Flat roofs have many benefits and commonly appear on commercial buildings. Depending on the materials used, a flat roof can last for decades if properly maintained. Built-up roofs (BUR), modified bitumen, thermoplastic polyolefin, and other materials can have a lifespan of 15-20 years. However, all flat roofs must be replaced at some point. While piecemeal repairs may be suitable for flat roofs that have isolated damage, endlessly repairing an aged or extensively damaged roof can be more costly than simply replacing it.

The Cost of Repairs vs. Replacement

If your roof has suffered damage, then you might need to repair or replace it. But how do you know which option is right for you? In general, if your roof isn’t particularly old and is only damaged in specific areas, repairs might be more cost-effective than replacement, at least in the short run.

flat roof replacementHowever, if your roof constantly needs to be repaired, those costs can quickly add up, making ongoing repairs infeasible. While piecemeal repairs may be sufficient if the damage is restricted to specific areas, replacing your roof could save you money in the long term if the damage is extensive.

At RoofsOnly.com in Austin, we understand that replacing your roof is an investment, but flat roofs tend to be affordable, and when properly maintained, they may only need to be replaced once every couple of decades. If you continually have to repair a failing flat roof, we may recommend installing a new roof to avoid the constant expense associated with isolated repairs. Check out our roof replacement cost calculator tool for a rough estimate of how much your roof replacement would cost. Then contact us to set up an inspection and get a quote.

Signs that a Flat Roof Needs Replacing

If your flat roof needs to be replaced, you might notice one or more of the following signs:

  • Water leaks, which can lead to mold under your roof
  • Water pooling in large portions of your roof
  • Rips or cracks in the roofing material
  • Bubbling from adhesion failure
  • Sagging ceiling
  • Loose fasteners

Knowing the signs of a failing flat roof can help prevent further damage to your home or building. By replacing your roof in a timely manner, you can preserve the structural integrity of your property and ensure that no catastrophic issues occur.

Types of Flat Roofs

Some of the most common types of flat roofs include:

  • Thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) roofs – Thermoplastic polyolefin, or TPO, is a thermoplastic membrane roofing material that is commonly used to construct flat roofs. TPO roofing can last anywhere from 15 to 20 years, is flame resistant, and absorbs UV rays. It is also environmentally friendly, as it can be recycled.
  • Polyvinyl chloride roofs – Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) roofs are the second of the two types of thermoplastic membrane roofing materials. PVC roofs tend to be sturdier than TPO roofs, and they can last up to 20 years. Like TPO roofing, PVC roofs have a high-temperature tolerance, making this material ideal for summers in Austin. Like TPO roofs, PVC roofs tend to be low-cost.
  • Built-up roofs – Built-up roofs, or BUR for short, have been around for a long time. BURs are created by “building up” layers of asphalt and ply sheets, with more tar and minerals packed on top, giving these flat roofs a “pebbled” appearance. BURs are known for their affordability, durability, and their ability to absorb UV rays. They also require minimal maintenance and tend to last around 15-20 years.
  • modified bitumen roofModified bitumen roof – Modified bitumen flat roofs are similar in appearance to BURs. These asphalt-based roofs are made up of several layers, including insulation, a modified base sheet or ply, the modified bitumen membrane, an adhesive, and a top coat for UV protection. These roofs generally last up to 20 years. Installing a modified bitumen roof is incredibly complex and should never be done without the help of a professional roofing contractor.
  • Rubber membrane roof – Rubber membrane roofs, also referred to as EPDM, are an extremely low-cost roofing option and can last anywhere from 25 to 30 years. Rubber flat roofs are typically either anchored with an adhesive, fasteners, or rocks.

These are just a few of the most popular roofing materials for property and business owners with flat roofs. RoofsOnly.com will take your needs and preferences into account and recommend a roofing solution that works for you.

Contact Us

Contact RoofsOnly.com in Austin today for all of your roof replacement needs. If you hire our team, you can have peace of mind knowing that our roofing experts will install your new roof in a timely, efficient manner using the highest-quality materials on the market. We are happy to accommodate any budget and recommend roofing systems that will protect your property without breaking the bank.

Call RoofsOnly.com in Austin, TX, today at (737) 275-7599 to schedule a consultation with one of our dedicated contractors. 

Last Updated: 05-11-2023
Written By: RoofsOnly.com