Two Scenarios That Warrant A New Install
The Age of the Roof
When the original material has gotten to the end of its lifespan, your best option is replacing it. Depending on the type of material your roof is made of, your local weather situation, as well as how you’re keeping up with routine maintenance, this life-cycle may vary, as we have discussed above. Since EPDM has seams that are prone to allowing moisture to get through, they will have a lot of issues in locations that have heavy and frequent rain storms. TPO may not live up to its fullest lifespan in geographic locations with high heat and drastic temperature fluctuations.
Poor and Faulty Installation
Unfortunately, installation issues happen way too much. This is the biggest source of all the other issues, including leaks. If you’re constantly fixing a fairly new roof, it probably indicates that it was not installed properly. Some of these can be rectified by a professional roof repair contractor, but their will be some that can’t be. This is why getting a thorough, professional inspection with an experienced roofer is so important.
If installation problems can’t be fixed, the best option will be replacing the faulty roof. Otherwise, you’ll just keep dumping more and more money into a roof that will never perform as its supposed to. If you find that there is wet insulation, it cannot dry out on its own and can cause mold issues and structural damage that will be much more expensive to fix than putting on a new roof, or replacing a large portion of the original one.
If you can afford it, choose a premium material like PVC. While its more expensive than other single ply choices, once you install it, you won’t have to worry about leaks and other problems again for a long time. PVC has hot air-welded seams that don’t come apart, and will remain resistant to water. It’s also an Energy Star rated, cool material, that reflects the sun’s heat, which will save you a lot of money on energy costs as you live in the property.
An Inspection is the Most Important First Step
To find out whether you should do a roof leak repair or replace it with a new membrane, find a professional, experienced roofing contractor to perform a thorough inspection. Be sure you hire an experienced pro, because a plain general contractor or an asphalt shingles expert won’tt know all the little details and complexities of these flat roof materials. They might give you poor recommendations that will cost you even more money and time to fix in the future.
During the inspection, your roofing contractor should include checking:
- Attachment points
- Check for cracks at joints and corners, around chimneys and ventilation slits.
- Assess any damage: deterioration, punctures, aging, leakage, ponding water, etc
It’s also very important that they do a test-cut (through the material to check what is under the top layer). A lot of times, mold and rotted sheathing underneath the top layer is not visible on the surface.