Residential flat roofs: When to repair and when to replace

Flat roofs can be an attractive option due to their low price tag and energy efficiency. Flat roofs can also provide homes with an outside area atop the roof, which can be especially appealing to urban homeowners. There are, however, several cons to flat roofing: their lifetime is much shorter than some other materials and they are prone to leaks.

When your roof is leaking, it can be difficult to ascertain whether you need a simple flat roof leak repair or a completely new flat roof. Here’s what you need to know before you shell out the cash for a flat roof installation:

  • When to repair your flat roof
    Flat roofs require lots of regular maintenance as they are more prone to damage and leaks than some other roofing materials. A good rule of thumb for residential flat roof repair is to have a roofing contractor come and look at your roof at least once per year and after major storms or freeze-thaw cycles.

Flat roof repair cost can vary widely depending on your roofing material. If, for example, you have a flat roof with some sort of rubber membrane—such as ethyl propylene diene polymer (EPDM)—your roofing contractor will check for any broken seams around flashing and parapens. It is common with rubber roofing materials for the membrane to shrink and pull away from parapens, flashing and other seams. This is a standard flat roof leak repair that any experienced roofing contractor should easily be able to complete.On the other hand, if your built-up roof (BUR)—also known as a tar and gravel roof—is leaking, it is very difficult to locate the source of the leak. In this case, flat roof leak repair is rarely viable. You will likely have to have a roofing contractor install an entirely new flat roof.

    Your best bet is to schedule regular residential flat roof repair yearly and call your roofing contractor for flat roof leak repair as needed. They will be able to keep flat roof repair cost down and provide you with service to keep your flat roof leak-free for years to come.

  • When to replace your flat roof
    You need to be mindful of the manufacturer warranty on your roofing material. Rolled asphalt, for example, only has a service life of about five years, while EDPM is good for about 10 years and PVC for 30 years or more. Once the service life is over, the time for residential flat roof repair has passed—it’s time to replace your flat roof entirely.If you called an inexperienced roofing contractor, it’s also likely that your roof wasn’t installed properly to begin with. This might be the case for you if your roof continually leaks even with regular residential flat roof repair maintenance.

No matter whether you need a flat roof leak repair or an entirely new flat roof, consider calling Wildwood Roofing & Construction. We’ve been repairing, installing and replacing flat roofs in St. Louis for years. We always quote a fair flat roof repair cost and explain to our clients line by line where the cost stems from. Maybe that’s why our clients have such positive things to say about us.

So give us a call. We’ll set up a cost- and obligation-free consultation where we’ll look at your roof and tell you exactly what work needs to be done on your roof to keep it leak-free. Even if it’s no work at all.

Drop us a line to tell us your project goals. We’ll tell you how we can exceed them.