flooded and bad conditioned roof

3 Ways Delaying Your Roofing Project May Cost You

Greg PalyaSpray Polyurethane Foam Roofing


Say you’re a building owner and you have a roof leak.

You called around, got your quotes, and have chosen your roofing contractor.

Project is scheduled for April 15th, 2020.

Boom. Then COVID-19 came into the picture.

Since your roof is about 20,000 sq. ft. and the cost of a spray foam roof is approximately $5 per square foot, you think that it may be a good idea to hold off on the $100,000 project.

What if we told you that isn’t the best idea? And what if we told you your roofing project will likely cost more a few months down the road?

At West Roofing Systems, we’ve been in the commercial roofing industry for more than 40 years now and have seen what can happen if a roofing project is pushed back, especially in the upcoming rainy season.

Today we’re going to go through three reasons why you shouldn’t delay your roofing project.


Reason #1 – Your roof will experience increased saturation

If your roof is already allowing water to reach the insulation or the roof deck, with every event of precipitation, you’re increasing the amount of saturation of your roof.

This can add to the cost of your roofing project.

Let’s say you push your roofing project off until mid-August 2020, when hopefully COVID-19 will be neutralized, and everything can begin to go back to normal.

Over 4 months, if your roof is in Cleveland, Ohio, your roof will be exposed to an approximate 14 inches of rain, based on 2019 stats.

14 inches of rain is a lot to handle for a roof that’s already allowing water to enter the system.


Why does this increase the cost of my roofing project?

The more saturation a roof has, the more of your roof that will need to be torn off and replaced. This increases labor hours, this increases the costs to transport the materials to the landfill, and it costs more money to replace those areas with new material.

There’s no study that says for every X amount of rainfall, there will be X amount more tear off that will be required, but since we’ve been doing this for 40+ years, we know adding precipitation to a roof in bad shape, only adds to the overall costs.


Reason #2 – Your roof won’t be eligible for restoration/SRM

Sometimes, when your roof is in good order, you can restore your roof instead of having to completely tear off and replace everything.

A popular roofing system is what’s called a silicone restoration membrane. A silicone restoration membrane (SRM for short) is a fluid applied silicone coating that’s sprayed directly onto an existing roofing system.

SRM’s cost about $2-$3.50 per square foot, and they can grant your roof a new 10-20-year warranty. In comparison, any roof that needs completely torn off and replaced, will cost at least $5 per sq. ft.

An SRM system only removes the saturated areas (usually less than 25% of the roof), cleans the entire field of the roof, and then applies the coating.

For your roof to be eligible for an SRM system, your roof:

  • Needs to around 25% or less saturated
  • Needed to be under some sort of annual roof inspection by a roofing contractor
  • And if your roof is single-ply, asphalt-based membrane or metal, the seams need to be in good condition


Why does this increase the cost of my roofing project?

An SRM system costs $2-3.50 per square foot. Any other roofing system will cost at least $5 per square foot.

If your roof is 20,000 sq. ft, you’ll pay at least $30,000 more to completely replace your roof as opposed to restoring it. ($1.50 difference per sq. ft. x 20,000 sq. ft.)

How can you avoid your roof being more than 25% saturated?

Get your roof restored as quickly as possible. Every weathering event only adds saturation to an already damaged roof.

Reason #3 – Delaying your project can cause more than just roof damage

If your roof is already allowing water to enter your building, and it’s not taken care of in a timely matter, it can cause other issues to your building, such as:

  • Increased structural damage, such as the roof deck
  • The roof could eventually collapse
  • Interior assets can be damaged
  • Mold can begin forming inside your building
  • Safety of your team – preventing a slip or fall

Every roof is different, but with every precipitation event, damage increases.


How about a real-world example?

This is like your car having issues, say leaking oil.

Now your car is running on low oil, causing extreme wear and tear on your engine, and eventually if that oil isn’t replaced or the leak isn’t fixed, your engine will grind, seize and eventually fail, giving you an enormous mechanic bill.

The same thing applies with a leaky roof.


Why does this increase the cost of my roofing project?

Fixing or repairing your roof is one thing.

When you start having conversations about deck replacement, structural damages, and roofs collapsing, you’re entering a whole new ballgame of financial issues.


What are your next steps if you’ve considering pushing a roofing project back?

The first step is to call your roofing contractor and ask them what the dangers can be if the project is moved back.

Perhaps waiting a few months will not create that much damage.


Perhaps waiting a few months could create an opportunity for increased damage.

You’ll never know unless you get that expert opinion.

Roofers care about your roof and they want you to be in the best position structurally moving forward.

Maybe a roofing contractor can install a temporary repair to get your roof leak-free through August when they can complete the project; thus, preventing the dangers we talked about today.

You’ll never know unless you reach out and get some answers.


Don’t delay your roofing project

Hopefully after today, you learned that if your roof is already leaking with each precipitation event:

  • More of your roof will become saturated and each of those areas will need removed, transported, and replaced
  • The added saturation further distances your roof from being eligible for restoration, as opposed to a more expensive, complete replacement
  • Other structural damage can occur, such as the roof deck, internal assets, and mold control

Want to learn more about spray polyurethane foam? The Ultimate Guide to Spray Foam Roofing is available to read without giving any information in return:
the ultimate guide to spray foam roofing

About the Author

Greg Palya

Greg Palya is the Digital Content Manager of West Roofing Systems, Inc. He has a B.S. in Marketing from the University of Akron and an MBA in Marketing from Walsh University. When he's not trying to teach others about spray foam roofing and silicone roof coatings, you can find him on the basketball court or golf course.