It’s a normal day going into work, you wake up and go about your routine as you always do.
You make the same commute as every other day to the building you own or manage. It’s a rainy autumn morning, or the roads are wet and you assume it rained overnight.
But today, something is different.
You walk into your building and hear a faint dripping sound. Maybe the musty smell of mildew overwhelms you.
As you investigate, you discover water-stained ceiling tiles on your commercial roof. There may even be water already leaking from your ceiling. There’s water on the floor, it smells unpleasant, and anxiety begins to set in.
Why is it leaking? Did a pipe burst or is it a problem with the roof? How much is this going to cost to fix? Does my entire roof need replacing? What needs to be repaired? What am I going to do?
It’s easy for panic to take over you in this situation. As a building owner or property manager, you already have a lot to worry about, and this is another problem.
Try not to stress. We’re here to explain how much commercial roof repairs can cost, why problems may be occurring, and what factors can affect the total cost to fix your roof issues.
How Much Does A Commercial Roof Repair Cost?
Depending on the scope of work, the cost for your commercial roof repair will vary.
A simple hole to patch would be on the lower price level, beginning at about $600. In cases like this, the prices are low because you aren’t paying for many materials, and quick fixes mean labor costs stay inexpensive.
If you have hundreds of lineal feet of damaged seams to repair, your cost will be on the higher end. For many repairs needed and extensive damage, you can expect to pay between $2,500 to $5,000.
Below, we’ll go over some of the factors that can affect the cost of your repair.
Accessibility and Size of Your Commercial Roof
The location, ease of accessibility, and size of your roof play a big role in the total cost of your repair.
It is somewhat common for roofs on taller buildings to have maintenance access through a roof hatch. This is something about your building that you will want to consider. Easy access to a roof will lower labor costs.
The cost will be more expensive if all supplies must be carried through the building to the roof hatch on the top floor, rather than with a ladder on the outside of the building.
If your roof is easy to get to, it will cost less money to repair.
Your roof repairs will cost more in total if your roof is a high-rise, has difficult access, or if you have many roof sections to cross to get to a repair.
For example, if your roof is on a five-story building that has no maintenance access elevator, that would classify it as difficult for our crew to access. This factor would play into landing you on the higher end of the pricing scale for repairs. This is because we cannot easily get material up and down, so the job could need large equipment to move materials, such as a crane.
As far as the size of your roof, 20,000 square feet and under seems to be where everything begins to get less expensive.
Sometimes we repair small tears or holes in a roof and the cost is only $600 to $800.
Sometimes, we repair deteriorated membrane seams around 6-8 HVAC units and the cost is $3,500 to $4,000.
Other times, we get on a 100,000 square foot roof and the repairs and warranty combined are $25,000. This sounds expensive, but a new roof would have cost the owner over $700,000.
Type Of Damage
The most important cost-driving factor is the type and volume of damage on your roof.
As mentioned above; if there is minimal damage that only takes a few hours to repair, you’re looking at a starting price of $600 to $800. Depending on the extent of the damage, we have seen roof repairs cost more than $3,500. The average commercial roof repair cost in Kansas City is between $3,500 and $4,500.
Next, we’ll go over some examples of different types of damage we see and how much they cost to repair.
If a small amount of membrane has deteriorated, you can expect a roof repair price of an average of $25 per square foot.
If a large amount has deteriorated, you may want to consider a restoration system before your roof is too deteriorated to restore.
At that point, you would be facing a full roof replacement expense.
- Cost: The prices begin at $600 for a small amount of damage and can range up to $2,500 for a large amount of damage.
Ponding water adds a tremendous amount of weight to a flat roof system. If there are any minor cracks or crevices in your roof that ponds water the pressure of the water will enter your roof insulation system and begin saturating your roof system. This will cause premature roof failure.
There are 3 different methods to repair ponding water damage, ranging drastically in price and difficulty of commercial roof repair.
