Utility bills aren’t cheap, and sometimes simple things like your roof can have a major impact on what you pay. A damaged roof can make your utility bill rise, while a new roof can lower your electric bill. How much your bill fluctuates will depend on a variety of factors, but if your commercial roof isn’t in great shape, it could be costing you more than you think.
How long has it been since your last roof inspection and/or repair? If it’s been a while, you might have some issues impacting your utility bill. When your roof goes through constant changes with the weather, it wears it down pretty fast. For instance, repeated exposure to heavy rain, snow, hail, and wind can damage a roof over time.
The condition of your roof can increase your utility bill, and here are the top four culprits.
If you have broken or broken membranes, the outside air will perpetually find its way inside, forcing you to run the heater or A/C for as long as you want to stay warm or cool. In a commercial building like an office, this can mean running air conditioning all day every day in the summer to keep employees cool.
Your ductwork will also become over-stressed because your HVAC system will need to work harder to heat and cool your space. Extra stress will increase your electric bills and create more wear and tear on the unit, which can result in more frequent repairs.
Another common cause is a roof that isn’t properly insulated. Even when your roof is in perfect condition, a poorly-insulated building will allow heat to escape, which will force your heater to continue running and your electric bill will increase.
If the insulation under your roof is poor, moisture can collect in the attic space and decrease the energy efficiency of your HVAC system. Additionally, this also causes mold and mildew to form under your roof, which is another problem of its own.
If you’ve ever avoided wearing black clothing in the summer to stay cool, you know that darker colors attract heat. Dark colors absorb the sun’s electromagnetic radiation, while light colors reflect it and stay cool.
This same principle applies to your roof; darker roofing materials will attract more heat. This can be good or bad, depending on your situation. For instance, if your building isn’t well-insulated and it’s covered by a lot of trees, you might welcome the extra warmth. However, with good insulation, the extra heat might force you to run your air conditioner for long periods of time, which increases your electric bill.
When your roof needs some work, you have a few different options. You can make repairs, restore your roof, or replace it entirely. There are pros and cons to each of these options.
- Repairing your roof. Repairs are ideal when your problems are small. For instance, it’s easy to replace loose or broken shingles and reseal areas around your chimney and other vents. If a tree fell and damaged a part of your roof, that’s also an easy repair. If your building has water damage from an ongoing leak, your situation might be beyond a simple repair.
- Restoring your roof. This is the middle ground between repairing and replacing your roof. It’s possible for a roof to be restored when the damage doesn’t impact more than 20% of the roof. You can also have part of your roof replaced, but unless you have spare shingles, the patch job could end up looking bad.
- Replacing your roof. If the damage is severe and restoration isn’t an option, you’ll need to replace your roof. Usually, it’s older roofs that need to be replaced when they’re nearing the expected lifespan of around 15 to 20 years.
When you have a cool roof, your energy bills will automatically be lower because your building won’t be absorbing the excessive heat from the summer. Combine a cool roof with great insulation and you’ll see lower bills in the winter, too!
You might be wondering if getting a new roof will reduce your electric bill, and the answer is yes. If your utility bill is creeping up because your roof is in disrepair, then replacing your roof will lower your electric bill, especially in a warm climate.
The larger your commercial space, the more impact your roof will have on your electric bill. If your bills have been unusually high, or you’d like to tighten up your energy efficiency, a new commercial roof might be the solution you’ve been looking for.
At Roofcorp of America, we provide commercial roofing in Seattle and serve the needs of commercial, industrial, and multi-family properties. We can replace, restore, or repair your roof to make it more energy-efficient and prevent other common problems that stem from a roof in disrepair.
If you’d like to learn more about getting your roof repaired or replaced, contact us for a roof inspection or to get a free estimate on a roof replacement.