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Flat Roof Lifespans Explored

how long does a flat roof last

If you’re a business owner or you manage a facility, you dread the thought of roof replacement. Major roof work is one of the largest capital expenses that come with owning a building — and that’s why flat roof lifespan is so important. After all, the longer the lifespan, the longer you’ll go without making a huge payment to keep it watertight.

As expert commercial roofers, one of the most common questions we hear is, “How long does a flat roof last?” That answer depends entirely on the type of roof. From EPDM to metal roofs, at Pequea Valley Exteriors, we handle it all. Learn about the lifespan for your flat roof — and discover our restoration solution that adds decades to almost any roof.

How Long Does a Flat Roof Last?

The roof type is the primary factor that determines how long a flat roof will last — next to correct installation, of course. We’ll break down the average flat roof lifespan as well as the factors that make it that way.

The most common types of commercial roofs whose lifespan we’ll explore include:

  • EPDM Roofs
  • TPO Roofs
  • R-Panel Metal Roofs
  • Standing Seam Metal Roofs

EPDM Roofs

epdm roof

Lifespan: 12-year to 15-year

Weakness: The seams

These common types of flat roofs are built using rolls of resilient rubber sheeting. The rubber membrane on these roofs is strong and elastic as it expands and contracts in the sun. However, the seams between sections of the rubber membrane are weak spots. As water can and will infiltrate the seams, this limits the lifespan on EPDM flat roofs.

TPO Roofs

tpo roof

Lifespan: 10-year to 15-year

Weakness: The membrane surface breaks down

This style of flat membrane roof was designed to offer a white surface that reflects the sun’s rays for lower energy bills. After years of baking under the hot sun, the single TPO roof membrane becomes brittle and cracks. These fractures in the roof surface allow for massive water infiltration across the roof surface — and they are the major factor that limits this flat roof’s lifespan.

R-Panel Metal Roofs

r-panel metal roof

Lifespan: 15-year to 20-year

Weakness: The seams

Built of metal panels rather than having a rubber surface, these roofs feature a generally longer lifespan thanks to the durable quality of the roofing steel. Just like EPDM roofs, the seams of R-Panel roofs are vulnerable to water infiltration. While the metal panels tend to be very water-resistant, water can still find a way in which undermines what could be a much longer lifespan.

Standing Seam Metal Roofs

standing seam metal roof

Lifespan: 20-year to 30-year

Weakness: The fasteners

While this type of roof does have somewhat of an angle to it, it is a common type of commercial roof we work on and often is classified as a flat roof. These metal roofs protect the seams from moisture by having them sit at the highest point of elevation on the roof surface. However, the fasteners that keep the panels together are points of weakness. Oftentimes these fasteners show early signs of rust and can even rot away entirely. This leaves holes across the surface for water to enter and destroy the roof.

Learn about our metal roofing services.

Our Roof Restoration Solution

 flat roof restoration

Different flat roof types have different life expectancies, but there is one certainty: your roof will need work one day. While most business owners think reaching their roof’s life expectancy and seeing problems means they’ll pay for a COSTLY replacement, there is actually another solution.

Pequea Valley Exteriors specializes in roof replacement that adds another 18-to-20 years onto any type of roof. Backed by Conklin Roof Solutions, our restoration program directly targets the weaknesses of each roof type, reinforcing against what is most likely to go wrong with them.

Compared to the price of a full roof tear-off and replacement, restoration from Pequea Valley Exteriors typically costs about HALF as much. This adds a minimum of 18 years onto your flat roof, while saving you a significant amount of money.

Pequea Valley Exteriors to Extend Your Flat Roof’s Lifespan

Whether you’d like to get a quote on roof replacement, learn more about roof restoration, or simply find out what type of commercial roof your building has, the first step is a conversation with Pequea Valley Exteriors. We’ll provide you with a free roof inspection and a plan to extend your flat roof lifespan.

In addition to our Conklin restoration services, our commercial roofing experts also provide the roof repair and preventative maintenance you need to fix minor roof issues.

Contact us today to the start the conversation.

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