Residential homes sometimes utilize flat roofing. It is found, most commonly, on homes with Greek, Middle Eastern, or Mid-Modern architecture. If properly installed and maintained, flat roofs can last decades. Notably, flat and low-sloped roofs are more prone to leaks because it is more difficult for water to drain. We recommend getting your flat roof inspected annually to catch any issues before they snowball.

At AIC Roofing, we believe it is our responsibility to help educate homeowners and provide you with the information necessary to make the best decision for your home. We are experts in flat roof replacements and want homeowners to feel knowledgeable and confident in making decisions about this type of roof. We aim to exceed your expectations before, during, and after your flat roof repair or replacement.

In this article, we’ll cover the following topics:

· How long your flat roof will last

· How to tell if a flat roof is leaking

· Tips on how to maximize the longevity of your flat roof

How long will your home’s flat roof last?

How long a flat roof will last depends largely on the type of material used. Two common materials used in residential homes include:

·       Single-Ply membrane: This type of flat roof material has an average lifespan of 25-30 years. Membrane roofing forms a continuous waterproof barrier to protect low-slope roofs from leaks. Membrane roofs are commonly employed as a flat roofing system because they are waterproof. They protect roofs where shingles, slate, or tile roofing would be ineffective. Types of membranes include modified bitumen, TPO, PVC, and EPDM. Speak with your roofer about what material is the best fit for your home and budget.

·       Standing seam metal for flat or low-sloped roofs: Standing seam metal roofs are an excellent choice if your budget allows it. They can easily last 30 years and even up to 50 years on flat, low, sloped roofs. Plus, standing seam metal roofs offer more curb appeal than traditional roofing materials.

Signs of a leak on your flat roof

There are a few telltale signs that your flat roof is leaking or is vulnerable to a leak. If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to promptly contact a Louisville residential flat roofing expert for a free evaluation.

1. Ceiling stains under the area of your flat roof. Ceiling stains under the area of your flat or low-sloped roof are perhaps the most common sign of a leak. If you notice ceiling stains, you’ll want to remedy the leak quickly before it causes significant wood rot and water damage.

2. Moss, algae, or grass can be seen on the flat roof area. This is a sign that a leak is inevitable. Stagnant water is likely allowing for moss, algae, or grass to take root on your home. These growths also decrease the effectiveness of your flat roof.

3. Blistering, bubbling, or cracking on your flat roof membrane. This is a sign that your flat roof membrane is breaking down and has started or will soon begin to leak. If your flat roof is visible from the ground, it’s essential to inspect it yourself on occasion to make sure there are no red flags.

4. Water begins to pool for long periods. Flat or low-sloped roofs should have some sort of angle (an angle of at least 15-degree angle is recommended). A leak is inevitable if water is beginning to puddle and not draining off your flat or low-sloped roof.

5. Damaged flashing along your flat roof. If you notice that flashing along your flat roof, chimney, or vents is rusted, dented, or otherwise damaged, it’s a sign that water is not draining correctly. To prevent a leak from happening, these issues should be addressed immediately.

3 tips to increase the longevity of your residential flat roof

1. Annual roof inspections. We recommend annual roof inspections for any kind of roof because this is the best way to ensure your roof is in good health and has no damage. Annual roof inspections are especially important if you have a flat or low-sloped roof. Damage from a leaking flat roof can quickly snowball and threaten the roof’s structural integrity.

2. Investing in quality material. Investing in a quality membrane or standing seam metal for a flat roof will be the most effective in the long run. Cheap materials will cost you more in repairs and a premature flat roof replacement. Quality, long-lasting flat roof materials will maximize the lifespan of your roof and home.

3. Hiring an experienced roofer. Your roofing contractor has a significant impact on every part of your roofing project. Hiring a great (not just good) Louisville roofing contractor experienced in flat roofing is perhaps the most important part of your project. Flat roofing requires expertise to ensure it’s appropriately installed. Your flat roof will not reach its maximum lifespan if not properly installed. When searching for experienced flat roofing contractors, asking about their craftsmanship warranty is important. If they stand by their work, they should offer at least five years (at AIC Roofing, we stand by our work with a ten-year craftsmanship warranty). You also don’t want to just pick the cheapest contractor. The old adage goes, “you get what you pay for,” especially in the roofing industry.

Will a flat roof need to be replaced if it’s leaking?

Roof leaks don’t always mean your home needs a full roof replacement. Often, leaks can easily be repaired if they are caught in time. As mentioned before, staying on top of leaks is especially important because water does not drain as easily off flat roofs. If you notice an issue with your flat roof, don’t let a $300-$400 repair cost you thousands in water damage and mold remediation.

Next Steps – getting your flat roof inspected

If it’s been a while since you’ve had your roof inspected or if you notice warning signs of a leak, be sure to get your flat roof inspected immediately. We recommend utilizing a Louisville roofing contractor that is experienced with flat roofing. With most roofing companies, roof inspections are free and have no obligation. We recommend collecting 2-3 bids before hiring a roofing company to make sure you’re getting a fair assessment and price.

Unfortunately, the roofing industry is not transparent regarding pricing and other critical information. We want to change that. Our Learning Center has answers to all your roofing questions so you can make an informed, confident decision about this important investment.  

AIC Roofing and Construction has served homeowners in Louisville, Lexington, and Richmond since 2003. We are in the top 2% of roofing contractors in North America to obtain the GAF MasterElite certification and are an Owens Corning Platinum Preferred contractor. If you’re looking for a top-rated Louisville roofing company – we’d love to see if we would be a good fit for your project. Contact us today to schedule your free roof inspection.

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