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How Long Do Flat Roofs Last

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  • 12-04-2022
How Long Do Flat Roofs Last

How many years does a flat roof last?

If you are thinking of installing a flat roof on your home or business, a common question to ask is:  how long do flat roofs last? We look at the factors that help maintain the life of our flat roof.

You will find that most traditional flat roofs are constructed out of either mineral felt or asphalt. This means that most flat roofs have a lifespan of around fifteen years at their absolute maximum. On average, flat roofs will last around ten to twelve years.

Over the years, flat roofs have garnered a bad reputation for having a high chance of leaking or becoming damaged over time due to pooling water. The truth is if you can keep an eye on your roof and keep it maintained then a flat roof can last much longer.

Generally, a flat roof that has been well maintained and has been given plenty of care will last between twenty and thirty years. After that amount of time, it may well need replacing.

The introduction of plastic and rubber materials has enabled roofs to last even longer, meaning that a roof will only need to be replaced two or three times during your lifetime.

How to Maximise the Lifespan of a Flat Roof

Clearing your rainwater systems helps your property look better, but it can also save your home from plenty of serious water damage-related issues. 

If your home is surrounded by trees, then it is easy for organic matter such as leaves and twigs to find themselves within your guttering. Over time natural debris will build up and can lead to areas of standing water, as well as gutter damns.

Unfortunately, this can cause major damage to the structure of your guttering and lead to leaks in your home. 

The most efficient way to improve your guttering is to clear away debris regularly during peak times of the year, such as autumn and winter. Carefully monitor your roof so that you can identify and clear blockages whenever they occur.

If you are in need of a speedy way to protect your roof, then here is a simple and effective tip. If there are any trees surrounding your home, trim away any branches that overhang above your roof. 

This will stop natural debris from hitting your roof. It will also reduce how much maintenance and cleaning of your roof is required. It can also reduce the chance of your roof becoming damaged during a storm.

Getting out a ladder and the safety equipment so that you can get up on top of your roof can be an absolute pain, but sometimes it is a necessary move to ensure that small problems are caught early before they turn into big issues. 

A detailed and thorough inspection can end up saving you a lot of money in the long run. 

Take a look for cracked roof tiles, crumbling bricks, damaged shingles, warping lead flashing, or areas where rot is taking hold. All of these could evolve into a major-scale disaster if left completely untouched. 

If you are not able to do the repair work yourself, then get in touch with a roofing professional. They will be able to ensure that no harmful issues occur further down the line.

On average, in uninsulated homes, there is a huge 25% loss of heat that occurs through the property's roofing. Quality roofing insulation can also prevent moisture damage and heat damage. 

The origin of a large amount of roof damage actually begins in the attic of the home. Attics that are not adequately insulated can lead to increased heat build-ups which can then lead to damaged shingles and cause moisture, along with mould, to form.

Your home has to deal with extreme temperatures at the peaks of winter and summer, and this can end up causing big problems with the longevity of your roof. 

A poorly ventilated roof can lead to attics regularly overheating during the summer, which can then transfer heat damage to your roof's tiling.

Your roofing shingles can be weakened, and unwanted moisture can begin to form. An attic space that overheats can also increase the risk of ice damming in cold weather. 

This is where a shelf of ice forms at the edge of the roof, it then prevents melted ice and snow from draining; this water can then causes damage to your roof and home.

Which Flat Roofing Solution Is The Most Durable?

Roofing felt is by far the most common type of flat roofing material across the nation, and even overseas. 

This is due to the material's fantastic cost-effectiveness. Felt roofs are easy to install and provide a reliable, weatherproof seal that can dependably protect any form of flat roof. 

Additionally, roofs covered in felt can be repaired both easily and on the cheap, no matter how bad the damage may seem.

While felt roofing is not the most durable roofing material on offer, it can still provide an excellent watertight seal that is consistently effective. 

The seal will resist all types of severe weather types, as well as temperatures. Felt roofing can also withstand most moderately hard impacts without any issues.

EPDM is commonly referred to as the best roofing material available. EPDM is a relatively low-cost flat roofing material that comes with a host of notable advantages. 

The installation of EPDM is clean and straightforward. It provides excellent strength, along with a very long lifespan and a smart finish. All this together makes EPDM a tricky roofing material to beat.

EPDM is completely waterproof, highly resistant to all varieties of weather conditions, can retain its structure through all temperatures, and can absorb strong impacts with no issues whatsoever. There isn't a lot that can damage an EPDM membrane.

Also known as fibreglass roofing, GRP is an amazing roofing material. GRP can withstand anything that is thrown at it, a fibreglass roof will definitely stand the test of time. 

An extra perk is that GRP is highly lightweight. GRP also has an extremely clean finish when it is installed properly by someone who knows what they are doing.

GRP is one of the most durable materials available on the market, a GRP roof is able to withstand all kinds of major hard-hitting impacts. It can also handle extreme hot and cold temperatures with no issues at all. Stormy nights are no match for GRP either.

Benefits Of EPDM Roofs


EPDM's chemical structure is partly made up of carbon black. This is completely resistant to degradation from UV exposure, as well as material decomposition. EPDM is also highly flexible, this means it can both expand and contract when temperatures become hot and cold, respectively.

EPDM can also handle high wings with zero issues, and its synthetic rubber make-up causes EPDM to be fully waterproof. One additional perk is that EPDM is wonderfully low maintenance. 

When the rubber roofing has been fully installed and done correctly, then there is a very small amount of post-installation maintenance that will need to be carried out.

 Environmentally Friendly

EPDM is fully endorsed by Greenpeace, this is because the material is seen as a low impact membrane. 

EPDM is also fully recyclable. Due to this, choosing EPDM as your replacement roofing material means that you are doing your small piece for the environment. The long lifespan of the material, as well as its reusability, also means it has a limited impact on the environment.

 Cost Effective

You will also find that over time, EPDM is the most cost-effective choice for a replacement roofing material. You can easily find cheaper materials, but there are not many others that offer the same level of longevity. 

Materials such as fibreglass are comparable in terms of durability and lifespan, but you should expect to pay a much higher price.

Are you looking for a flat roof specialist in Andover, Basingstoke or Winchester? If you find yourself in need of a replacement flat roof, don't hesitate to contact Flat Roofers Basingstoke today! We have staff on hand to answer any questions you might have.