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Great Lakes Systems Blog

What Stage is My Roof At?

Posted by Kyle Clausen on Thu, Aug 03, 2017 @ 11:16 AM


What stage is your roof at?  Most important, of course, is what you can do to prolong the life of your roof, no matter what life stage it's in! What you can do to extend the life of your roof depends on what part of the cycle it is currently at. Let's look at the stages in the cycle of a roof and look at how we can prolong each stage and put off the a new roof for as long as you can.

1. NEW ROOF:  Let's start with a brand new roof. Just like a new car, your roof will immediately start to deteriorate, but there are quite a few things you can do to prolong this stage. The first is to 'walk' or inspect your roof 2 times a year. The best times are in the spring, right after the snow melts and then in the fall right after all the leaves have dropped. The main idea of the inspection is to clear any roof drains, scuppers or gutters/downspouts of any debris. Ponding water that occurs with blocked drainage can cause the water to rise higher than it was designed to and cause leaks and excess weight on the roof. Ultimately this can cause structural failure and major problems. This can easily be done by walking the roof with a few trash bags. You should also inspect the roof for any other irregularities like loose membrane, holes in the membrane or other issues that could cause water to get into your building. This can typically done in an hour or less by your own maintenance personnel or you can hire GLS to do it for a fixed price each year. If you're not sure of an irregularity just take a photo of it with your phone and email, we'd be glad to let you know if it's a concern, free of charge! If the inspection is done regularly this stage could continue for 10 years or so.

  Click here for a link to 'Is My Roof OK?' Blog on for more details on how to inspect your roof.

2. MAINTENANCE STAGE: Beyond the 10 year period, the roof will probably need a yearly professional inspection. This stage could be earlier or later depending on wind exposure, amount of roof top equipment and maintenance on the equipment, and environmental issues such as industrial/food prepartion venting on to the roof and how well roof access is prevented. The average annual inspection cost is between $500 and $700 per year. If GLS performs the inspection you will get an aerial map of the roof area, a condition report estimating the life expectancy, a map showing any roof defects along with a photo each defect and projected costs of any repairs and a rating of the severity of the defect. It also includes a summary report to assess repair needs to keep the building dry. The cost of the inspection includes giving our client access to the reports online giving them a full record of their roof including any service calls or repairs required.

                                Roof Inspection Report Sample

Our goal with this is to make sure that none of the components of the roof, including roof deck, insulation, flashing and roof structure are compromised. When it is time to reroof, this will reduce the cost in a major way. If done right the decking, insulation and structure will not have to be repaired or replaced. See how Jenison Public Schools were able to benefit by following this process.


                                 Learn How We Saved Jenison HS  $1,000,000 in Roofing Costs

3. REROOF STAGE: Without much attention, most new single ply roofs will start to fail after 12-15 years. If the roof is inspected and cared for,  we have seen customers prolong the life of the roof another 8-10 years. The hidden savings are in the preservation of the insulation, decking and structural members. Conservatively the cost of having to tear off the existing roof and insulation is $1.50 - $2.50 per square foot and of course would go to a landfill. Roof deck replacement can be anywhere from $3.00 - $6.00 per square foot depending on deck type. Preserving the roof and preventing those costs could save between $180,000 - $340,000 on a 40,000 square roof when it comes time to reroof.  Our passion is to get the most out of your current roof and when it's time for a new one, minimize the cost to you.

No matter what stage of the life cycle your roof is in the overall cost of keeping things dry can be positively influenced.  If you have any questions please feel free to contact us on our website or call 616-669-5300.  Consultation is free!




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