Roofing - Commercial

This guideline has been developed to assist you in obtaining a permit when tearing-off or installing a new roof covering on commercial buildings. Prior to performing roofing work, a permit must be obtained from the City of Wheaton Building Department. Provided below is information that addresses what needs to be submitted to the City, pertinent building codes and permit fees. These guidelines are by no means all-inclusive, but they do identify the most critical requirements that are involved in this type of project. Please review this information and call the City of Wheaton Building Department with questions.

Associated Documents
All associated documents are provided below.

Required Submittals
The following documents need to be submitted to initiate a review of your project:

  1. Building Application for Permit shall include: Site address, description of work (including the proposed R-Value), roofing contractors company name and company’s state roofers license number, cost of work, permit applicant contact information, etc.
  2. Provide a copy of the contractors’ un-limited roofing license and contract.
  3. Who can perform the work
    Unlimited roofing license - Roofing businesses are unlimited in nature and include roofing on residential, commercial and industrial properties.
  4. Definitions
    Commercial Building. For this code, all building that is not included in the definition of “Residential building.”
    Residential Building. For this code, includes detached one and two dwellings and multiple single-family dwellings (townhouses) and Group R-2, R-3 and R-4 buildings three stories or less in height above grade plane.
  5. Roof R-Value
    Per the 2018 International Energy Code, the minimum R-value for new roofs are:
    1. R-30 when the insulation is entirely above the roof deck.
    2. R-38 when the insulation is installed in the attic and other areas.
  6. Street occupancy permit (If the staging area is in the city right-of-way)
    Provide Engineering Application for Permit along with information of staging area to include: Schedule of work, type and the number of barricades, number, and location of parking spaces to be occupied, etc.

Applicable Codes
The City of Wheaton has adopted, either by City ordinance or by code referenced the following codes for all commercial construction within the city:

  • International Building Code 2018
  • International Energy Code 2018 Edition

All code modifications by local ordinance are available for viewing within the applicable section headings of the Wheaton Municipal Code (Chapter 22, Buildings and Building Regulations).

Copies of these modifications and of the codes listed above are also available at the Wheaton Public Library as referenced materials.

Significant Codes and Definitions and Exceptions
Manufacture’s installation requirements. All roof coverings, underlayment, flashing and associated components must be installed per the manufactures’ installation specifications.

The process of installing an additional roof covering over an existing roof covering without removing the existing roof covering.

This term refers to the process of adding a new roof covering on top of the existing roof system without removing the existing roofing system. See definitions of “Roof replacement” and “Roof recover.” See Chapter 5 {CE} for requirements for roof repairs.

See code section C503.1 exception #5 below.

Reconstruction or renewal of any part of an existing roof for the purpose of its maintenance.

Roof repair is distinguished from roof recovering and roof replacement. It is limited to actions aimed at maintaining an existing roof and restoring portions that have been damaged. Roof repairs are typically exempt from permit. See definitions of “Roof recover” and “Roof replacement.” See Chapter 5 {CE} for requirements for roof repairs.

The process of removing the existing roof covering, repairing any damaged substrate and installing a new roof covering.

This term refers to the process of removing an existing roof covering and replacing it with a new covering. This is distinguished from roof recovering, where the new cover is added on top of the existing roof cover. See definitions of “Roof recover” and “Roof repair.” See Chapter 5 {CE} for requirements for roof repairs.

See code section C503.1 exception #8 below for any roof slope that is 2:12 or less.


Alterations to any building or structure shall comply with the requirements of Section C503 and the code for new construction. Alterations shall be such that the existing building or structure is no less conforming to the provisions of this code than the existing building or structure was prior to the alteration. Alterations to an existing building, building system or portion thereof shall conform to the provisions of this code as those provisions relate to new construction without requiring the unaltered portions of the existing building or building system to comply with this code. Alterations shall not create an unsafe or hazardous condition or overload existing building systems. Alterations complying with ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1. need not comply with Sections C402, C403, C404, and C405.

Exceptions: The following alterations need not comply with the requirements for new construction, provided the energy use of the building is not increased:

  1. Storm windows installed over existing fenestration.
  2. Surface-applied window film installed on existing single-pane fenestration assemblies reducing solar heat gain, provided the code does not require the glazing or fenestration to be replaced.
  3. Existing ceiling, wall or floor cavities exposed during construction, provided that these cavities are filled with insulation.
  4. Construction where the existing roof, wall or floor cavity is not exposed.
  5. Roof recover.
  6. Roof Membrane Peel and Replacement.
  7. Air barriers shall not be required for roof recover and roof replacement where the alterations or renovations to the building do not include alterations, renovations or repairs to the remainder of the building envelope.
  8. Roof replacements for roof systems 2:12 slope or less shall comply with the low slope roof insulation requirements unless the installation of insulation above the structural roof deck, and necessary to achieve the code-required R-Value, is deemed infeasible by the code official to accommodate the added thickness of insulation above the roof deck. Conditions of infeasibility due to flashing heights presented by existing rooftop conditions include, but are not limited to, HVAC or skylight curb, low door or glazing, parapet, weep holes, drainage patterns, cricket or saddle construction. These conditions are subject to the manufacturer’s specifications, manufacturer’s installation instructions, and code official approval.

International Energy Code 2018 Edition Section C503.1

Please provide a written explanation of the reasons exception #8 was used for this specific project. The response will be used to determine if the exception is allowed for this specific project.

Permit Fees
For associated Building fees, please refer to Appendix B7 Fee Schedule per the Wheaton City Code - Building Fee Schedule.

Contact Us
City of Wheaton Building & Code Enforcement Department
Address: 303 W. Wesley Street, Wheaton, IL 60187
Phone Calls:

  • Submittal Questions: 630-260-2050
  • Commercial Roofing: 630-260-2048

Business hours: Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Revised 3/16/2020