Have you been meaning to ask how many years does a flat roof last? Of all the many questions you need to ask your local roofing partner, this is probably one of the most important ones. It deserves an explanation because let’s face it, flat roofing is a major investment.

Even if it’s more cost-effective than other types of roofing, a low-slope roof still require a substantial amount of money. Most homeowners consider roofing projects as one of their greatest milestones in life. To finally have a place to call your own is truly a valuable achievement. For entrepreneurs, they view commercial buildings as a mark of a growing business and as a sign of progress. Whatever your position in life is, it keeps you wondering how many years does a flat roof last? Is it true that all good things must come to an end?

In today’s blog entry, let’s talk about the lifespan of a flat roof. We aim to address your worries and concerns in relation to how many years does a flat roof last.

Top 5 Factors That Affect Your Flat Roof’s Life

In order get a clearer view of a flat roofing’s life expectancy, you need to learn about the factors that have a say in its longevity. Computing for the lifespan is not about counting the years, it’s what happens in between that impacts the length of service.

Weather Condition

summer rain with hail falls on the roof of slate

Varying weather conditions affect your roofing’s life and performance.

Even if you are in the same country, the weather condition can still be very contrasting. Your roofing’s exposure to varying weather conditions significantly affects its performance. There are external elements that can dictate the fate of your roofing. For instance, your area is prone to heavy storms, tornadoes, hail and snow storms, high winds, etc. These factors may damage your roof and shorten its lifespan no matter how sturdy your roof is.


This is one of the most important factors to consider. Even if you choose the most premium materials, if you fail to hire an experienced roofing company, you cannot expect maximum roofing performance. Most of the time, the longevity of a certain flat roof lies in the how it was installed. Poor workmanship affects both your roofing directly. In some cases, there are premature roofing issues due to improper installation.


Professional roofer inspecting the flat roof surface.

Maintenance should be conducted by experienced roofing specialists.

Even the best roofing systems need proper care and attention. We always tell our clients that the key to prolonging your roofing’s life is by being two steps ahead. Your foresight as a property owner is an invaluable characteristic to keep your flat roofing in a good condition. As roofing experts, we recommend scheduling regular maintenance and inspections at least two times a year or more depending on the weather condition.

Sun Exposure

One of the roofing’s main roles is to protect the interior from direct sunlight. Hence, it’s the roof that suffers most from sun exposure, accelerating daily wear and tear as well as aging. Ultraviolet radiation coming from the sun also promotes roof degradation. If you want to extend your roofing and maximize its use, consult a professional roofer. They can suggest which roofing products can reflect heat and sunlight.

Insulation and Ventilation

Combining poor ventilation and inadequate insulation can cause premature aging and damages. Unstable temperature can cause condensation that can lead to moisture. In relation to proper installation, you need help from roofing specialists to establish a good flow of natural air.

Flat Roof Materials

Flat roofs life vary depending on their composition. There are flat roofing systems that are more long-lasting than the others. However, it’s not the main selling point as there are other qualities to take note of before you decide which one to get.

If you need a refresher on the different types of flat roofing materials, you can check out the list below:

  • Metal – Without a doubt, metal has established its reputation when it comes to durability and longevity. It can reach over 50 years as it can effectively reflect heat, minimizing potential sun exposure damages. There are different types of metal: aluminum, steel, zinc, and copper. It is also very lightweight, waterproof, and fire-resistant.
  • Rubber or EPDM – Ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) or simply rubber is a synthetic type of flat roofing. It is popular for being waterproof and durable. Aside from these, rubber is also flexible and affordable. Rubber is said to last anytime between 25 to 30 years.
  • Tar and Gravel – Tar and gravel or a built-up roof (BUR) last up to 40 years. It is known for being extremely tough and waterproof. Unlike other materials, it is on the heavier side, thus, more complicated to install.
  • Modified Bitumen – This single-ply asphalt-based material that is reinforced with polymer or fiberglass. There’s no question about its durability. In fact, it can resist tears and punctures. However, since it’s blow-torched, it is quite tricky to install. The good thing is that modified bitumen is weather resistant and easy to repair. It is expected to last between 15 to 25 years.
how many years does a flat roof last

Installation of modified bitumen requires technical experience.

  • PVC – Polyvinyl chloride or PVC reinforced with additives such as fiberglass or polyester to power up its performance. It can resist fire, heat, and UV rays. PVC can last up to 15 to 30 years.
  • TPO – Thermoplastic polyolefin or TPO is known for its qualities like flame-retardant and UV-resistance. Aside from being durable, it can also prevent moisture penetration. This material can last for 25 to 30 years.

The Verdict: How Many Years Does a Flat Roof Last?

We have come to the point of answering your most dreaded question, “How many years does a flat roof last?”

If you’ll notice, we have included the expected life service of each flat roofing system. However, there’s a big caveat. These are only numbers. They aren’t definitive as well because a certain life expectancy is influenced by different factors. From the choice of materials to installation, down to maintenance, and other external elements that can determine its fate.

If you plan to stay in your property for a long period of time, then go for the more long-lasting options. Do not discount the fact that installation and maintenance will always play huge roles in your roofing’s performance.


Flat roofing is an ideal choice. It is cost-effective, durable, easy to maintain, and also provides extra space. Due to its functionality, both commercial and residential properties can benefit from this. If you want to know how many years does a flat roof last, why not ask how you can help extend its life?

Prolonging a roofing’s lifespan is a constant effort in partnership with a roofer that truly cares for your property.

If you got more questions about flat roofing and their performance, we’ll be glad to help. Contact Skyluxe Roofing and Sheet Metal specialists at 647.952.2863 and receive a FREE estimate.