Re-Roofing Versus Recovering: What Are The Key Differences?

Commercial roofs are different than residential roofs. Most are flat, or have very little pitch or slope to them. As such, the materials used on a commercial roof are different than those used on a residential roof. When it comes to commercial roofing, many materials can be recovered, rather than needing to be re-roofed. However, while these terms have two different meanings, many people do not know the differences between them and use the terms interchangeably. This can leave you confused when you need a new roof for your commercial building. Here are a few of the key differences between re-roofing and recovering a commercial roof. 

Repairs Are First Made to the Existing Roof

One of the key differences between re-roofing a roofing and recovering a roof is whether or not repairs are made to the current roof. When a roof is being recovered, repairs are first made to the materials that are already present on the roof. The existing roofing materials have all cracks and holes filled in and repaired. The surface is also typically smoothed out to remove any pockets or water or air. This is not a process that is done with re-roofing. 

The Existing Roofing Material is Removed

The second key difference between re-roofing and recovering a roof is what happens with the existing roofing materials. When a roof is re-roofed, the existing roofing materials are typically removed from the roof. Think about having a residential roof replaced. Before new shingles or shakes are installed, the old ones are scraped off and removed. This is typically the case when re-roofing is done on a commercial roof. The old membrane or asphalt is scraped away and removed. This is not usually the case with recovering a roof though. Instead, the old roof is repaired and the new roof is laid directly on the existing roofing materials, helping to re-cover them. 

The Same Roofing Materials Are Applied

The last key difference in whether a roof is re-roofed or recovered is what materials are applied to the commercial roof. As was mentioned above, typically a roof that is being re-roofed has all of its roofing materials stripped away before a new roof can be laid. But this is not always the case. There are a few roofing materials that can be re-roofed over existing materials. However, this involves using the exact same roofing material. When recovering is done, typically different roofing materials are laid over existing ones, to create a layered roof featuring different roofing materials. If the same exact materials are being re-laid, re-roofing is probably be done. If new materials are being laid over different materials, recovering is likely taking place. 

If the roof on your commercial building is failing, roof recovering or re-roofing may be an option. Contact a commercial roofing company like Mulligan Roofing today to find out what options are available to you based on the condition of your roof and the materials that are currently covering it.