Roof Replacement: How to Know When Your Condo Board Needs to Invest in a New Roof

condo roof inspection and replaecment

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Preventative maintenance plans and ongoing repairs help keep your roof in good condition. However, there will come a time your condo board must invest in a roof replacement. Here we explain how to know when your condo needs a new roof.

Roof Inspections

Roofs have several layers, including insulation, vapour barriers, and surfacing. As the roof ages, the layers slowly erode, leading to damage to the layers below. Performing regular roof assessments will identify the following common signs telling you it’s likely time for a roof replacement:

  • Water Pooling: Water pooling is a sign sections of the roof are shifting. This increases the risk of cracks in areas where the roof dips or develops divots.
  • Bubbling and Blistering: These roof defects are typically caused by adhesion failure. Bubbles form as the separated layers fill with water and/ or air due to issues with installation, insulation, or ventilation. When caught early, these areas can be repaired, but over time you will need to replace either a roof section or the entire roof.
  • Interior Moisture and Leaks: Signs (and complaints) of interior moisture, mould, mildew, unpleasant smells, and leaks are common occurrences when your roof is failing.
  • Cracks, Splits and Tears: When a roof’s membrane is compromised it causes water damage in the plywood or chipboard substrate below, creating all kinds of issues from uneven surfaces to complete deterioration of the wood layer.
  • Flashing: As the roof’s flexible membrane expands and contracts from temperature changes, it can damage the flashing installed at the edge of the roof. This allows serious leaks to infiltrate elements of your building envelope.
  • Organic Growth: Growth such as moss, lichens and algae are signs of moisture and water retention. Organic growth will continue to cause extensive damage to your roof.
  • Lifting Topcoat: Windy conditions can lift the topcoat of the roof panel sections, exposing the layers below.

Conducting semi-annual roof inspections in the spring and fall will help identify issues so you can predict a timeline for your roof replacement.

Roof Amenities

Condos with roof amenities such as a barbecue area, community garden, patio or deck make it more difficult to conduct roof inspections. In this case, use complaints about interior leaks, moisture, smells, and mould as your cue to remove deck materials to look for the cause. To limit damage, roof amenities should include designated walkways to reduce foot traffic and the timely removal of garden debris.

Overall, if you find your annual roof repair expenses exceed 5% to 7% of roof replacement costs, it is time for a roof replacement. A new roof can last an average of 20 years, with a preventative maintenance plan potentially increasing your roof’s lifespan well beyond 30 years.

If you need assistance in effective condo management, the experts at CPO Management Inc. can help. As a Toronto property management company specializing in condo management services, we can help find cost savings through improved efficiency. For more information, reach out to us today.

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