How Long Does A Flat Roof Last: A Homeowner’s Guide

Posted on January 11, 2023

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How Long Does A Flat Roof Last: A Homeowner’s Guide

Flat roofs on homes and apartments can last between 20 to 40 years with proper maintenance. If you want to replace your old roof or get a new flat roof for your home, this article will take you through the best options that can last for years!

At OConnor Contracting, we help people learn more about roofs and exteriors so they can make more informed decisions about their desired roofing and home improvement projects.  We know that nobody wants to compromise the safety and satisfaction of their family and investment.

In this article, we’ve answered the question “how long does a flat roof last?” We’ve also shared some easy ways in which homeowners can extend the lifespan of flat roofs on their homes.

How Long Do Flat Roofs Last?

Different types of flat roofs are available to cover homes, each with a specific lifespan. Starting from a minimum of 15 years of longevity, you can get a flat roof that can stand strong for almost 50 years! The most common flat roofs in the United States are EPDM, TPO, modified bitumen, and metal flat roofs.

EPDM Roof Life Expectancy: 30 Years


EPDM roofs can last up to 30 years on a home in the U.S., depending on factors such as the installation method and weather conditions. EPDM roofs are best for states that experience hot summers, hail, or snowy winters, as the material is highly impact-resistant and can withstand extreme temperatures. States such as Wisconsin and New York are well-suited for EPDM roofs as the material is naturally black, absorbing heat to keep the interior warm during wintertime. EPDM roofs are also a great option if you live in an area that gets heavy rainfall every year.

TPO Roof Life Expectancy: 25 Years

TPO Roof

TPO roofs can last up to 20-25 years on U.S. homes. TPO roofs best-fit homes in states with moderate to high temperatures and frequent UV exposure, such as Florida, Texas, and Arizona. They are also suitable for states with average rainfall and snowfall, like California, Nevada, and Colorado. TPO roofs are not recommended for regions prone to hail or blizzards, as the material is not ideal for high-impact, heavy snow, and ice accumulation.

Modified Bitumen Roof Life Expectancy: 20 Years

Modified Bitumen Roof

Modified bitumen roofing is a flat roofing system comprised of multiple layers of asphalt (bitumen) and reinforcement materials like polyester or fiberglass. The asphalt is also modified with various additives to improve its performance and durability. On average, modified bitumen roofs have a lifespan of around 15-20 years. But if you live in an area with mild weather conditions, you can get more years out of a modified bitumen roof with proper care.

Metal Flat Roof Life Expectancy: 30 to 50 Years

Metal is surely the longest-lasting flat roof material. Metal flat roofs have an average lifespan of around 30 years. Some flat metal roofs can last up to 50 years or more, depending on the type of metal, panel thickness, roof coatings, and installation method. For example, the standing seam system is widely known for its long lifespan and weathertight mechanism. 

A flat roof can be a cost-effective and practical choice for a home, but you need to do your part to make it last as long as possible. Below we’ve highlighted some easy ways to extend the lifespan of a flat roof.

How To Extend The Lifespan Of A Flat Roof

Homeowners can take several key steps to help prolong a flat roof’s lifespan, including regular maintenance, proper drainage, and using quality materials. By following these tips, you can be sure that your flat roof will protect your home for decades without replacement.

Regular Maintenance

Inspecting and maintaining a flat roof helps identify potential issues early on before they become serious problems. This can include frequent cleanings of the roof, checking for leaks, and making any necessary repairs.

Proper Drainage

A proper roof drainage system plays a significant role in protecting a flat roof from water damage. Make sure that the drains are placed correctly and that there are no clogs in the drainage system that could cause water to pond on the roof. Pooling water tends to seep under the roofing material and leak through the roof, causing damage to anything below it.

Quality Materials

This includes choosing a durable and UV-resistant membrane and a high-quality insulation layer. Since TPO roofs are relatively new on the market and are still developing, there are different versions of the membrane out there. You need to pick a membrane offered by a reliable and reputed brand.

Correct Installation

There are many different ways to install flat roofs, such as ballasting, sealing, and nailing, among others. You must hire a licensed and experienced flat roof contractor who knows which method is best for your home and how to install the roof perfectly.

Reflective Coatings

Roofers apply reflective roof coatings on top of the flat roof to reduce heat absorption and prevent UV damage. This is essential to avoid problems like overheating of the roofing material and home, blisters, and the issue of oil canning on metal roofs. 

Regular Roof Inspections

For a flat roof, it’s important for you to get a professional roof inspection at least twice a year. You can have one before winter arrives and another after the summer. Roof inspections are also necessary after severe weather events to prevent any potential damage and make necessary repairs.

Roofing contractors offer preventative maintenance plans for flat roofs, so you don’t have to worry about scheduling a check every six months. This plan may also cover roof cleaning and coating if necessary. If you want to talk to a flat roofing expert, feel free to reach out for a quick call.

Get The Most Durable Flat Roof For Your Home

At OConnor Contracting, we offer free roof inspections and repair estimates to all homeowners in Western New York. We are proud to have a team that’s highly skilled and experienced with flat roofs. We also understand what you expect from someone who’s going to work on your home– safety, honesty, and all your needs met. That’s why hundreds of homeowners in Buffalo, Amherst, and surrounding areas, trust us with their homes. 

If you are looking for a flat roof repair or replacement service, we can do a job that exceeds your expectations. We work with industry-leading manufacturers like Carlisle Syntec to stay true to our promises.

We hope we’ve answered everything regarding the question, “ how long does a flat roof last?” If you have any questions or doubts, call us at (716)-600-7663. We will be happy to guide you with a free consultation.

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