Plan Your School’s Roof Replacement With Our Step-by-Step Guide

Posted on May 8, 2024

school roof replacement

A well-maintained roof is essential to shield teachers, students, and classroom materials from the weather. Unfortunately, many schools disregard their roofing systems until serious problems like leaks, mold growth, or even structural damage occur. By then, a roof replacement could be very expensive and disruptive. For this reason, preparing for the needs of your building and taking proactive measures to address them is crucial.

In this comprehensive, step-by-step blog post, we’ll help school administrators navigate the school roof replacement process smoothly and efficiently.

Why Is A Roof Replacement Necessary For Schools?

There are many reasons why a school needs to replace its roof. First of all, preventing possible risks like leaks, structural damage, and mold growth guarantees the security of students and teachers. A safe roof also keeps the building’s infrastructure and valuable educational materials safe from weather-related damage, maintaining the learning environment. 

A well-kept roof also improves energy efficiency, lowering utility costs and supporting sustainability. Ultimately, investing in a roof replacement protects future generations of students and teachers and shows a dedication to the longevity and well-being of the school overall.

Here are other reasons why you would need a roof replacement: 

  • Leaks and water damage: Older roofs are more vulnerable to leaks and structural issues. Full replacement ensures lasting protection.
  • Age and condition: On average, roofs last 20 to 30 years. If a school’s roof is over 25 years old, replacing it avoids problems.
  • Energy efficiency: New roofs with better insulation cut cooling costs by up to 40%.
  • Maintenance and disruption: Constant repairs on an aging roof are costly and disruptive. Installing a new roof reduces maintenance needs.
  • Aesthetics and curb appeal: A new roof improves appearance, making a positive impression on the community.

Steps To Prepare For School Roof Replacements

Here are the steps you can expect to be a part of your roof replacement process. 

School roof replacement
School roof replacement

1. Assess the Condition of Your Existing Roofing Material

Evaluating the current condition of your school’s roof is necessary before preparing for a replacement. An expert contractor looks for indications of aging, such as leaks, water stains, and cracked shingles. 

In addition, they assess drainage, ventilation, and underlying structures. Even seemingly sound roofs might require replacement to avoid further problems, as roofing materials only last 20 to 30 years. This assessment directs the scheduling, planning, and resolving of underlying issues for the project.

2. Setting a Budget and Timeline

After deciding to replace the roof, it’s essential to establish a reasonable budget and schedule. Get estimates from different contractors while considering labor, supplies, permits, and backup plans. 

Consider school schedules to minimize disruptions to the students and teachers. Aim for the replacement to take place during summer break, or another extended period of time. Create a thorough project schedule with the contractor considering the weather, material delivery, and prep work. This guarantees a productive and successful replacement process.

3. Choosing the Right Roofing Materials

The choice of roofing materials significantly influences the cost, performance, and lifespan of the roofing structure. Consider energy efficiency, resilience to weather, durability, and beauty. Seek professional advice while considering the local weather, the likelihood of severe weather, and school preferences. 

Some popular choices for school roofs include EPDM, modified bitumen or TPO flat systems, and asphalt shingles. Carefully consider the benefits and drawbacks of each to determine the best, most cost-effective course of action.

4. Hiring a Qualified Roofing Contractor

For a school roof replacement to be successful, hiring a reliable and skilled roofing contractor is essential. Look for locally based contractors, especially those who work on schools, and who have a lot of experience with large-scale school roofing projects. Verify the credentials, coverage, and experience. Consult references and evaluate your project management and communication abilities. A capable contractor will guarantee high-quality completion and offer a comprehensive project plan. You can also check with the Better Business Bureau for their ratings.

5. Obtaining Permits and Approvals

Before starting the roof replacement, obtain all necessary permits and approvals from local authorities to avoid fines or delays. Research the types of permits you need from the building department and school district. Factor in time for the permits to be approved into the project timeline to prevent code violations.

  • Building Permit: As is required by most municipalities, obtain a permit for your roof replacement.
  • Zoning Approval: Ensure roofing materials and changes comply with local zoning rules.
  • Historic Preservation: If the school is historic, get approvals for exterior modifications.
  • Environmental Permits: Depending on your situation, you may need to secure permits for stormwater management or erosion control.

6. Prepare for the Replacement Process

To ensure a seamless roof replacement, it is crucial to prepare everyone for any potential disruptions or inconveniences. This could involve calling an assembly to address the project schedule, any building access restrictions, and possible dust or noise problems that teachers and students should be aware of. 

You might also need to plan the temporary relocation of classrooms or events and ensure that staff and students are safe while the old roofing structure is being replaced. It’s better to consider having a replacement take place during school breaks to minimize disruptions and guarantee a successful outcome.

7. Post-Installation Maintenance and Inspection

A post-installation maintenance and inspection schedule is extremely important for the new roof to last and function properly. Establish proactive maintenance, such as debris removal and sealant checks, and schedule routine inspections by an experienced professional. Handle small concerns as soon as possible to avoid bigger ones from occurring and guarantee a secure learning environment.

This may include tasks such as:

  • Cleaning gutters and downspouts to prevent water buildup and potential leaks.
  • Inspecting and resealing any caulking or flashing around vents, chimneys, or other protrusions.
  • Removing debris, such as leaves or branches, that could otherwise damage the roofing surface.
  • Checking for any signs of wear, damage, or potential leaks after severe weather events.

When Is The Right Time To Get a School Roof Replacement?

The best time to replace a school roof is when the weather is moderate, like in spring. This helps prevent damage from moisture and makes it easier for workers to do their job. It’s also good to do it during school holidays or summer breaks so it doesn’t disturb classes and keeps the students and teachers safe from construction dangers. When deciding when to replace a roof, it’s important to think about how old the roof is, if there’s any damage, how well it handles heat, and if it needs better protection from moisture.

What Kind Of Roofing Material Is Common For Schools?

Metal Roofs:

Metal roofs, like standing seam metal, are popular for Louisiana schools due to their durability and fire resistance. They’re energy-efficient when painted in light colors. Despite higher initial costs, their long lifespan often balances out expenses.

Single-Ply Membranes:

For Louisiana schools, TPO and EPDM roofing membranes offer affordability and effectiveness. They’re sturdy, energy-efficient, and can be coated for extra protection.

Modified Bitumen and BUR Roofs:

Modified bitumen and built-up roofing (BUR) are common for flat roofs on Louisiana schools. They offer reliable protection but may have slow installation and leak-finding challenges.


Although replacing the roof at your school is a major task, it can go well with the correct preparation and execution. By following the easy steps outlined here, you can guarantee that your school will receive a new roof on schedule, within budget, and with the highest possible level of quality and safety. 

And when it comes to expert roof replacement services for schools, trust Empire Roofing & Exteriors. Our team specializes in school roof replacements, ensuring students and staff stay safe and protected. To get the best roof replacement services contact us today to learn more about how we can help your school get the quality roof it deserves. Give us a call at (225) 347-8877.