How Long Does a Commercial Roof Last?
All roofing isn’t created equally. While both residential and commercial roofs go through the same wear and tear, if you’re a business owner, you should start thinking about your roof’s lifespan and how to make sure it lasts for a long time. After all, the last thing you want is for your business operations to shut down temporarily because of unexpected repairs.
In this blog, we’ll cover:
- The average lifespan of a commercial roof
- Which roofing materials last longer than others
- What to do when your roof starts to reach the end of its lifespan
- How to keep your roof in optimal shape in the future
The Average Lifespan of a Commercial Roof
The life expectancy of a commercial roof depends on the type of material used in its construction, but on average, most commercial roofs last anywhere from 10 to 40 years.
Common Roofing Systems
There are several common types of roofs used for commercial buildings: EPDM rubber, TPO, built-up roofs, modified bitumen, and metal roofing systems. Understanding the longevity of different roof types is essential when planning maintenance, budgeting for repairs or replacements, and making sure your business or building remains safe and secure.
How Long Does a Flat Roof Last?
A properly maintained flat roof can last up to 20 years on average. Unlike sloped roofs, flat roofs are generally more practical and cost-effective, which makes them an attractive option for commercial business owners. There are three primary types of flat roofs.
EPDM Rubber Roofs
EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) is a synthetic rubber roofing material. Due to its affordability and ease of installation, it’s one of the most popular commercial roofing materials. The average EPDM roof life expectancy is between 15–20 years with proper maintenance, though many roofs have lasted up to 25 years.
Built-up roofs, otherwise known as BUR roofs, are composed of several layers of asphalt and tar. They are one of the most durable roofing materials, and can last up to 40 years with proper care. BUR roofs have a long life span, but they’re relatively heavy and can be more expensive than other types of roofing materials.
Modified bitumen roofs are asphalt-based membranes reinforced with either polyester or fiberglass. They last between 10–20 years, depending on the quality of the material used and how well they are maintained. The reinforcing materials (polyester or fiberglass) will generally last longer than the asphalt, which means that as the roof ages, it’ll be prone to cracks and leaks.
Newer Roofing Technology
If you’re seeking more non-traditional options for your commercial roofing, you should know about the life-expectancy of increasingly popular roofing materials like TPO and metal roofs.
TPO refers to thermoplastic polyolefin roofing material, which is a combination of rubber and plastic. It’s one of the most durable roofing materials available—in fact, roofs made from TPO can last up to 30 years with proper maintenance. However, this material tends to be more expensive. To prevent leaks and other potential issues, make sure your TPO roof is properly installed by a trained specialist.
Metal roofs can be one of the longest-lasting roofing materials on the market today, and depending on style, the average metal roof life expectancy reaches up to 50 years. There are various types of metal roofs, including:
- Standing Seam Roofing
- Corrugated Metal Roofing
- Copper Roofing
- Powder Coated Metal Roofing
We’re well equipped to handle all kinds of sloped and flat roofing materials. Learn more about our commercial roofing solutions below.
Knowing When Your Roof Has Reached the End of Its Lifespan
If you haven’t scheduled regular maintenance for your commercial roof and it appears to be in fine condition, it might be difficult to spot when your roof needs serious repair. Some telling signs of a failing roof are:
- Cracking, blistering, or peeling of the roof membrane
- Leaks or water damage in the interior of the building
- Deterioration or rust on metal components
- Missing, cracked, or warped shingles
- Broken granules surrounding your property
- Visible signs of wear and tear such as cracks, holes, and uneven surfaces
If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to call in a professional roofer to evaluate the condition of your roof. They can help you determine if your roof is still viable, how much longer it may last, and your next best steps.
How to Keep Your Roof in Shape
So how do you keep your commercial roof in shape going forward? The best way to ensure that your roof has a long, healthy lifespan is to conduct regular inspections and maintenance. A good rule of thumb is to have your roof inspected at least twice a year—once in the spring and once in the fall—to check for signs of wear and tear.
During these inspections, have the roofing professional look for signs of damage like cracks, blisters, and discoloration. Additionally, make sure that the seals around any flashing or vents are still secure. Arrange for frequent visits to have a specialist clean debris like twigs and leaves from your facility’s gutters so that water doesn’t have the chance to sit and cause damage.
Finding a Quality Roofer
Catching small issues early can help businesses avoid costly repairs down the road. That’s why finding a quality roofer with lots of experience in various industries is especially important. As you seek professional help, be sure to ask questions about their qualifications, reviews, insurance coverage, and any guarantees they offer on their work.
Elevated Contracting Is a Leading Roofing Contractor
If you own or manage a commercial business in Northern Virginia, Elevated Contracting is the company you need. Our certified crews can handle any roofing issues that threaten to hinder your productivity. Whether it’s commercial roof repair, replacement, coating, maintenance, or inspection services, you’ll get efficient solutions that’ll lower your roofing costs.
We’d love to hear more about your commercial roofing needs. Contact us today!