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Commercial Roof Replacement Timeline (What to Expect)

Posted By: Jake Hofer

Commercial roof replacement is a significant undertaking for any business or property owner. Understanding the timelines involved is crucial, whether you’re planning a roof replacement for your:

  • Office building
  • Warehouse
  • Retail space

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the various aspects of commercial roof replacement, including when you should consider it, how long it takes, the steps in the process, different roof styles, and the associated costs.

When Should You Replace Your Commercial Roof?

commercial roof

Before diving into the timelines, it’s essential to know when your commercial roof requires replacement. Waiting too long can lead to extensive damage and costly repairs. Here are some signs that indicate it’s time to replace your commercial roof:

  • Age of the Roof: The typical lifespan of a commercial roof varies depending on the material used. Most commercial roofs last between 20 to 30 years. If your roof is approaching or has exceeded this age range, it’s time to start considering a replacement.
  • Frequent Leaks and Repairs: If you find yourself constantly dealing with leaks and requiring frequent repairs, it’s a clear sign that your roof’s integrity has been compromised. These recurring issues can be more expensive in the long run than investing in a replacement.
  • Visible Damage: Inspect your roof regularly for visible damage, such as cracks, blisters, or sagging areas. Any of these issues can indicate structural problems that require immediate attention.
  • Energy Efficiency Concerns: An inefficient roof can significantly impact your energy bills. If you notice a spike in heating or cooling costs, it might be due to an aging or deteriorating roof that’s no longer providing adequate insulation.
  • Mold and Mildew Growth: Excessive moisture and poor ventilation can lead to mold and mildew growth within your building. If you spot these issues on the interior of your property, it’s a red flag that your roof isn’t effectively keeping out moisture.

How Long Does a Commercial Roof Replacement Take?

The timeline for a commercial roof replacement can vary based on several factors, including the size and complexity of the project, weather conditions, and the roofing material chosen. However, a rough estimate can give you an idea of what to expect.

Planning and Preparation (1-2 Weeks)

Before any physical work begins, you’ll need to plan the replacement project. This involves obtaining permits, selecting roofing materials, and hiring a contractor. The planning phase typically takes one to two weeks, but it can be longer for more complex projects.

Removal of Existing Roof (1-2 Days)

Once the planning is complete, the existing roof needs to be removed. This process can take one to two weeks, depending on the size of the roof and the complexity of removal.

Roof Deck Inspection and Repair (1 Day)

After the old roof is removed, the roof deck will be inspected for any damage or rot. Any necessary repairs or replacements can add another one to two weeks to the timeline.

Installation of New Roofing Material (1-2 Days)

The installation of the new roofing material is a crucial phase. The timeline for this step can vary significantly depending on the type of roofing material chosen and the size of the roof. For example, single-ply membrane roofing can be installed relatively quickly, while a complex metal roofing system may take longer.

Final Inspections and Clean-Up (1 Day)

After the new roof is installed, it will undergo final inspections to ensure it meets all safety and quality standards. This phase, along with clean-up, can take one to two weeks.

Total Timeline: Approximately 2 Weeks

Taking all these phases into account, a commercial roof replacement project typically takes around 2 weeks to complete. However, it’s essential to remember that unexpected delays, such as adverse weather conditions, can extend the timeline.

6 Steps in the Commercial Roof Replacement Process

commercial roof replacement

Now, let’s break down the steps involved in a commercial roof replacement project:

1. Assessment and Planning

  • Conduct a thorough inspection of the existing roof.
  • Determine the scope of the project and select the roofing material.
  • Obtain any necessary permits and approvals.
  • Plan the project timeline and budget.

2. Old Roof Removal

  • Remove the existing roofing material and dispose of it properly.
  • Inspect the roof deck for any structural issues.

3. Roof Deck Repair

  • Repair or replace any damaged sections of the roof deck.
  • Ensure the deck is in optimal condition to support the new roof.

4. Installation of New Roofing Material

  • Apply the chosen roofing material according to manufacturer guidelines.
  • Ensure proper insulation and ventilation are in place.
  • Seam and seal the roofing material for maximum durability.

5. Final Inspections

  • Inspect the newly installed roof for any defects or issues.
  • Ensure all safety standards are met.
  • Obtain necessary certifications and warranties.

6. Clean-Up and Site Restoration

  • Remove any debris and waste from the construction site.
  • Restore the site to its original condition.
  • Ensure proper disposal of old roofing material.

Different Commercial Roof Styles

Commercial roofs come in various styles and materials, each with its advantages and disadvantages. Here are some common commercial roof styles:

Flat Roof

  • Suitable for buildings with limited space for a pitched roof.
  • Typically uses materials like single-ply membrane or built-up roofing.
  • Requires regular maintenance to prevent water pooling.

Metal Roof

  • Durable and long-lasting.
  • Energy-efficient and reflects sunlight.
  • Requires minimal maintenance but can be noisy in heavy rain.

TPO Roof

  • Thermoplastic Olefin (TPO) roofing is energy-efficient and highly reflective.
  • Resistant to chemical and UV damage.
  • Known for its ease of installation.


  • Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) roofing is durable and cost-effective.
  • Resistant to weathering and UV radiation.
  • Suitable for low-slope roofs.

Green Roof

  • A sustainable option with vegetation and planting on the roof.
  • Provides insulation and reduces heat buildup.
  • Requires specialized maintenance.

The Cost to Replace Your Commercial Roof

The cost of a commercial roof replacement can vary widely depending on several factors, including the size of the roof, the chosen roofing material, and the complexity of the project. Here’s a rough cost estimate for different roofing materials:

  • Flat Roof (Single-Ply Membrane): $3.50 to $7.50 per square foot.
  • Metal Roof: $5.00 to $12.00 per square foot.
  • TPO Roof: $4.00 to $8.00 per square foot.
  • EPDM Roof: $3.50 to $7.00 per square foot.
  • Green Roof: $10.00 to $25.00 per square foot.

It’s important to note that these are ballpark figures, and the actual cost can vary based on location, labor costs, and any additional features or requirements for your specific project.

Learn More About Your Commercial Roof Replacement Cost

A commercial roof replacement is a significant investment that requires careful consideration of when to replace your roof, how long the process takes, the steps involved, different roof styles, and associated costs. Proper planning and hiring a reputable contractor are essential for a successful roof replacement project that ensures the longevity and safety of your commercial property.

Contact Built Right Roofing today to learn how much your commercial flat roof will cost!

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