Is it time for a flat roof replacement? Here’s how to make the right choice!
Flat roofs are growing more popular for both residential and commercial property owners. Generally composed of wood, rubber, steel or concrete, flat roofs are considered more affordable than pitched roofs.
Homeowners are opting for flat roofs for a variety of reasons beyond just price. Due to their structural design, flat roofs optimize space that slanted roofing designs would otherwise waste. The flat design allows for solar panels, lighting solutions or an added outdoor space or greenhouse.
While flat roofs continue to become more common, property owners may be starting to question whether it’s time for a flat roof replacement. To help prepare for this vital process, we suggest asking yourself the following questions.
How old is my current flat roof?
If you’re considering a roof replacement, you should first calculate how old your current roof actually is, as a roof replacement is inevitable once it reaches the end of its lifespan. If properly installed and maintained, flat roofs can last up to 20 years, depending on the materials. However, after about a decade, it’s crucial that you start scheduling annual inspections so that a professional roofer can provide an expert opinion on when is the right time to replace.
Is a full replacement the better option?
Often, a roof that appears to be at the end of its lifespan may just need a little mending. Ask yourself, is a total flat roof replacement essential? Or is restoration a better choice for now? Always look at the severity and cost of repairs to determine if it’s worth the investment. For example, you can quickly patch a minor rip on your flat roof that’s doing little harm, but if this rip results in dangerous leakage, you’re most likely better off going with the total replacement.
Are you still under warranty?
Flat roof warranties can last anywhere from a couple of years to a couple of decades. The type of coverage will also vary from contractor to contractor, so be sure to read through the fine print to determine whether the manufacturer will cover the cost of the replacement materials. It’s also important to note that the coverage from your warranty will decrease the older your roof gets.
What materials should you use if a flat roof replacement is in order?
If you’re not happy with your current flat roof material, a roof replacement will give you the chance to choose a different material that may be a better option for your home. Knowing the difference between various types of flat roofing materials can help inform your decision.
- Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is one of the more common flat roofing options, known for its strength and durability that contribute to its longer lifespan. PVC also comes in a wide array of colors, making it popular among residential homeowners.
- Built-up roof (BUR) is composed of tar and gravel and lasts 20 to 25 years. BUR’s are also the most budget-friendly option, making them an excellent investment and popular among commercial building owners.
- Ethylene propylene diene terpolymer (EPDM), more commonly known as rubber roofing, is considered one of the most long-lasting and durable materials. In addition, because it’s generally installed as a single sheet, it’s a great option if you’re looking for easy removal and installation.
How do you select a trustworthy flat roofing specialist?
As you should with any roofing specialist, it’s essential to do your research to find a trustworthy contractor that’s qualified for the job. Read online reviews, browse company websites and speak with specialists directly to get a feel for their professionalism and knowledge. Not every roofing company specializing in flat roofing, so be sure to ask for work examples. Roofing companies may say they have experience with flat roofs, but you always want to be sure to receive visible evidence of their expertise.
JW Roofing: Experts in flat roof replacement
Here at JW Roofing, we have over 35 years of experience working with residential, multi-family buildings and commercial properties. Our experts work with the highest quality materials and have expertise in flat roof repair and replacements. Contact us today!