Your commercial roofing system is, like everything else, a business asset. It won’t last forever, though. Do you know how long the roofing system is designed to last? One of the most common questions we get from our customers is how long a roof is likely to last, so let’s take a look at the top commercial roof systems and their lifespans.
Typical thermoplastic olefin (TPO) roofs usually last between 10 and 20 years. TPO roofing, usually used on flat roofs, can be warranted for upwards of 25 years. The warranties on TPO roofing are available from 25 to 35 years and usually where using TPO on soft and manmade climate conditions.
The EPDM roof system has a lifespan of up to 30 years if properly maintained, with a 20- to 30-year lifespan being average for these durable membrane products. The resiliency and resistance to thermal shock and hail of these EPDM roofing systems is key to their longevity.
Industrial grade, synthetic rubber shows signs only slowly of degradation under normal conditions. Like TPO roofs, EPDM roofs are basically flat, commercial roofs installed on large buildings.
PVC (polyvinyl chloride) commercial roofs last up to 35 years. The systems were first developed in the 1960’s as a single-ply system. While susceptible to shrinkage and prone to incompatibility with asphalt, the PVC film is highly durable, flexible, and excellent at resisting rooftop chemicals, oils, greases, fungi, fire, and industrial byproducts.
They are expensive compared to traditional tile or asphalt siding materials and also tend to expand and contract more in the sun. They are also known to have shorter lifespans than shingle roofs.
Professionally installed asphalt roofs can be expected to last between 10 and 25 years, though steep-slope shingle roofs might last even longer. The lifespan is determined by the roofing system design, the quality of the shingles, and how well it is taken care of. Typically used on low-slope structures, asphalt roofs consist of several layers — a weather-proofing layer, one or more reinforcement layers, and a protective surface layer.
Slate and Tile
Slate and tile commercial roofs last the longest — life expectancy is up to 150 years for natural slate and 100 years for natural tile. You can expect about half that lifespan from synthetic slate and tile products. These roofing systems have been around for more than 4,500 years and come with warranties of 50, 75, or 100 years for natural products and labor warranties for up to 20 years. Most synthetic slate roofs and concrete tile roofs have 50-year warranties.