Commercial Roof Repair Cost

Today’s post builds on top of previous analysis on commercial roof replacement costs. This time around, we examine what is involved with commercial roof repair costs.

roof-repair-jobGenerally speaking, repair costs can be difficult to estimate because they often vary according to roof system type. Factors such as how many appliances are on top of a building, a roof’s configuration, and a roof’s age, are also reasons for why roof repair costs differ on each building.

Some building owners have turned to an increasingly popular roof repair option, roof restoration, as a way to shore up their roof’s damage and seal up the damaged area from outdoor extremes. Commercial roof restoration makes use of liquid-applied roofing products called coatings and can range from $2.00-3.00 per square foot. In a number of cases, many building owners opt to have their entire commercial roof coated because of the energy-saving benefits a coated roof brings. Many roof coatings form a white, reflective membrane over the old commercial roof and can generate anywhere from 20-50% in cooling cost savings while taking care of common leaks.

When it comes to putting an estimate on repair needs, there are more important things to consider than what the cost will be per square foot. It is more important to keep in mind the following:

  • The biggest determinant of roofing repair costs is the extent of the damage or neglect a commercial roof has suffered. Costs will fluctuate heavily from roof to roof depending on the magnitude of the damage itself on each roof.
  • It is advisable to think of roof repair costs in terms of roof lifecycle costs. Other expense burdens, including roof maintenance and roof replacement, are other important things to monitor.
  • Most commercial roofs are replaced before their service life expires or they actually need complete replacement, as most roof failure is localized around tears or damaged areas around features like appliances, flashings, or construction joints. In fact, some studies have found as many as 70-80% of commercial roofs are replaced prematurely.
  • Using an average roof repair cost per square foot is not ideal for estimating only a single project. In general, using an average cost for anything per square foot of roofing is more preferable for budgeting related to a portfolio of many building assets.

Commercial Roof Repair Costs over Time

bad-commercial-roofA study of buildings owned by Carnegie Mellon University provides insights into how much roof repairs can cost on multiple buildings over time. In the study, data gathered over nine years on 38 buildings in Carnegie Mellon University’s asset portfolio was used.

The commercial roofing on these buildings totaled almost 100,000 square meters (or 1.08 million square feet). The data was taken from Carnegie Mellon’s maintenance database, which had information on the buildings’ roof repair costs, roof maintenance costs, and roof replacement costs, among other variables. Many types of roofing systems were represented and ranged in age from being new to 50-plus years old.

Other important factors in the study included:

  • All of the buildings were located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and had enough closed-foam insulation under them to deal with local climate conditions.
  • The data was drawn from over nine years, which took place between July 1998 and December 2006.
  • The researchers did not provide any information on how many square meters, or how much square footage, of commercial roofing was repaired over the nine years.
  • The study focused on low slope roofing systems since they were the most likely to have problems with leaks.

Results from the Carnegie Mellon Roof Lifecycle Costs Study

From July 1998 to December 2006, Carnegie Mellon University’s maintenance database recorded 1,781 maintenance and work repair records related to roofing leaks. That, in turn, equals an average of 200 leaks per year or 5.2 leaks per building per year.

  • Roof repair costs over the nine years ranged from $15,416-$200,338.
  • Total roof repair costs over the nine years came to $961,891.
  • We do not know the square footage of roofing that was repaired. However, when averaged out across the 38 buildings, the average repair cost comes out to $25,313 per building over all nine years.
  • When total roof repair and maintenance costs were added together and adjusted for inflation in 2006 dollars, total roof replacements costs (also in 2006 dollars) were 3.6 times greater than they were.


In other words, the study showed just how more expensive roof replacement can be over time than roof repairs or maintenance.

Closing Thoughts on Commercial Roof Repair Costs

Roofing Services

Our professional commercial roof contractors provide:

  • Roof maintenance & repair
  • Inspections & leak detection
  • Energy efficient roof systems
  • Complete roof replacement
  • Roof life-extending solutions
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All commercial roofs will have problems at some point. However, the damage they experience and their cost for repair can be determined by three things. These factors are:

  • How often a commercial roof has been inspected and maintenanced by a qualified roofing professional
  • The quality of the roofing products that make up the roof, and how those products hold up in an area’s climate and other outdoor conditions
  • The current age and condition of the roofing system itself

For our customers’ roofing repair needs, as well as on other commercial jobs, we use Conklin roofing products. These products have been a top choice for many commercial roofing contractors, building owners and facility managers, architects, and other professionals for over 40+ years. Plus, they have been installed on over 2 billion square feet of roofing in the United States, and they are backed by renewable non-prorated warranty coverage on all labor and materials. These non-prorated warranties are some of the most comprehensive warranties in commercial roofing and last for up to 20 years, depending on the product used.

Conklin products also offer many other benefits:

  • Can extend an old roof’s life for another 20-25 years
  • Building owners can save up to 30% on annual cooling costs with the roofing products’ white, reflective surfaces
  • Are fully adhered to the old roof, completely seamless, and completely waterproof
  • Are flexible and elastomeric, meaning they expand and contract well in hot and cold weather conditions
  • Able to hold up against hurricane-force winds, hail storms, leaks, ongoing solar radiation, and other causes of roofing trouble
  • Strengthen a building’s structural support for the long haul
  • Can save up to 50% on avoided roof replacement costs

Should you be interested in learning more about our Choice Roof Contractors’ professional services, do not hesitate. Give us a call today at 800-670-5583 to schedule a free local roof estimate.

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Written by: Ian Myers
Ian Myers
Ian was the very first team member brought on by the original co-founders of the Choice Roof Contractor Group to assist with nationwide growth. Since then he has written 120+ blog posts and provided excellent support to the roofing contractors in the group. Through his multiple roles in the commercial roofing industry, he has gained tremendous knowledge in the sector.