What’s the home improvement work you dread most? Anything to do with roofing is probably right up there at the top of the list. Almost all homeowners see roof replacement as a necessary evil — noisy, messy, and expensive. And while roof repair will take care of leaks and similar problems for the short term, how long will it actually help?
An alternative is roof restoration. Roof restoration is the process of renewing and coating your roof so that it will protect your house better and last longer … at an affordable price. Will it work for your home? Find out more.
Roof restoration vs repair vs replacement
First, let’s be clear about roofing terminology:
Roof repair usually involves only a small section of your roof, generally less than 30 percent. It may consist only of a minor replacement (such as a few shingles that were blown off by a severe storm) or may involve removing and replacing a damaged area (rotted wood, perhaps).
Roof replacement means installing an entire roof of new material. Your roofing contractor will have to either do a complete tear-off of your old roof or install the new roof over the existing one.
Roof restoration does not involve removal of your current roofing. Instead, the existing roof is repaired and refurbished as necessary, followed by a restorative, protective resurfacing treatment.
When to do a roof restoration
Roof restoration is not for every home. Your current roofing must be structurally sound; your roofer must take care of leaks, if any, before proceeding. You get bonus points if you’ve been faithfully performing roof maintenance at least once a year.
Here are the circumstances when you should seriously consider hiring a contractor to perform a roof restoration:
— When your roof is relatively new, five years or more from the end of its expected lifespan.
— When you plan to sell your house and want to upgrade the roof’s looks and performance
— When you already have two layers of roofing in place and wish to avoid the higher costs of roofing tear-off
— When your roof is exposed to strong sunlight, making it overly hot in summer
What are the steps to roof restoration?
1. Clean the roof.
2. Clear off any mildew, moss, or lichen.
3. Remove rust in the case of a metal roof.
4. Check seams, flashing, and fasteners. Seal if necessary.
5. Repair and rebuild the roof, as required
6. Apply coating.
Popular Types of Roof Restoration Coatings
— Acrylic — manufactured from acrylic polymer. Most commonly found as white reflective coating, although other colors are available. Applied by roller or spray. Inexpensive — because small amount covers a lot. Last about two years.
— Asphalt emulsion — a mixture of asphalt, water and clay, together with strengthening fillers. Available in three types — reflective, black or brown. Brushed on with a push broom.
— Solvent-based asphalt — asphalt (solid at normal room temperature) blended with solvent to liquefy it for easier application with rollers. Black or reflective aluminum.
— Solvent-based silicone coatings — silicone base diluted with solvents and catalysts. Versatile in terms of both application technique (rolling, spraying, etc.) and color (wide range, including translucent and reflective)
Advantages of roof restoration
Lower cost. Roof restoration tends to be substantially less expensive than roof replacement — usually about half the cost or less.
Convenience. Roof restoration is less disruptive to your household routines than roof replacement, which is a noisy, messy process, especially during the tear-off phase.
Savings on HVAC. A reflective coating applied to your roof will deflect sun rays and help keep your home cooler. This means you'll need to use your air conditioning less.
Sustainability. Roof restoration uses relatively small amounts of materials and resources, adding very little to landfills. Roof restoration can be redone every few years if you choose, further extending the life of your roof.
— Laura Firszt writes for networx.com.