How Long Will My New Flat Roof Last?

October 1, 2015 9:00 am Published by

It doesn’t really matter what you’re buying; when you pay good money for something you want to know it will last. This is where property maintenance can get scary, because you put your trust in someone you may have never met before, hoping for a good job in return.

Sadly, nothing lasts forever though and it pays to know what kind of life span you can expect from different jobs. So today we’re looking at flat roofs – something that typically need redoing at some point – to give you an idea of how long a quality job should last.

Starting with the right approach

The lifetime of your flat roof mostly depends on its original construction and the materials used. Start with the right approach and you should end up with a flat roof that stands the test of time and copes with gruelling winters for decades to come.

One of the most important factors in a flat roof is you have enough of an incline for water to drain off. This should be a minimum of 1:80 – a meter rise for every 80m in depth – and you’ll also want to drain the roof at one or two edges.

You can learn more about the recommended construction and materials of a flat roof in this Householder’s Guide to Flat Roofing (PDF) from the NRFC.

The life expectancy of a good flat roof

If your flat roof is done properly you can normally expect a minimum ten year guarantee on the products used (eg: the felt, insulation, etc.) but a good build or repair could last as long as 50 years.

Here in the UK you’ll generally get the longest life from a warm flat roof with proper insulation and modern bitumen felt. If you have an existing cold flat roof then it’s worth considering the switch, once a replacement is needed, and although there are more modern alternatives to bitumen, this tried and tested method tends to outlive the newcomers.

Maintaining a flat roof for longer life

As with every part of your home you’ll get the most from your flat roof with a few touches of maintenance here and there. Luckily flat roofs demand very little and two inspections a year should be enough to keep on top of things. March and November are good times to take a look – particularly after a rain, so you can check to see how well the water drains away.

Finally, it’s always recommended to keep access to any flat roof strictly limited, unless it has been specifically designed for it.

So there you have it – a flat roof may not last a lifetime, but if it’s properly constructed and well maintained you shouldn’t need to have it repaired more than once, unless you suffer from particularly bad weather.

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This post was written by Summit Cladding

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