8 Red Flags That Call for Multi-Family Roof Replacement

Quality roofing is essential to the longevity, safety, and value of multi-family housing. However, multi-family roof replacement is often complex due to the size and scale of the projects and the structural challenges of a multi-unit building. 

Multi-family roofing is a major undertaking, and it’s important to make sure any roof replacements are done well. Hiring a professional roofing contractor is recommended. Keep reading to learn how to regularly maintain and inspect your multi-family roof and how to tell when the roof needs replacement.

Understanding Multi-Family Roofing

Multi-family roofing refers to the types of housing where the roofing system for buildings extends to multiple units or residences. This includes:

  • Apartment complexes
  • Condominiums
  • Townhouses
  • Duplexes

When replacing multi-family complex roofing, there are many factors to consider from materials, to waterproofing, drainage, and ventilation. Other considerations include the size of the building, the number of units, and the architectural design. Features such as chimneys and skylights add to the property value but may make roof maintenance and replacement more complicated.

Entrust your multi-family roofing project to the experts at Minnesota Exteriors (MEI) – we understand the complexities of roofing and have the solutions you need.

Multi-Family Roofing vs. Single Family Roofing

Compared to single-family, multi-family roofing is more challenging, more expensive, and more time-consuming. There are separate building codes and regulations to follow for different types of buildings, and anyone doing roof maintenance and replacements should be aware of the codes that apply to their building(s).

With single-family homes, it’s clear who is responsible for roof repairs – the owner of the home. But, who is responsible for roof repairs or replacement in a townhouse, duplex, or other multi-family building?

The answer is not clear-cut. Some Homeowners Associations (HOAs) for condos and townhouses pay for roof repairs with HOA fees. In other cases, the unit’s owner handles the replacement and associated costs. Make sure you understand who is legally obligated to cover costs before any repairs or duplex roof replacements occur.

Importance of Timely Roof Replacements and Maintenance

In Minnesota, roofs must withstand the elements. We get large amounts of snow with heavy winds in the winter, and severe heat in the summer. Wind, snow, and ice can cause extensive damage to your roof.

Regular maintenance is key to catching signs of damage early and preventing any major issues. Roof damage left unfixed can lead to leaks, rot and mold, or dangerous living conditions. How often should you check your roof? Generally, multi-family roofs should be inspected every six months.

Don’t delay necessary replacements and risk further damage; let MEI’s experienced team take care of your multi-family roof replacement needs.


The average roof replacement cost in Minnesota will vary based on the size of the building and the complexity of the roof. With routine maintenance, you can save money in the long run because catching problems early means it will cost less to fix them.

According to Forbes, there are times where you can opt for a partial roof replacement instead of a full roof replacement. The cost will vary depending on the extent of work and the materials being used. Any additional work to maintaining roof insulation and ventilation properly can make buildings more energy efficient can be more upfront costs but save on long term utility bills.

Extends Lifespan of Roof

Most roofs last 15-30 years. However, how regularly you maintain the roof and what weather it is exposed to play significant roles in the lifespan of a roof. Even a small amount of damage can cause big problems if ignored. Timely multi-family roof maintenance and replacement helps you maximize the longevity of your roof.

Curb Appeal

A well-maintained roof makes a building look more attractive to passersby. If you own or manage a rental property, maintaining the roof can improve the property value and interest in the place. Investing in roof maintenance and replacement is an investment in the property.

Find a Bigger Problem

Sometimes what you see on the surface is only a small part of the problem. Structural damage could lead to entire units being unsafe to live in and require large replacements. Catching problems early helps ensure the safety of all residents and property.

If you suspect storm damage or aging, act immediately. Many multi-family roofing contractors provide free quotes and/or inspections.

Learn more about the best roofing shingle types for your next roofing project.

The 8 Red Flags for Multi-Family Roof Replacement

Replacing a shared roof is a big project, and it’s vital to know when to replace a roof. Below are ten signs that it is time to replace your multi-family roof.

Leaks and Water Damage

Look for stains inside the building to identify roof leaks. Other indicators of water damage include sagging or soft spots on the roof. Water damage is a common cause of major roof issues, so check for leaks regularly and address them right away.

