Commercial roofing materials, when installed with good workmanship and proper design and regularly maintained, will last a very long time. But, not forever. Even the best-maintained roofs will eventually require attention. If the roof condition is being effectively monitored through its life, Restoration or Recovery may prove to be viable options for the building, as an alternative to a costly and disruptive full tear-off and Replacement. During a Restoration, a liquid coating is applied to the surface of the existing roof. During a Recovery, a new membrane roof is installed over the existing roof. We are often asked if both Restoration or Recovery are technically viable options for my roof and building, which should I choose?

Substrate Suitability

Most building codes allow for commercial roofs to be Recovered once and nearly any roof to be Restored. However, the allowance by code does not ensure that an existing commercial roof membrane and roof deck are in a suitable condition for Restoration or Recovery. When making this determination a visual inspection and a moisture scan, performed by a trained professional, should always be completed of the entire roof to identify areas of saturated insulation, as that will need to be removed before a Recover or Restoration is undertaken. Most deteriorated membrane roofs can be successfully Recovered as long as saturated insulation is removed from the existing roof system and the roof deck is deemed in good condition. For a roof to be determined suitable for Restoration, a more thorough condition assessment needs to be performed. The supplier of the Restoration coatings should always be consulted on the front-end when making the decision about substrate suitability.

Appetite for Disruption

Construction projects can be disruptive to business and frustrating for commercial building occupants. It is certainly the case that a roof Restoration will be quieter than Recover. So, if noise is a predictable issue for existing tenants, based on the activities being performed in the building, a Restoration may be worth consideration.

Desired Warranty

Roof Restorations and Recovers can come with dramatically different warranties. Most recovers will receive installer and manufacturer warranties with terms and conditions very similar to brand new roofs. Restoration warranties can vary greatly determined mostly by material selection and system design. It is, however, reasonable to assume that the term of a commercial roof Restoration warranty will be shorter in duration than a roof Recovery warranty.

commercial roof restoration


The cost to Restore or Recover your commercial roof can differ significantly due to the types of materials used and the time and effort required to complete the work. The building owner’s budget will therefore often prove to be the single greatest influence on the decision.

Future Plans

The plans you have for the future of your business and your commercial property can play a role in capital project’s decision making. For instance, if a sale of the building is imminent then a different decision may be taken than if the present owner intends to hold and occupy the building for years to come.

Getting Started

At Innovative Roofing Group, we’re the roofing professionals you can count on. Call 404-594-6038 or email us today to learn more about liquid coatings and sheet membrane systems, and let’s decide on a system for your building.