Whether for a residential or commercial property, investing in a new flat roof is a big decision. And you probably have a lot of questions about cost, durability, etc. But one of the most important questions that Floridians have about their new roofs is: How long does a flat roof last in Florida?
That’s a fair question, because Florida’s weather is famously harsh on roofs. Between heavy sun exposure, torrential downpours, and hurricane-force winds, it’s normal to have concerns about the lifespan of your new flat roof.
John Hogan Roofing has 25 years of experience installing and maintaining flat roofs in Florida, and we’ve got the answers to all of your flat roof questions. But let’s start with the big one: How long does a flat roof last in Florida?
How Long Does a Flat Roof Last in Florida?
Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to how long a flat roof lasts in Florida. This is because there are too many factors in composition and installation to reliably give you an estimate across the board. So to determine the most likely lifespan of your flat roof, we first need to establish what kind of flat roofing material you plan on using.
Thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) is a single-ply roofing system that’s perfect for our local weather patterns. Since it’s usually white, it can do a lot to help reflect heat away from your home. And since it’s heat-welded to your roof’s supportive structure, it creates a water-tight seal to keep out all water. But how long does a flat roof last that’s made of TPO?
When properly installed and maintained, TPO flat roofs last 20-30 years. However, it’s important to know that TPO may need repairs throughout its lifetime. This is especially likely since, as a membrane roofing system, it is vulnerable to damage from puncturing. And this can be a real concern when heavy storms come through the Tampa Bay area and create windborne debris. For this reason, we recommend giving your TPO roof a quick visual inspection after major storms to ensure that there hasn’t been any damage.
Modified bitumen, or mod bit, is one of the most affordable flat roofing options in Florida. It’s a modern version of a built-up roofing system (BUR), so it’s made of several protective layers, unlike TPO which only has one. This is the key to its water protection—if one layer gets water leakage, then there are other dry, protective layers beneath it. And when there’s windborne debris, these protective layers resist punctures and other damage. But how long will your new modified bitumen flat roof last?
In terms of lifespan, modified bitumen comes in a little lower than TPO at 20 years on average. But because of its layered composition, a modified bitumen roof will likely need significantly less maintenance than a TPO roof. This is another way that property owners can save money with a modified bitumen roof, even if it doesn’t last quite as long as TPO.
Similar to TPO, ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) is a great low-slope roofing option in Florida. This rubber roofing membrane installs in a single layer, but it’s available at many different widths, so you can still get a hardy, resilient roof. This is a great option for property owners who want to go green since EPDM is made of recyclable materials and can be recycled again at the end of your roof’s lifespan.
And if you’re looking for a good answer to the question “How long does a flat roof last?”, EPDM is exactly what you want. This resilient roofing material can last for up to 50 years. As a result, it’s among the longest-lasting flat roof options. And although membrane roofing systems can be damaged, EPDM is remarkably easy to fix. So if you’re looking for a flat roof option with great longevity, EPDM is a strong contender.
You may think of metal as a sloped roof option, but it also works well for flat roofs. There is still some stigma surrounding metal roofs, but these are mostly due to issues with past versions of metal roofs, not problems that still exist today. For example, many people still believe that metal roofs are loud or easily damaged by hail. But the truth is that modern roofing technology makes these issues of the past. In fact, metal roofing is one of the best flat roofing options in Florida. And its long lifespan only makes it even more appealing.
When installed by a crew of professionals, a metal roof can last anywhere from 30 to 50 years. Standing seam is the most common type of metal flat roof since it allows the roof to expand and contract with the sun’s heat, which improves its resilience and longevity. However, if you’re on a tighter budget, you can get a screw-down metal flat roof. This option is more affordable, although it doesn’t allow the metal to freely expand and contract, which could slightly lower its longevity from that 50-year goal.
As you can see, you have a lot of options when it comes to flat roofs. And there’s no single answer as to how long a flat roof lasts in Florida. But whatever material you choose, the best way to get the most out of your investment into your home is to go with reliable, reputable roofing professionals.
The Best Roofing Company for a Flat Roof Replacement
Without proper installation, no flat roofing option is going to last as long as you’d like. And in our 25 years of replacing and repairing roofs in Florida, we’ve seen a lot of crews get it wrong. So we make it our job to help property owners get the job done right the first time so they’re not dealing with new headaches for years to come.
But you don’t have to take our word for it. We’ve got hundreds of great reviews and GAF Master Elite certification. Only the top two percent of roofers in North America receive this accreditation, and it comes with many benefits for our customers, including the best products and the strongest warranties.
If you want to see why John Hogan Roofing is the best in Florida, we make it easy. We offer free, no-obligation roof replacement estimates, and all you have to do is schedule your appointment online. Once we’ve conducted an inspection of the roof, we’ll be able to give you an estimate for whichever type of flat roof you need. Or, if you’re still on the fence, we can talk through your options and help you make the best decision for yourself and your structure.
Everyone wants a flat roof that will last for decades to come. And all it takes is one free estimate to get answers to all of your questions about the right flat roofing material for you!