No matter how well constructed, the sad reality is that your roof will eventually wear out. No roof lasts forever. In a climate such as Florida’s, which is prone to high winds, rainstorms, hurricanes, and other severe weather conditions, the amount of wear and tear your roof experiences will be more pronounced. As a responsible homeowner, you need to keep this in mind.
In this post, we’ll explore the life expectancy of a flat roof, focusing on the different types of flat roofing materials available and how long you can count on them to deliver effective service.
The Life Expectancy of BUR Flat Roofing
A Built-Up-Roof is made out of alternating layers of gravel and tar to provide a durable, waterproof roofing solution. While this type of roof offers effective functionality, it has a relatively short lifespan because it is prone to leakages over time.
Standing water may trickle down through the different layers, which might occur at different spots on the roof. These weak points will need regular maintenance as they occur, involving plenty of time-consuming work.
The Life Expectancy of EPDM Flat Roofing
An EPDM roof is a large roll of tough rubber that forms a durable, waterproof flat roofing solution. They are simple to install and require little maintenance, making them popular for commercial and residential property owners.
Generally speaking, an EPDM roof can last anywhere between 15 to 30 years, depending on the prevailing climatic conditions.
The maintenance burden of such a roof is comparatively cheap, as you can remove any damaged or worn-out sections of the roof and replace them with new pieces.
The Life Expectancy of PVC Flat Roofing
This type of vinyl plastic roofing provides a robust guard against inclement weather and performs well in hot climates. This is because it will reflect solar radiation rather than absorb it, helping keep the building underneath it cool and optimizing its energy efficiency.
The downside of PVC roofing is its complex installation process, and any maintenance or repair operations will typically call for the hot welding of replacement pieces onto the roof. If this type of roof is not regularly maintained, it will become prone to premature failure in the form of leakages. However, you can expect a PVC to remain effective for over 20 years with proper care.
The Life Expectancy of TPO Flat Roofing
Thermoplastic Polyolefin Elastomer (TPO) is a relatively recent roofing material designed to withstand various climatic conditions. TPO is relatively easy to install and maintain compared to other flat roofing materials.
You should, however, always seek out experienced roofing experts to perform any installation, repair, and maintenance exercises on a TPO roof because a poorly installed roof will be prone to premature failure. A properly installed TPO roof can be expected to deliver more than 20 years of effective service.
How To Maximize the Life Expectancy of a Flat Roof
While it is inevitable that your roof will eventually wear out and require replacement, there are certain measures you can take as a property owner to achieve the maximum longevity of your roof. These include:
Carrying Out Regular Inspections
The most effective measure to ensure that you get the most service from your roof is to have an expert conduct a thorough roof inspection annually.
This is especially critical if you reside in an area that experiences extreme weather phenomena such as hailstorms, hurricanes, tropical storms, etc.
A professional can spot trouble in its early stages, allowing you to tackle it quickly and saving you time, money, and frustration in the long run.
Minimizing Foot Traffic
Foot traffic on flat roofs is virtually inescapable, but you can preserve your roof for longer by keeping people off it as much as possible.
Although flat roofs seem ideal for walking on, the seemingly minor scrapes and scuffs that come with this traffic are often the precursors of leaks and more extensive roof damage. Aside from cleaning, repair, and inspection crews, try and keep people off the roof as far as possible.
Carrying Out Regular Cleaning Exercises
Leaves, dirt, and other debris accumulating on flat roofs often cause blockages in your roof’s drainage systems. When your drains, scuppers, and gutters get blocked, water will not have any route to leave your roof, leading to standing puddles of water. This will exacerbate the risk of leakages and roof damage, shortening your roof’s lifespan.
Final Thoughts on The Life Expectancy of a Flat Roof
How long your roof will last depends on various factors, such as the prevailing climatic conditions, the type of roofing material involved, and how committed you are to regular cleaning, maintenance, and repair operations.
If you’re in Central Florida and need expert flat roof maintenance, inspection, installation, or replacement, make Alan’s Roofing your first choice. You won’t regret it!