What you need to know about budgeting for a new commercial roof

Because your commercial building’s flat roof has value and is one of the most significant capital expenditures you’ve made, it’s critical that it’s installed correctly, maintained, and inspected on a regular basis. These three factors will ensure that your investment is protected for as long as possible, though it’s inevitable that your roof will need to be replaced at some point. Budgeting for a commercial roof can be overwhelming.

So, how will you know when you need a new roof, and what can you do in advance to prepare and budget for replacement?

Here are 10 tips from Mint Roofing’s Roof Inspector:

1. When you buy a building, get the roof inspected by a reputable company that only works on commercial roofs.

Before buying (or leasing with a triple-net lease) a new building, it is strongly recommended that you have the roof inspected and get as much history on it as possible from the current owner or landlord. Establish a connection with a commercial roofing company that has experience with the type of roof on the buildings you are considering. They will not only be able to maintain and monitor its condition if you purchase the building, but they can also predict life expectancy, and estimate the date of replacement.

2. Determine how long you plan to remain in your building.

To figure out when and how much to budget, match the length of time you intend to stay in your present location with the roof’s expected life.

The average life expectancy of a flat roof, if installed correctly:

Commercial rubber roofs – 15-20 years

Commercial hot tar roof – 20-35 years

TPO sun reflecting roof – 20 years

3. Examine your options and associated costs.

Least expensive: Ballast rubber roof with river rock

Most expensive: Hot BUR (built-up roofing system). A Hot BUR roof is most costly because it has the longest life expectancy, doesn’t puncture as easily, and reseals when hot.

The TPO roof is a white, thermoplastic heat-welded roof and reflects the sun. It will take a bit longer to see the benefits of this roof in Minnesota due to extreme temperatures, so choose it for the long haul.

4. Incorporate climate considerations into your calculations.

Minnesota has snow, ice, and extreme temperatures that impact your roof, so you may want to consider a more durable roofing system due to problems like freezing, thawing, and roof expansion.

5. Estimate cost based on your situation.

Factors include roof access, the kind of roof, size, complexity, varying sections, number of layers needing tear-off, and other variables.

6. Consider new insulation codes.

The new building codes now call for an R30 value as of last year, meaning more insulation is required when re-roofing.

7. Know your square footage to calculate the cost of a replacement.

The rule of thumb for budgeting: $14 per square foot.

8. Consider other contributing factors.

Penetration and leaking from heating and cooling systems, skylights, plumbing stacks, and other equipment on your roof that is exposed to the sun will cause your roof to deteriorate faster, so keep an eye on and maintain them.

The best thing you can do for your roof is to make sure water flow is not inhibited by keeping drains and scuppers clear.

9. Avoid emergency repairs with an annual inspection.

If you think you can get a bit more life out of your roof, an annual inspection can help identify small issues that can easily be taken care of. An annual inspection will help you avoid emergency repairs because inspection means detection.

Emergency repairs will eat up your budget because they are most costly, given there is usually damage hiding under the surface, causing unforeseen expenses. The bottom line is that your best return on investment is keeping your roof from depreciating with routine maintenance.

10. Budget for a maintenance plan.

Even newer roofs can leak if not properly maintained. Regular maintenance can extend the life of your roof by up to 10 years and save you money on emergency repairs. Often the cost of repairs is 2.5 x’s more expensive than preventative maintenance. Mint Roofing offers free inspections to maintenance plan clients.

Think of it this way. If you don’t go to the dentist for 15 years, you’re going to pay more when you finally get in the chair. However, if you get your teeth cleaned and checked every six months and take care of issues while they are minor, chances are you will avoid costly repairs, like root canals!

Take the initiative to build a relationship with a vetted commercial roofing company, know your roof, the installation date, and the quality of the installation job. Based on this information, begin planning/budgeting several years before the end of life expectancy of your roof.

Our TopSite Preventative Maintenance Program is the perfect way to get control of your roof maintenance costs and extend the life of your roof.

We’re here to help!

Your commercial roof is one of the most important components of your building. It protects the contents of your building from rain, snow, and other weather elements. We know the financial considerations that go into the decision to install a new roof on your commercial building and can help you manage and navigate the process to accommodate your business needs and challenges.

We hope this blog post has given you some useful tips on how to budget for your next project. When you’re ready for commercial roofing services, give us a call at 952-473-8080 or send an email at info@mintroofing.com – we’ll help get the ball rolling!