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November 01, 2017

Roof Leaks and the Bottom Line

Don't Let Your Old Leaky Roof Cost You!drops dollars.jpg

Replacing your commercial roof is a major investment, and some building owners will delay that purchase for months or even years, relying on patches and other repairs to keep problems at bay.

But continuing to postpone the inevitable roof replacement could result in additional unforeseen costs. Here are some “bottom line” examples of what can happen when the roof’s watertight integrity is compromised:

  • Interior damage. Ceiling tiles, drywall, carpet, computers and other capital equipment are all at risk from a leaky roof. For schools, a ruined gymnasium floor can cost $500,000 to replace.
  • Production downtime. If a manufacturing line has to be shut down because of wet (and potentially dangerous) conditions, it could cost thousands of dollars in lost productivity.
  • Lost business. Roof leaks at a hotel / motel can make otherwise “sellable” rooms unavailable for guests. Leaks and water damage at restaurants could deter diners.

Replacing your commercial roof should happen long before leaks become an ongoing problem, because deferring it can add costs to a new roof installation once the replacement decision is finally made. For example, the continuous ineffective and inconsistent patching of an old roof (a short-term solution that incurs maintenance costs) can allow water to penetrate the membrane and damage roof components, including insulation and the roof deck itself.

A timely replacement could allow for a new roof membrane to be installed directly over the existing roof (depending on local code restrictions), avoiding potential tear-off, new insulation and roof deck replacement costs. These construction needs would add significantly to the overall cost of the new installation – possibly more than the per-square-foot cost of the new roofing system itself.

Commercial building owners and facility managers should actively plan for roofing system replacement, ensuring that it takes place before lost business, out-of-control repair needs, and structural damages combine to add considerably to the cost.


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