Solutions and Cost:
- Commercial Roof Repair Option 1: ExpandoThane & Silicone Repair. The simplest solution is to apply a product that will withstand the ponding water and not allow further damage to occur. This is done by applying the Expandothane Premium Seal System to the ponding areas after a thorough cleaning process. The cost of this solution will cost about $7 to $10 per square foot.
- Commercial Roof Repair Option 2: Self-Leveling Cementitious Product. With this method, we can repair the area with a simple and cost-effective solution. Using a lightweight roof leveling compound designed to minimize ponding water, it can be applied to most roof surfaces and adheres where applied. Once the product dries, the ExpandoThane Premium Seal System is applied to the top of the reinforcement to protect the area from any further ponding situations. The cost of this repair method will be about $15-20 per square foot of the repaired area.
- Commercial Roof Repair Option 3: Full Removal and Replacement of Ponding Area. The third method will require a full tear-out of the damaged areas down to the original decking. The areas would then need to be built back up using similar insulation products and a new roofing membrane of similar like, kind, and quality. The cost of this method depends greatly on the square footage being repaired but should range from $20 to $35 per square foot of the repaired area.
Punctures, Rips, and Tears
These deficiencies are either caused by foot traffic, mechanical work, or by a waterproofing membrane that is at the end of its service life and can no longer withstand the weathering/building movement.
Our team would first clean the area around the deficiency.
Then, we would install a new piece of waterproofing membrane and seal it per industry standards.
- Cost: These repairs cost $75 to $125 each, and would usually fall in the total repair cost of $600 to $1,500.
Organic Growth, Vegetation on Roof, Algae, or Moss
Depending on your roof type, these items could deteriorate your roof membrane. Deterioration causes premature roof failure.
- Cost: If you need these items removed from your roof, the cost could range from $600 to $2,500.
Clogged Drains, Scuppers, Gutters & Downspouts
These need regular cleaning and unclogging. You may also need the services of a plumber to clear a clogged drain if the clog is way down the line.
- Cost: You can expect to pay anywhere from $600 to $2,500 for this service.
Damaged Metal Coping
Coping is the metal U-shaped cap that sits over the parapet walls. It is there to finish off the top of the walls.
When this becomes damaged, the repairs can add up fast.
- Cost: If you have a single piece missing from wind damage, the repair costs could be $600 to $1,000. The price is dependent on the size and style of the coping and if you have a 1 or 2 piece design. If you have a large amount that we need to replace, the cost is $15 to $30 per linear foot. A 20,000 square foot building with an average of 400’ of coping could cost anywhere from $6,000 to $12,000 to replace.
Grease on Roof
Restaurants have grease traps on the roofs that need daily and weekly cleaning. Yet, most never get cleaned.
There is nothing harder on roof membranes than grease or animal fats.
When the grease overflows on the roof membrane, rapid deterioration occurs. We have seen the grease eat a hole in TPO or Modified Bitumen in one or two years.
- Cost: These repairs can be costly, ranging from $1,250 to $5,000, or more depending on the amount of damage. As it rains on the roof, the rainwater will spread the grease, causing a much larger area of repair required.
Most commercial box gutters that we see are 7-8” in size and fabricated in a sheet metal shop in 10’ sections.
These sections will expand and contract at a high rate. With the dirt, debris, leaves, and trash that gets thrown on top of a roof, they can become quite damaged.
- Cost: The cost to power wash and seal all the leaking seams is about $5 to $8 per linear foot. Most of these projects are in the $1,000 to $2,000 range. If we need to replace your gutters completely, the cost will be $20 to $30 per linear foot for new 7-8” box-type gutters with a new downspout.
Wrinkling of Membrane or Mole Runs
When the membrane is wrinkling, most of the time, this is due to careless installation.
The way we can repair this is to reroof or cut out the wrinkled areas. After this is completed, we fasten it down and apply a sealing coat over the repaired area.
- Cost: The repair cost of this is about $8 to $12 per square foot. These repairs will range in the $2,500 to $4,500 cost.
Rusted-Through Metal Panels
Depending on the size of the rusted-out areas, we will install a drop-in metal pan. We will then flash it with sealant and reinforcing fabrics.
