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What is “roof restoration” and when do you know you need one ?

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When used among contractors, “restoration” refers to an upgrade and rejuvenation work on an already existing roof. Although restoration can be done on various other roof types, the most commonly restored ones are concrete tiles, metal tiles, pre-painted steel and other metal roofing systems. Full restoration work typically includes such steps as cleaning and removal of lichen and animal droppings, repairs and/or re-pointing/re-mortaring and/or re-flashing, replacement of damaged tiles or roof sheeting, and application of a fresh new coating. When properly done by a professional roofing contractor, restoration will give your roof a renewed look and enhanced protection against the elements.

Roof cleaning is the first and probably most important part in the roof restoration process. Over time, algae, fungus, moss and other types of organic build-ups normally form on those parts of the roof that are shaded from the sun. Along with soot, dirt, grime, bird and bat droppings, these composite biomass can affect how much sunlight is absorbed by the building through the roofing system. If left attended, they can also cause substantial deterioration on the roof surface. Ideally, the home or property owner should hose down at least once every six months any unwashed areas of the roof not exposed to natural rainfall, including the fascia and spouting systems. However, this is not always feasible, especially if this would entail having to climb up over the roof. A professional roofing contractor on the other hand should be experienced with working at height.

Following cleaning and repairs, including replacement of damaged sheeting or tiles, the roof to be restored will next be re-painted and/or re-coated to give it a fresh renewed look as well as added protection against the elements. Application of a new coating is known to extend the service life of a roof by at least 25 additional years. It will also help prevent any future leak problems on almost any type of roofing material. A reflective coating can reduce the heat transfer into the building and decrease thermal shock or the expansion and contraction of the roof membrane because of changes in temperature. The roof coating reflects damaging ultraviolet and infrared sunlight away from your building, allowing for cooler roof and building temperatures, thereby lessening the air conditioning energy usage.

Of course, there are certain instances when roof restoration may no longer be advisable, as when the substrate of the roof has already deteriorated to such an extent that it is no longer structurally sound, or when the roof is found to be too rusted, pitted or eroded that it become extremely porous, or when the underlying basic roofing material is already really past its product life expectancy as set in the manufacturer’s warranty. In these instances, the more economical thing to do is to ask your roofing contractor for a complete roof replacement.