We all know keeping our homes and businesses in tip-top shape is important. But, let’s face it, roofs aren’t exactly the most exciting things to think about.  Especially flat roofs!

While flat roofs are pretty straightforward to build, they do need a little more TLC than your typical shingled roof.  The good news is, this blog post is here to help!  We’ll break down the key signs to watch for so you can decide if your flat roof needs a simple fix or a whole new top layer.

A modern building's flat roof with visible seams, aging subtly

How Long Does A Flat Roof Typically Last? 

Thinking about your roof? Flat roofs are super common, but they can be a mystery when it comes to how long they last. Don’t worry, we’ve got the answers!

Here’s the lowdown: A well-maintained flat roof can last a solid 20 years, but there’s more to the story.  Just like your favorite sneakers, how long your roof lasts depends on two key things:

  • The Stuff on Top: This means the materials that cover your roof. Different materials hold up differently, so what you choose matters!

  • TLC (Tender Loving Care): Regular checkups are key for any roof. A little maintenance goes a long way in keeping your flat roof healthy.

An aged flat roof with peeling shingles and patches of moss

When Do I Know If I Need To Replace My Flat Roof?

Flat roofs are awesome for creating extra usable space on top of your house, but like anything else, they won’t last forever.  Eventually, all flat roofs will need to be replaced. But how do you know when it’s time to say goodbye to your old flat roof and hello to a brand new one? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! In this post, we’ll break down the key signs that it’s time to call in a pro for a flat roof replacement.

So, how do you know if your flat roof is getting a little long in the tooth? Keep an eye out for these clues:


One big indicator is simply age. Flat roofs, depending on the material and how well they’ve been cared for, can last anywhere from 15 to 30 years. So, if your flat roof is getting up there in age, it’s time to start thinking about a replacement.

Here’s the key thing to remember: regular maintenance can make a big difference in your roof’s lifespan. Just like taking care of your car, giving your flat roof some TLC can extend its years of service. But there comes a point where repairs become more expensive than simply getting a whole new roof.

Damage and Leaks 

  • Multiple Leaks: When one part of your roof starts leaking, it’s often a symptom of a larger problem lurking beneath the surface. Maybe it’s poor installation, aging materials, or even structural issues causing the trouble. Patching one leak might just mean another one pops up nearby.

  • Widespread Damage: Big cracks, lots of blisters, or ponding water (where puddles sit after rain) are all bad news. This kind of damage means the roof itself is breaking down, and a whole new roof is the best way to keep your home safe and dry.

But here’s the kicker: patching up individual leaks is like playing a never-ending game of whack-a-mole. Sure, you might knock down one mole, but there’s always another one ready to pop up elsewhere. It’s a temporary fix for a systemic issue.

Blisters and Cracks

Imagine your roof bubbling up like a sunburn – that’s what a blister on a flat roof looks like. Yikes! These blisters are caused by moisture getting trapped under the roofing membrane, which can happen if the installation wasn’t quite right or if the roof is old and worn.  The problem? Those blisters can eventually pop and tear the membrane, letting water leak in and wreak havoc on your home.

Cracks are another unwelcome visitor on flat roofs. They can appear over time due to weather wear and tear, or from things like improper roof traffic (think heavy equipment walking all over it). Just like blisters, cracks can open the door for leaks and water damage.

When Repairs Just Won’t Cut It: If you’ve got a few scattered blisters or small cracks, a good roofer might be able to patch things up and keep your roof watertight. But if your roof is covered in blisters or has big, gaping cracks, patching just won’t do the trick.  In these cases, a full roof replacement might be the best option to ensure your home stays protected from the elements.

High Energy Bills and Insulation Concerns

One hidden culprit behind high energy costs? Your flat roof!  Proper insulation in your flat roof is key to keeping your building energy efficient.  If your flat roof is old, damaged, or poorly insulated, it could be costing you a lot of money every month.

The good news? Upgrading your flat roof insulation with newer, more energy-efficient materials can make a big difference!  Think of it as an investment that will pay off for years to come.  Lower energy bills mean you can put that extra money towards other things that matter.

We understand the importance of building maintenance and energy efficiency.  We offer a variety of solutions to help you keep your flat roof in top shape, including:

  • Inspections: Our experts can take a look at your flat roof and identify any areas that need improvement.

  • Insulation Upgrades: We can help you choose the right type of insulation for your needs and install it properly.

  • Maintenance Plans: Regular maintenance can help prevent problems before they start and extend the life of your roof.

Pooling Water on Flat Roofs

Most flat roofs aren’t completely flat, they have a slight tilt, kind of like a slanted driveway. This tilt, usually around 15 degrees, helps rainwater run off the roof and prevents puddles from forming.