- Cost: The cost of this is $125 to $350 per pan, depending on the size of the rusted areas. Drop-in repair pans are typically 2’-6’ in length.
In 2015, we repaired 247 bullet holes in a large 375,000 square foot metal roof. On metal roofs, the bullets will usually penetrate through the metal panels.
On other roof types, we have seen bullets buried up to 1” deep in the membrane/insulation. You may be asking, “Why would there be bullet holes on a roof?”
People fire weapons up in the air all the time, especially during holiday celebrations. What goes up must come down. The larger the roof is, there is more of a chance that a bullet will fall on the roof.
- Cost: To remove and repair one to two bullet holes would be a simple repair of about $600 to $800. To remove and repair 247 bullet holes on a huge commercial roof could cost as much as $10,000 to $20,000, depending on the roof type.
Where Can Your Roof Leak?
Roof leaks are one of the main indicators that you need repairs, and there are many places where leaks can occur. This is usually due to factors such as poor installation/poor design of the roof system, lack of maintenance, and weather damage. Below, we will go over some examples of where your roof could be leaking, and how we can repair it.
Any time there are conjoining roofs, angle changes, skylights, chimneys, or penetrations, there are always metal or membrane flashings that can leak.
The metal and membrane flashings will expand and contract at different rates than other components, so it is common for the flashings to fail.
Flashings are always a maintenance item. Resealing must occur every few years to maintain a watertight seal.
- Cost: Simple flashing repairs will be in the repair range of $600 to $1250, with larger quantities of flashing repairs in the $1,500 to $3,500 price range.
Most penetrate perpendicular up through the roof surface and have flashings that can leak. The most common leaks on skylights are around the aluminum frame and the plastic dome. The seals between the double domes will fail and leak inside the building.
We can seal and clear-coat these to prevent leaks, or we can replace your skylights.
- Cost: The cost to repair a skylight can vary depending on the material. For a fiberglass panel, you’re looking at about $350 to $600. The cost to repair integrated skylights in standing seams is $1,500 to $3,500 each. As far as flat roofs go, you can estimate $350 to $2,500 depending on if you restore or replace them.
Many times, due to all the movement a roof goes through in its life from thermal shock and the constant freeze-thaw cycles, the fasteners will work themselves upward and end up poking a hole in the roof membrane.
A crew would need to remove these and install an oversized fastener with a membrane patch over each one of them for proper repair.
- Cost: These repairs are $75 to $150 per fastener, depending on size. The total repair cost is usually $600 to $2,500. If there are large amounts of fasteners to replace the cost will be much lower per fastener.
Often, the seams will fail due to being improperly heat welded (TPO & PVC) or torched (Modified Bitumen) during the original installation, or the adhesive will fail overtime on an EPDM Rubber roof.
These cannot be resealed (in most cases) and will need to be patched over the top of them with “Strip-In” material. This consists of a 6-8”-wide strip of the same materials, that then adheres in place with primer and adhesive (after a thorough cleaning), or it may be able to be heat welded.
If it is a Modified Bitumen roof, it may need to have the Strip-In material torched in place.
- Cost: The cost will range from $20 to $40 per linear foot to repair. Most seam repair jobs will cost $2500 to $5,000 for smaller repairs.
This is the termination point where the roof membrane goes up the wall and stops.
Many times, contractors will get lazy or not care about quality and skip several of the fasteners in the T-bar. This creates a large void between them, and due to extreme expansion and contraction, can cause a gap there over time.
This will cause rainwater to run down the wall inside the building. Even when installed well, the caulking can delaminate and fail after a few years.
This is a maintenance item that needs to be checked and resealed periodically.
- Cost: If the termination bar becomes damaged or has loose fasteners, the repair cost is $8 to $10 per linear foot, and is usually in the $600 to $2,500 price range for the total repair cost.
Some people refer to these as a pitch pan and some a pitch pocket. Both are the same thing. This
is a flanged square flashing with an open bottom, required when a column or a line comes through a roof. These can be items such as a structural brace, pipe column, gas line, electrical line, communications wiring, or HVAC lines.
