How can I save money when I replace my flat roof?

If you have a roof that has problems, whether it be on your home or on a commercial building that you own or operate, you need to have it inspected by a professional contractor right away. We have more about when to replace your roof in this previous blog post. There is one thing that is universally true about roof related problems: they will only get worse and become more costly to fix when they are ignored. 

Perhaps it will be discovered that the integrity of the roof is too far gone to simply repair and the roof needs to be replaced. Don't panic! There are ways in which when you realize "I have to replace my flat roof" that it can be a much less costly project than you might realize. 


First: Be Proactive

First and foremost, we cannot reiterate enough that if you are thinking "I might have to replace my flat roof" that you get the roof inspected right away by a qualified and reputable contractor. In previous blog posts we have shown some of the ways small problems become bigger problems on a flat roof, such as what happens when you have wet insulation from a neglected problem. Waiting to fix a persistent roof problem will only make it more costly over time, so the best way to avoid higher cost is to fix your problem right away.

Second: "I May Not Need To Replace My Flat Roof"

Secondly, when you think "I have to replace my flat roof", perhaps you don't. Many people don't know that you can often lay a new flat roof on top of an old one. Therefore "I need to replace my flat roof" becomes "I need to install a new roof". This is a cost saver because ripping an old roof off of a building takes time and therefore costs money.

Whether or not you can cover an old roof with a new one depends on two factors. First the condition of the old roof can't be so terrible that it will compromise the integrity of the new one. In most cases this isn't a problem, but sometimes we have seen roofs in such poor condition that they needed to be removed before a new roof could be put down. 

The second factor when deciding if you can lay a new roof over an old one is whether or not there is already too much total roof thickness. What this means is that there is a limit to how thick a roof can be based on building safety codes. If a building is old enough it may have already had a second roof laid down upon it. In most cases if there are already two roofs on a building one of them will need to be removed before a new one can be laid down. However, in most cases when only one roof is present a second roof can be laid upon it without any problem.


Third: Unexpected Energy Savings

The third cost saver is over time and may be less apparent. The addition of a second roof on a building will essentially double the r-value of the roof of the building. The r-value is essentially the insulating ability of an aspect of a building. Doubling the r-value can have dramatic impacts on your energy use annually, both heat and air conditioning. 

Our advice, as always, is don't delay! Get your roof inspected by a qualified and reputable professional. You might find that it costs far less than you expect and has hidden benefits that you were unaware of!

Brian Lyman