Chinook Roofing Blog

What You Need to Know Before Replacing the Roof on an Aging Building


Posted on: September 30, 2016

Reconstruction of roof

Hardly anyone would debate the fact that the roof is one of the most important parts of a building. It provides protection for the interior and framing of the entire structure, and although it is built for durability, a roof can really take a beating over time. Direct exposure to natural elements such as wind, rain, snow, ice, hail, and extreme temperatures can produce significant wear and tear, and when temporary repair jobs start becoming less and less effective, the need to replace the roof will eventually become unavoidable. Replacing a roof on any building is labor-intensive and often very expensive, but when you’re dealing with an aging building in particular, special considerations will need to be taken into account. Below are three key things you need to know before replacing the roof on an aging building.

1. In terms of structural damage, you might get more than you bargained for. 

Older buildings often come with unpleasant surprises in terms of aspects of the structure that might need additional repair. This is especially true if the current roof has been in bad condition for quite a while. If roof repairs have been neglected over time, you might have bigger problems on your hands, such as water damage to the underlying decking due to leaks. This can produce a situation where the decking is sagging or buckling, and may need to be repaired or reinforced before you can begin the roof replacement. Other roofing elements such as insulation or flashing can also be negatively affected by neglected repairs, so it’s a safe bet to expect the unexpected when it comes to potential structural damage.

2. The time frame from completion might need to be extended. 

More often than not, the various structural elements of an older building will need to be handled with additional care due to their age, which can slow down your timeline for completion. Rooftop vents can be shaky or loose, plastic domed panels in skylights can become cracked or brittle, and other elements on or connected to the roof can be more susceptible to breaking or damage due to nothing more than the law of entropy doing its work over time.

3. New roof installation may require additional reinforcement or retrofitting. 

If you’re replacing the roof on a building that has been around for a few decades, it’s pretty safe to assume that building materials and standards have changed quite a bit since the structure was first built. For this reason, you will need to consider how to best accommodate any differences between the older materials inherent with the structure and the new materials you’ll be using to replace the roof, so that everything can fit together as seamlessly as possible. You might also want to consider how to retrofit important elements such as insulation or roof deck sheathing in order to boost the energy efficiency of the building and bring it up to today’s more eco-friendly standards.

Replacing a roof on an aging building is a huge undertaking that shouldn’t be entered into without careful consideration, and it should only be handled by experienced professionals. Chinook Roofing offers a team of qualified roofing experts who can provide professional insight regarding every aspect of your roof replacement project, so that you can make the most informed decision possible. Contact Chinook Roofing today to get your project started off on the right foot.


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The only thing better than our new roof is the company who installed it. Kind and capable people from the inspection and estimate to impeccable clean up. Thank you so much!