How Long Does a Commercial or Industrial Flat Roof Usually Last?

by | Nov 16, 2022 | Flat Roof Replacements

A good quality flat roof should get a minimum of 20 years use. If your roof is 20 years old, has no leaks, and is in good condition, you may be able to stretch it to 25 years. Once it reaches 25 years, you should consult a roofing professional about next steps.

If you have been proactive, roofs that are 20 years old and in great shape are excellent candidates for roof coatings. Roof coatings are much less expensive than tear-off/replacements and they often come with a 20-year No Dollar Limit (NDL) warranty that covers warranty-related materials and labor in the event that a roof leak does occur.

Our company offers such a program. In fact, we have a low-cost, high-performance process for maintaining commercial and industrial rooftops that extends the life of your roof by as much as 100 years. In doing so, it cuts your roofing expenses significantly over the lifetime of your roof.


Why Roofs Fail

Generally, if a roof starts to fail before 20 years, it was either a bad installation or bad product, or both.

Installation Errors

Installation errors are usually noticeable from day one. I’ve had building owners tell me their roof has leaked since the day it was installed. Immediate leaking suggests an applicator error.No roof should leak that quickly under normal wear and tear conditions. That said, if it is an isolated problem, it can be fixed. If it is a systemic problem with the install, it probably means the roof should be removed and replaced.

Bad Product

Bad roofing products, on the other hand, usually take a few years to manifest. You may get 10 good years out of a bad roof, but then it will start to fail.

Premature weathering is a big problem with some roofs. Basically, the roof’s material integrity degrades due to the weather and ceases to be waterproof. If this happens to you and you have a manufacturer’s NDL warranty, you can file a claim. The manufacturer may be aware of a quality control issue that is causing premature weathering.


Flat roofing materials and processes have improved greatly in recent years. You don’t necessarily have to tear off and replace your commercial or industrial flat roof every 25 years. A 100-year-old roof is now a reality and the savings can be substantial.


Free Flat Roof Learning Materials

Whether you’re a beginner, need advanced information about flat roofing topics, or a refresher, this is where you can learn everything you need to know about commercial and industrial flat roofing.

Contact us for more information or pricing.




Jared Van Vranken is Vice President and lead estimator at Flat Roof Solutions in Malvern, PA. Jared has directed the installation, repair, recovery, and replacement of commercial flat roofs for more than a decade at Flat Roof Solutions. He guides clients in selecting the best roofing materials for their needs and budget.

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