Missing or Damaged Shingles

Individual shingles should be aligned and in good condition. Due to weather and time, shingles may begin to break down, crack, or shift position. Hire a professional to assess if you need a partial replacement to maximize the amount of time before the roof needs a full replacement.

Sagging Roof Lines

Your roof might need replacement if you notice sagging roof lines. Numerous causes such as water damage, an aging roof, or too much weight on the roof joints and rafters can lead to your roof sagging. If any part of the roof is visibly sagging, it’s time for a professional roof inspection.

Damaged Flashing

Flashing is a thin metal that is installed on certain parts of your roof. It helps protect roof edges, valleys, and chimneys by directing water away from these areas and off the roof. Damaged flashing could lead to water damage and leaks.

When inspecting flashing, look for corrosion, holes, and warping. Also, check the seals around the flashing for peeling or degradation.

Mold and Mildew Growth

Mold and mildew are clear signs of water damage. You may see or smell these red flags. Ideally, you will spot water damage before mold or mildew develops, but it can happen quickly, especially in humid areas.

Higher Energy Bills

It’s normal for energy bills to fluctuate based on the season. But, if you notice a consistent increase in utilities that cannot be explained by other causes, it may be due to roof damage. The roof may have a hole or crack that is letting air in or out. Alternatively, there may be damage that is not allowing the roof to vent properly.

Find the expertise and support you need for your next multi-family roofing project with Minnesota Exteriors.

Damaged or Blocked Gutters

Water drainage is key to protecting a large roof from leaks. Damaged or blocked gutters are a sign that water may not be draining off the roof properly. You may be able to clean them yourself if you are comfortable on a ladder. Damaged gutters should be replaced by a professional.

Age of Roof

Do you have an asphalt roof older than 20 years? If so, it may be time to start planning your apartment complex or townhouse roof replacement.

What to Do If You Spot These Red Flags

Whether you found a townhouse roof leak or it’s time to do a full apartment complex roof replacement, handling it as soon as possible is crucial. Here’s a general guideline for how to respond to multi-family roof red flags:

Have you spotted this red flag on your roof? Contact MEI today; we’re ready to provide immediate, professional solutions tailored to your needs

Step 1: Document the Problem

Take pictures and notes of any roof damage. Multi-family roof replacement contractors often ask for pictures to help them supply quotes or guide inspections. The more detail you can provide up-front, the faster and more efficient the replacement process will be.

Step 2: Reach out to a Professional

Multi-family roof replacement should be done by experienced contractors. Start by scheduling an inspection so that the experts can get a complete understanding of your roofing needs. MEI can provide you with a free quote for any commercial roofing project. No multi-roof full or partial replacement is too big or small for us to tackle.

Step 3: Plan for the Replacement

Take time to do your research to understand what is needed and why. Work with the contractors to create a timeline and budget. Make sure to give your tenants adequate notice of the project so that they can plan accordingly. It may be loud while the roof project is being completed.

Don’t Let Red Flags Wreak Havoc: Contact MEI for Expert Multi-Family Roof Replacement Today

Anyone who owns or maintains a multi-family building should inspect the roof at least once every six months. Look for water damage, cracked shingles, damaged flashing, and clogged gutters. Check the entire roof system, and fix any minor problems immediately to prevent unnecessary roof replacements. When it is time for a new roof, contact a reputable multi-family roof replacement contractor.

MEI can replace any asphalt commercial roof from modern apartment complexes to old duplexes. We have an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau website, and customer references are available on our website. We’re committed to providing quality service you can recommend to your friends and family. Request a free quote today, and we will get back to you within 48 hours.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How often should roofs be inspected?

A: Roofs should be inspected at least once every six months. Also, make sure to inspect your roof after any severe storm or weather event such as hail or strong winds.

Q: How often should roofs be replaced?

A: Determine the lifespan of your roof based on the materials used. For example, 25-year asphalt shingles should be replaced after about 20 years.

Q: How long do roof inspections take?

A: While roof inspections for single-family homes can be done in an hour or less, they will take a bit longer for multi-family buildings. The exact duration of the inspection will depend on the size, layout, and condition of the building, and the complexity of the roof system.

Q: How do you get a roof inspection?

A: Any licensed commercial roofer can do a roof inspection. Many times, this service is free as part of the initial consultation. Contact MEI’s experienced contractors today to get your free multi-family inspection.