Longevity of Flat Roofs: When to Restore or Exchange

A flat roof has a pitch of fewer than 15 degrees and is a very popular choice for many homeowners when building onto their homes. Flat roofs are easier to maintain and less expensive than traditional roofs. However, because of how they are made, insurers are often hesitant about insuring this type of roof because they are unsure how long it’ll last compared to traditional rooftops.

It may surprise you that if the professionals installed your flat roof correctly and you have had routine maintenance performed on it, it can last up to 50 years before needing to be replaced, which is almost as long as shingled roofs.  The type of materials used will also factor into how long they last. Generally felt and asphalt-based roofs are less durable and won’t last as long as more modern materials like EPDM.

We suggest that you have your roof inspected every spring and fall and after extreme weather to ensure no damage and regular maintenance can be performed. Flat roofs are especially prone to splitting, blistering, ponding, and movement from severe weather, which doesn’t affect the roof’s aesthetics but can lead to leaks and dampness. For more resources about roof repair and replacement, visit thespringfieldroofers.com.

How Do I Know If I Should Repair or Replace My Flat Roof?

Keeping your flat roof in good repair will keep your roof performing its best and prevent substantial damage. We’ve put together this short informative guide to help you know when to have your flat roof repaired or if it’s time to replace it.

The Roof’s Age

The first thing you should consider is how old your flat roof is. No matter how well it was installed, and even if you kept it in proper repair, no roof would last forever. However, once a flat roof reaches the end of its lifespan, repairing it will only help for a few years at most. If your flat roof is close to 20-25 years old, replacing it is the best choice.

Increased Energy Bills

One reason flat roofs are so popular is their ability to save energy. High-quality TPO, PVC, and EPDM roofing helps keep the warm and cool air in your home, reducing the cost of your utilities immensely.

If you’ve noticed that your energy costs have suddenly gone up, this could be due to your roof. If this is the case, you can call your local flat roof repair service for an inspection.

If your flat roof is no longer insulating your home, it may be time to repair it to have it replaced to improve its ability to insulate.

The Roof Is Leaking

If you notice that your roof is leaking or if there are moist spots on your ceiling, it can seriously damage your roof and building structure. If you act quickly, there’s a chance you will have your flat roof repaired. However, if the leaking continues, you’ll probably need your roof replaced; as soon as you notice a leak, you need to call a professional to address the problem immediately.

The Roof Is Visibly Damaged

The easiest way to tell if your roof is damaged is to climb up there and look for yourself. A flat roof is much easier to climb and walk on than a slanted one; however, we recommend that you call a professional to do a more thorough roof inspection to determine if it needs to be repaired or replaced.

The Importance of Flat Roof Maintenance

Roofs are easy to install and then forget; however, a neglected flat roof is likely to sustain damage and leak and have a much shorter lifespan than those kept in good repair. Here are a few things you can do to maintain your roof.

Regular Cleaning

Flat roofs, like pitched roofs, need regular cleaning. We recommend having your rooftop cleaned during your twice-a-year inspections to ensure there is no debris on it. You should also ensure it’s free from leaves and limbs after high winds and extreme weather. Leaves, dirt, and other debris will clog the gutters giving water no way to run off your roof, leading to pooling water and leaks.

Minimize Food Traffic

On flat roofs, people are going to walk on there; after all, someone has to clean it and keep it in good repair—however, the less traffic on your rooftop, the better. Flat roofs, like other roofs, aren’t built to walk on, and scuffs and scrapes can leave them vulnerable to damage.

How We Can Help

The most important thing you can do to extend the life of your roof is to make sure you have the right roofing contractor. Hiring the right contractor for the job means that you can choose high-quality roofing materials rather than low-quality material, a roof that lasts for 15-25 years instead of one that lasts much less.

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