Flat Roof Life Expectancy

Investing In A Flat Roof

Before you decide to invest in a flat roofing, it is important to ask what flat roof materials have the longest life expectancy. What materials are the most efficient? Your roof protects your structure, valuables, as well as your health and wellbeing. It’s well worth the effort.

Roof Efficiency

How efficient are different flat roofing types? Let’s look at some of the options.

We used hot tar for many years. It was the best in its time. It is susceptible to pooling water, which decreases its efficiency. A hot tar roof can last up to fifteen years. Flat roofs made of TPO or PVC roofing have a life expectancy that is twice as long as a hot-tar roof.

Flat roofs that are torch-down may last up to 12 years. The crew will be torching your roof, which can pose a safety risk. Your flat roof’s life expectancy could be cut to a mere few minutes if the torch is lost by the roofer.

TPO or PVC flat roofing, also known as single-ply, is the best option. It looks like thick sheets made of rubber. These are then rolled onto the roof and sealed using hot air from a heat welding machine (no open flame). These are some of the advantages to this type of flat roof:

  • Long-lasting Single-ply roofing is twice as durable as older methods. You can get warranties for between 20 and 30 years.
  • TPO flat roofing and PVC flat roofing are strong enough to withstand water pooling. It does not suffer from the same deterioration as other roofing materials.
  • Reflective – Because it has a reflective coating, it can dramatically reduce interior energy costs.
  • Economical – A single ply roof costs less than hot tar or torch down roofing, but lasts twice the time.
  • Environment-friendly – All materials used in TPO or PVC can be recycled.


Would you have to remove your old tar roofing before you could choose a single-ply roofing? This is not usually the case. It is not necessary to remove an existing roof layer if there are no deck problems or other safety issues. It is preferable to replace the roof with a single-ply lightweight roof. Your flat roof’s life expectancy will increase by many decades.

This post was written by Ted Williams! Ted is the owner of A Old Time Roofing which is the premier roofing company that offers Commercial Roofing in St Petersburg! Ted is a Master Elite Weather Stopper GAF Roofing Contractor, a double award winner of Best Steep-Slope Contractor from GAF and achiever of Master Elite Consumer Protection Excellence from GAF. He has been serving the Pinellas County area since 1978. Old Time Roofing has a tradition of quality workmanship, servicing residential and commercial properties.