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  • Curt De Boer

Roof Restoration VS Re-Roof, Whats the Difference?

Updated: Jul 15

Water – a constant nemesis of an aging roof. Leaks are bound to happen and must be properly addressed to preserve the property and protect the building occupants. In the past when leaks or other roof issues popped up, roofers repaired the issue and when issues became too chronic, they would then completely replace the roof. New roofing technology has surfaced which provides a cost-efficient and time- effective solution which acts as an in-between. Restoration provides more than a repair but doesn’t require the time and cost of a re-roof.

New advancements in roofing coatings can help reduce costs by restoring rather than replacing roofs, but how does this differ from re-roofing and when should you restore your roof?

What is Roof Restoration?

When a roof is restored, rather than replaced, the original materials are left in place. Prior to the restoration, the roof is inspected to identify any problem areas, and then areas are repaired to make it suitable for a successful coating restoration.


Restoration is less expensive as it requires less labor and materials. The process is also less invasive compared to a partial or complete re-roofing and can be done quickly.

In addition to benefits for the roof, restoration is also an eco-friendly choice. Millions of tons of roofing waste go to landfills each year – restoration is a very environmentally-friendly and sustainable choice as little to no materials are removed from the current roof.

What Is Re-Roofing?

Re-roofing refers to when a roof is partially or completely replaced. All materials are completely removed and new installation is required. This option is usually chosen when the roof is irreparable and has persistent problems that can’t be mitigated. A complete overhaul of a roof is considerably more expensive – in general, restoring a roof is half the cost of a re-roof.

Should I Restore or Re-roof?

Roof age, material type, and climate zone can influence whether a commercial roof can be restored or should be removed and replaced.

Any roof that has had a lot of documented problems such as multiple leaks, moss, or lichen growth indicating decay, moisture found in the deck or insulation beneath the roof, will need to undergo a roof replacement rather than a restoration.

Nearly any type of roof can be restored including metal, spray polyurethane, single-ply, and modified bitumen. If the roof has minor issues but is approaching an older age or larger issues that could be prevented, a restoration may be a good choice.

The decision to restore or re-roof should be based on the history and severity of damage of the current roof and ultimately depends on how much useful life remains in the existing roof.

Contact us if you would like a free consultation on what approach is best for your building.



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