterday,” then a temporary solution such as a repair job might be the best way to address any pressing roof damage, even when replacement is your long-term goal. You will always have the option to replace the roof at a later date during a more convenient time.
  • New Roof – A new or relatively new roof should not require total replacement when a simple repair can do the trick. Think about how many years are left in the projected life cycle of your current roof before investing in another one.
  • Isolated Event – What was the ultimate cause of harm? If an isolated event such as a fallen limb or hailstorm resulted in minor damage, consider the benefits of repairing your roof, as opposed to replacing it.

Top Reasons to Replace Your Roof

  1. Severe/Widespread Damage – It’s a good time to invest in a new roof when there is serious, pervasive damage to a roofing system – for example, water leaks that cause structural impairment, or a cracked or crumbling chimney. Once you understand the full extent of the damage, you can make an educated decision about whether or not to replace your property’s roof.
  2. Diminished Appearance – Has your roof seen better days? While the occasional sign of wear and tear is to be expected, especially as a building ages, a rundown roof detracts from the aesthetic appeal of a property. This is especially troublesome for a commercial building that relies on heavy foot traffic in order to turn a profit.
  3. Aging Roof – How much life does your roof have left? Depending on the type of system, a properly installed and maintained roof can last up to 40 years (with the average lifespan of a roof falling somewhere between 25-30 years). You may want to adopt a proactive approach to building maintenance by replacing your roof before the number (and cost) of repairs gets out of hand.
  4. Safety/Health Concerns – If there is ever any question of possible safety concerns or potential health-related issues, it is always better to err on the side of caution and give yourself some peace of mind by replacing the roof to a state of good repair.
  5. Increased Property Value – Are you planning to sell your property at some point in the near future? A new roof can improve the appearance and functionality of a building, thereby increasing the overall value of your commercial property and making it more appealing to potential buyers.

Deciding When to Repair vs. Replace a Roof

Ultimately, you are in the best position to determine whether your roof needs to be repaired or replaced. There are many different factors to be taken into consideration, including personal circumstances and site-specific goals. These factors, along with the reasons cited above, will help you to decide which course of action is the best way forward for your commercial property.

Additionally, it never hurts to consult a professional for a second opinion. An expert in building condition assessments can evaluate the condition of your roof and make recommendations to help you make the most of your investment and overall site goals. With over 30 years of experience in the industry, AEL Environment is well-equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to conduct thorough assessments, taking into account factors such as environmental impact, regulatory compliance, site suitability, and any other relevant considerations.

Email Daniel Staring, our Building Coordinator at: and let him know your goals for your commercial property. He would be more than happy to help.

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