Inspectors evaluating the service life of a commercial roof.

The roof of a commercial building is one of the most critical investments a business owner can make, because, afterall, the roof is responsible for protecting nearly every other investment! So when you are considering a new roof for your business (or wondering how long your present roof will continue to do its job), the roof’s life expectancy should be one of the top considerations.

The type of roof materials used is not the only factor affecting a roof’s longevity; there are other components, as well. Let’s take a look at some of the information every building owner should know about the average life of a commercial roof.

Different Types of Commercial Roofs and Their Average Lifespan

There are a number of different commercial roofing materials used throughout the industry for flat and low-slope roofs. Each one has advantages and drawbacks, and your roofing contractor will make a recommendation depending on the characteristics of your building, as well as your budget. Bear in mind that these lifespans are an estimate. To maximize the roof’s lifespan, proper maintenance is key.

Metal Roof Lifespan

Metal roofs are extremely durable and fire resistant, with the ability to last fifty years or more. Metal roof systems vary widely in price, depending on the type of metal used. Most metal roofs are constructed of stainless steel, but zinc is also an option.

TPO Roof Lifespan

TPO is short for thermoplastic polyolefin. It’s a single-ply roofing membrane applied in sheets. TPO is often white, which helps to reflect the sun’s UV rays, and it can last from twenty to thirty years.

EPDM Roof Lifespan

EPDM, short for ethylene propylene diene monomer, is a common choice for commercial properties due to its low cost. EPDM can last anywhere from fifteen to thirty years.

PVC Roof Lifespan

PVC is the common name for polyvinyl chloride, and it’s one of the most popular choices for commercial flat roofs. PVC lasts anywhere from fifteen to thirty years.

Modified Bitumen Roof Lifespan

Unlike TPO, EPDM, and PVC, a modified bitumen roof is a multi-ply roof system that uses multiple layers to build up a waterproof barrier. Since it’s topped with a layer of gravel, your building needs to be strong enough to withstand the weight of this type of roof. A modified bitumen roof can last from fifteen to twenty years.

Since TPO, EPDM, and PVC are manufactured products, they may come with additional warranties, so check with your roofing company to find out.

What Affects the Lifespan of Your Commercial Roof?

The material that your commercial roof is composed of isn’t the only thing that affects how long it will last. There are also other factors in play.

Local Weather Conditions

The prevailing weather in your part of the country will not only determine what kind of material your commercial roof should be, but also how much wear and tear it will have to withstand.

If your area is prone to harsh winters, your roof will have to deal with the freeze/thaw cycle. If it’s in an area that faces tornadoes or hurricanes, then your roof will have to deal with high winds and thrown debris that can puncture the roof material. If your building is located in a hot, dry climate, your roof doesn’t just have to be energy efficient to keep cooling bills under control; it should also be fire resistant in the case of wildfires.

Roof Installation Quality

The installation process is a major determining factor in how long your commercial roof will last. If you try to cut corners with a roofing company that uses cheap, substandard workmanship or materials, your business will suffer in the long run. Any money you saved on the installation will be lost on constant roof maintenance or roof replacement that’s needed far sooner than you had anticipated.

Also, warranties on manufactured roof materials may be voided if they are not installed properly. In order to make sure you’re hiring the best, check multiple sources. Talk to other business owners, check online resources, such as Google reviews, and reach out to the Better Business Bureau. Even when you’ve decided on a roofing company, ask to see their portfolio of completed work. Your commercial roof is an investment that needs to last!

Adopt a Regular Maintenance Schedule

The importance of routine maintenance in extending the lifespan of your commercial roof can’t be overstated. Roof problems don’t cure themselves; they grow and get worse and will eventually become catastrophic. Even a small leak could be an indicator of a much bigger problem happening on your roof.

When you establish an inspection and maintenance schedule for your commercial roof, you can take care of small problems quickly and inexpensively. Even if your roof isn’t in need of repairs, regular maintenance also involves cleaning your roof and keeping drains clear of leaves and other debris.

Trust Your Commercial Roof to TEMA Roofing Services

Now that you know how long the most popular commercial roofing materials last, you can make a more informed decision about what’s right for your property. If you think you may need roof repair or replacement, contact TEMA Roofing Services today. We have decades of combined expertise to ensure that your commercial roof project is done right!