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What does the term recover mean?

Roofing Contractor

Lisa Sprick

The roofing industry uses the term “recover” to mean the installation of a new
roofing system over an existing one. Advantages of this approach are cost savings
associated with not having to remove and dispose of the current roof covering, the
reduction of materials sent to landfills, and because the existing roof layer stays
in place, the interior is protected from potential water damage while the new roof
is being installed. An important issue to address prior to any recover process is
whether moisture is present within the existing system. Trapping water is a problem
that often occurs with improperly installed recover projects leading to dry-rot
and/or mold growth if not corrected. Also, steep sloped roofs frequently suffer
aesthetically due to the previous roof layer being visible depending on the type of
new roof system covering it.
A key factor determining the feasibility of a recover project is establishing how
many roof layers are currently in place. Most building codes allow a maximum
of two roof systems on a structure, usually due to the weight associated with the
roofing materials. Other code-related issues are wind up-lift and fire resistance,
which the building’s insurance carrier may also influence through specific
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