When you own a commercial building, you want to have as few maintenance to-dos as possible. But when it comes to your commercial flat roof, you won’t want to skip out on any necessary roofing maintenance. Whether you’ve owned your commercial property for decades or you just purchased it new to you, you want to be certain the roof is in great condition. So, how long does a commercial flat roof last and what might create the need for a replacement sooner?

Commercial Flat Roof Life Span

In general, a flat roof on a commercial building could last anywhere from 20-40 years with regular maintenance. This varying lifespan depends on what many factors including what material it is made of. See the types of roofs to consider when preparing for commercial roof repair or replacement.

PCV Roofing

As one of the most popular types of commercial flat roof material, typically PCV roofing has a life expectancy of between 15-30 years. These roofs are quite strong and long-lasting. These roofs are made of thermoplastic material with heat welded seams, making them extremely strong with a minimum breaking point of 300 lbs/inch. PVC is an excellent choice for durability, but it can be on the more expensive side.

Build-Up Commercial Roofs

The build-up roof, also known as the tar and gravel commercial roofs, can last between 15 and 20 years. It consists of piles of alternating layers of bitumen like coal, tar, asphalt, or some other type of sealant, with the other layers being gravel or other similar materials. The main advantage of build-up roofs is that they can support a lot of weight and allow for heavier traffic on the roof. However, the downside is that great stability is required to hold the roof.

EPDM Rubber Roof Membranes 

Commonly known as the rubber roof, EPDM commercial roofs can last between 10-15 years. While EPDM has a shorter lifespan than other materials, it has the advantage of being relatively inexpensive. EPDM is frequently one of the most popular roofing materials, and it readily absorbs heat, giving you the advantage of lowering your utility bills.

Modified Bitumen Asphalt Roofing

Modified bitumen roofing material can last approximately 10-20 years. This multi-ply roofing material can be difficult to install, but once installed, the building benefits from its multi-layer construction. Modified bitumen, like EPDM, absorbs heat quickly, so it also has the advantage of lowering utility costs. It is made of asphalt combined with polymerized rubber or plastic, then reinforced with fiberglass to create a rugged-yet-flexible waterproof membrane.

TPO Thermoplastic Polyolefin Roofs

TPO roofs can last for 20 years or more. TPO roofing is a relatively inexpensive rubber roofing material that’s most often used on commercial buildings. TPO stands for Thermoplastic Polyolefin and comes in rolls that are laid out and the seams are glued down. These roofs are very energy efficient as well as resistant to fire, chemicals, punctures, and winds. These roofs are popular due to their inexpensive cost combined with good durability.

Factors That Influence Commercial Roof Lifespan

Extreme Weather Changes

Extreme weather and drastic weather changes can have negative impacts on the lifespan of any roof, including a commercial flat roof. Mid-Missouri is no stranger to extreme cold and heat, sometimes all within the same week. Missouri also sees severe thunderstorms, large hail, high winds, snow, and ice often throughout the year. Damage that occurs from severe weather must be repaired as soon as possible or the lifespan of your roof will greatly decrease. 

Ignoring Roof Repairs and Maintenance

Commercial roofs frequently need replacing much sooner than you’d expect due to neglect, despite the fact that they might and should last considerably longer. With that comes a significant loss of ROI and an increase in maintenance expenses throughout the life of the structure. A commercial roofing professional’s regular inspections can save a building owner thousands of dollars in massive, expensive repairs and replacements. This is by far the most effective way to extend the life of your roof system.

Call Manor for Your Commercial Roofing Needs

Manor’s roofing professionals take great pride in the workmanship of every roof we touch. Our trained and certified roofing experts use trusted and established products with the latest technology to ensure lasting quality. You’ve already invested in your commercial building, so invest in your commercial roof with the team and Manor Roofing. Contact us today or call 573-445-4770 to schedule a Commercial Roof Inspection.