The only way to flash and waterproof it is to install a pitch pocket. These pitch pans are filled with a filler, which is a urethane, polyether, or silicone base. Older roofs and unqualified roofers like to use asphalt tar to fill them, which will always dry out and crack open. This allows water to enter the building.
- Cost: The commercial roof repair cost on these is usually $75 to $125 each per pan, depending on the size. If you need a whole new pitch pan due to yours being rusted out, the cost would be more in the range of $350 to $600 each to cut out the old pitch pan, install a new one, fill it, and seal it.
Warranties Available For Commercial Roof Repairs
There are various warranties available to you that can affect the price. Warranties can range in price from free to $.25 per square foot. Some of the warranties offered for commercial roof repairs are:
Contractor’s Labor Warranties
This is the warranty provided by the contractor to cover leaks caused by something that they installed incorrectly.
This warranty lasts anywhere from 30 days to 5 years. The realistic value is that in 2-years’ time, the roof will go through 2 full freeze/thaw cycles. If the contractor installs anything wrong, it would show up during this time, and most likely during the first full year.
- Cost: Labor warranties are either free or under $1,000 for a project.
Manufacturer’s Material Warranties
This is provided by the manufacturer to cover any defects in material processing.
In the event the material is found to be defective, the manufacturer will provide new materials to repair the roof as needed, but not will not provide the materials to replace it.
- Cost: Most of the time, materials warranties are at no cost to the user.
Manufacturer’s Full System Warranties
The manufacturer offers full labor and materials warranty to cover the entire roof. They come in a variety of terms and coverage. This type of warranty is not available for commercial roof repair, but roof restorations and total roof replacement projects.
You can get a 15 to 30-year warranty or a full NDL (No Dollar Limit) warranty. In most cases, the contractor is on the hook for the first two years after installation for any roof leaks that may arise. After the first two years, the manufacturer steps in and covers the remaining balance of the term.
- Cost: Full System Warranties cost between $.05 to $.25 per square foot, depending on the term and coverage. The average cost of a system warranty is $.15 per square foot. All warranty fees have a minimum, which is typically in the $1,500 to $1,800 range, so a small roof would fall under the minimum price, whereas a larger roof would be based on a per square foot price.
Total Roof Warranty
Offered Exclusively by Elite Roof Systems.
We can inspect your roof and give you a list of recommended repairs. If we perform all repairs recommended, we can then provide you a Total Roof Warranty for a term of one, three, or five years.
The warranty includes coverage for all leaks caused by normal wear and tear, as well as damaged membrane, panels, shingles, and tiles, resealing of all pipe boots/flashings, and one free maintenance visit.
- Cost: The cost on this warranty program can range quite a bit depending on roof repairs needed, but the warranty part will have a set fee associated with it of $799, $1,895, and $2,995 for the one, three, and five-year warranty terms, respectively. That covers up to 40,000 square footage of the roof. Anything over that will cost approximately $.02-.03 per square foot.
At this point, you may have found a description of the roof issue you are facing, or you may still be a bit unsure.
There are many building owners and property managers who have never been on their building’s roof and have no interest in getting up there. In this case, they don’t know what the extent or cause of the damage is.
It’s most likely time to contact a commercial roofing contractor in your area to get an inspection or quote.
If you are located within our service area, fill out our contact form to request a quote. Here at Elite Roof Systems, we strive to make your job easy.
When you fill out the form linked above, one of our office representatives will call you to get your inspection scheduled. If you prefer, you can call our office directly at 913-258-5607.
One of our inspectors will come out to your roof, perform a thorough roof evaluation, and provide a proposal to you. This proposal includes a diagnosis of all damaged areas, photos of damaged areas, and how much it will cost for the roof repair.
If you don’t live in our service area (within a three-hour radius of the Kansas City area), you can do a quick Google search for commercial roof repair companies to find one near you.
If you’re looking specifically for a contractor that does coatings for ponding water solutions, the Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance has a search tool to locate one near you.
Thank you for considering us for your commercial roof repair! We hope to hear from you soon and look forward to working with you.