Managing and maintaining your commercial roof is a big job and it can also come with a lot of uncertainty. As your roof nears the end of its lifespan it can be hard to know when the time for roof replacement arrives, whether the roof is new to you or not.

Just what is the life expectancy of a commercial roof? It depends on many factors from weather and climate conditions to the materials your roof is made of and how well you keep up with maintenance. Here’s what you need to know about commercial roof life expectancy.

Commercial Roof Life Expectancy

A commercial roof can last anywhere from 10 to 40 years, depending on what it’s made of, how it was installed, and how well it’s taken care of. Each type of roofing material has pros and cons, making it important to know what your roof is made of. It’s also important to understand the life expectancy of different roofing materials. When the time comes to replace your roof you need to make an informed decision based on your needs and budget.

  • TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin): 22 to 30 years
  • EPDM (ethylene propylene diene terpolymer): 22 to 35 years
  • PVC (polyvinyl chloride): 20 to 30 years
  • Metal roofing system: 30 to 45 years
  • Asphalt roofing system: 20 to 40 years

Factors Which Affect Commercial Roof Lifespan

Even a roof made of a durable, long-lasting roofing material can suffer setbacks which reduce its longevity. This makes it important to take care of your roof and understand how different factors take their toll. These are a few considerations to keep in mind:

  • Installation: The initial installation of your commercial roof will impact its stability and lifespan. Many roofing issues can be traced back to improper installation. This is one of the reasons why it’s always crucial to work with a trusted roofing contractor who knows what they’re doing and can help you take care of your roof through regular maintenance.
  • Slope: Flat roofs are prone to pooling water which could eventually lead to leaks. Even though these roofs are called “flat roofs”, they actually have a slight slope. This helps drain water away; yet foot traffic, long standing water, and debris left on the roof can all lead to low spots and cause ponding.
  • Weather and climate: Roofs can suffer damage from high winds, hailstorms, and the extreme weight of snowfall. A heavy rainstorm can send down more water than your roof’s drainage system can handle, potentially causing ponding and leading to leaks. Even heat and sun can take their toll, causing the material to expand and contract. UV rays also gradually break down roofing materials.
  • Wear and tear: Roofs naturally wear down as they age. Even something as simple as walking on your roof can cause damage over time, which is why it’s important to restrict roof access to only qualified personnel.

Commercial Roof Maintenance

There may be no single factor with a greater impact on your commercial roof life expectancy than maintenance. The old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” has never been more true than when applied to roofing.

Routine roof inspections and maintenance are the only ways to catch small roof issues before they become major problems. It’s easy to neglect your roof and assume there are no issues when all appears well. But many roof issues are serious before they make themselves apparent to an untrained eye.

To keep your roof in tip-top shape, have it inspected twice annually; once in the spring and once in the fall. It’s also important to check up on your roof after a severe storm or weather event to make sure it has not been damaged.

Learn More About Your Roof

If you have more questions about your roof, its age, its condition, and its expected lifespan, the best course of action is to schedule a roof inspection with a trusted commercial roofing specialist. It’s important to choose a local roofing company with years of experience working specifically with commercial roofs. They should also offer an understanding of the unique challenges faced by roofs in your region.

At Vanguard Roofing, we’ve been proud to offer outstanding commercial roof maintenance and replacement throughout the Mid-Hudson region since 1972. With more than 40 years of experience, we understand no two roofs are the same and we’re committed to offering commercial roof solutions for every budget.

Contact us today to learn more, and talk to our commercial roofing specialists about how we can work together to extend the lifespan of your commercial roof.