Here’s the catch: over time, flat roofs can wear down and lose their shape. This can cause dips and low spots where water starts to pool instead of draining properly. Those pesky puddles can lead to big problems down the road, like leaks and roof damage.

But here’s the good news: You can avoid this by keeping an eye on your flat roof. If you notice water pooling for more than a day or two after a rain shower, it might be time to call in a professional roofer. They can check your roof’s drainage and make any repairs needed to keep your roof healthy and happy.

A flat roof with black shingles, smooth and even, against a blurry cityscape

What Are The Characteristics Of A Good Roof?

Your roof is your home’s shield from the outside world, so it’s important to make sure it’s in tip-top shape. But how do you know if your roof is doing its job? Here’s the lowdown on what makes a great roof:

  • Long-lasting Looks: A good roof should keep your house looking sharp for years to come. Imagine 20 years down the line – your roof should still be doing its job without looking worn or beat-up.

  • Built to Withstand the Elements:  Ice dams and leaks can wreak havoc on your home. That’s why a good roof should have special features like ice and water shielding to prevent these problems before they start.

  • Think Beyond the Roof: This tip might seem unrelated, but it’s important!  Pests like bed bugs can sometimes sneak in through tiny cracks in your roof. If you’re worried about unwanted guests,  consider calling a pest control pro for peace of mind.

By keeping these points in mind, you can ensure your roof is strong, beautiful, and keeps your home protected for years to come.  Remember, a healthy roof is a happy home.

A team of skilled roofers replacing a flat roof

How Long Does It Take To Replace A Flat Roof?

Thinking about getting a new flat roof? You might be wondering, “how long will this take?”. Well, the truth is, it depends! Replacing a flat roof can take anywhere from 3 to 10 days, but there are ways to speed things up.

Here’s the inside scoop:

  • Roof Size Matters: A small shed roof can be replaced much faster than a giant warehouse rooftop.

  • Material Makes a Difference: Some roofing materials, like rubber sheets, go on quicker than others like built-up tar systems.

  • Surprise Finds: Sometimes during removal, unexpected issues like rotten decking are discovered. These add time to the project.


Remember, the key to a healthy flat roof is regular inspection and maintenance. By catching small problems early on, you can extend the lifespan of your roof and avoid costly repairs down the road. If you’re not sure about the condition of your flat roof, don’t hesitate to call in a professional roofer for an inspection. They can assess your roof’s health and recommend the best course of action, whether it’s a simple repair, a re-roofing project, or even a whole new flat roof.

Taking care of your roof is an investment in your home’s future. By being proactive, you can ensure your home stays safe, dry, and energy-efficient for years to come.


Got a flat roof and want to keep it trouble-free? You’ve come to the right place! This guide answers all your burning questions about flat roof care, so you can save money and avoid headaches.

  • What’s The Best Material For A Flat Roof?
    Flat roofs come in different materials, each with its perks. Metal roofs, for example, are super durable, lasting over 35 years with proper care. Bonus: they reflect sunlight, potentially lowering your energy bills!
  • How Do You Stop A Flat Roof From Leaking?
    Flat roof leaks can happen, but don’t panic! Here’s a quick DIY tip: clear away any debris and find the leak source. Once you spot it, patch it up with roofing cement. For bigger leaks or if you’re not comfy tackling it yourself, call a professional roofer.
  • Is It Easy To Install A Flat Roof Yourself?
    While it’s possible to DIY a flat roof installation with the right instructions and a helpful friend, it’s not always recommended. Flat roof installation requires specific skills and materials to ensure it’s watertight and lasts. Consider hiring a professional roofer for a job well done that protects your home.

  • If I Get My Flat Roof Fixed, Does That Already Include Structural Repairs (If Needed), Or Do I Need To Get Another Guy For That?
    Not always!  When getting a flat roof repair quote, ask if it covers structural repairs too. Sometimes repairs only address the surface layer, and structural issues need a separate fix. It’s best to clarify beforehand to avoid surprises.
  • Is It Okay To Have My Flat Roof Fixed In Snowy Weather?
    Snow can complicate flat roof repairs.  For instance, rubber roof membranes need warm weather for proper adhesive bonding. While some repairs might be okay in winter, it’s generally not ideal. If a repair can’t wait until summer and ignoring it would cause worse damage, address it ASAP. But whenever possible, wait for warmer weather for a smoother repair process.

  • Is It Possible To Put An Air Conditioning Unit Over My Flat Roof?
    Sure, you can place an air conditioner unit on your flat roof. But be aware that it can impact your roof’s lifespan. To minimize damage, make sure the unit is installed correctly and flashed properly (sealed with waterproof material). This helps prevent leaks and protects your roof’s integrity.