How Often Do Flat Roofs Need Replacing?

From commercial properties to domestic extensions and garages, flat roofs are a common feature on properties up and down the UK. If your property (or part of it) has a flat roof, it’s good to get a rough idea of how often they need replacing.

This post provides a rule of thumb and how to tell when a replacement is needed.

A rule of thumb for flat roof replacement

Flat roofs have a much lower slope than pitched roofs, which are generally upwards of 25 degrees. Despite the name, they’re not completely flat – with a small slope of below 10 degrees to guide rainwater off their surface.

The lower pitch makes them unsuitable for the kind of hardwearing materials which are used to cover pitched roofs, such as slate and tiles. Along with the lack of pitch itself, that makes them susceptible to a number of issues over time, such as ponding water.

While pitched roofs have a lifespan of several decades depending on the material, flat roofs typically need replacing every 15-20 years.

How to tell when your flat roof needs replacing

As with any roof, there are some flat roof problems that can be repaired while others will call for a replacement. If you’ve got a small crack or tear in the roof’s covering, it might be fixable with the right expertise. Similarly, issues with the edge flashing can usually be repaired if they’re found early.

On the other hand, the following problems are usually an indication that your flat roof needs replacing:

  • Ponding water – If puddles of water are forming on your roof and still visible 48 hours after rainfall, it’s usually indicative of more serious issues with your flat roof.
  • Larger cracks – When cracks or tears are left to become larger, it’s unlikely a patch repair will provide a long-lasting solution.
  • Numerous cracks – Similarly, if you find several breaks in your roof’s surface, it’s probably best to get the roof replaced to tackle the underlying cause.
  • Leaks or water ingress – By the time water has got through the surface of your roof, sufficient damage will have been done to make replacement a necessity.

If you want to avoid replacement for as long as possible, regular inspections are the best course of action. A professional roofer will be able to spot small issues developing and nip them in the bud before they cause irreparable damage to your roof.

Book an inspection

Want to find out the best course of action for your flat roof? Or just looking to book in an inspection to maximise its lifespan? Whatever the case, the team at DPR Roofing is on hand with professional flat roofing services across Pontefract.

Our expert roofing contractors will undertake a rigorous inspection of your flat roof to determine whether repairs or a replacement is necessary. We’ll explain our findings and provide a no obligation quote so you can make an informed decision about your flat roof.

Call us today on 01977 220016 or email [email protected] to get the ball rolling.