Dave Tidd answers some common questions. Have others? Give us a call!
David Tidd, Vice President and General Manager
1. My EPDM roof is 20 years old — should I replace it?
It depends — just because it’s 20 years old doesn’t mean you should replace the roof, but you should be thinking about it.
If the integrity of the seams is still good, and membrane shrinkage is minimal, you can probably get several more years out of your roof with proper maintenance. When seaming starts failing, however, or if there is significant physical damage from rooftop activities, it can cost a lot to fix.
Another consideration is what’s in your building. If you have valuable equipment or if you have recently invested in some major interior renovations, you might want to minimize your risk and replace the roof. On the other hand, some EPDM roofs are warrantied for up to 30 years and do last that long.
2. How long does a flat roof last?
Flat roof systems typically last from 10 to 30 years depending on:
Design — complexity, number of layers and robust quality of the construction
Materials used — most roof products are available in a range of thicknesses or grades with some outperforming others
Accessories — includes things like quality of the metal flashing and walk pads in traffic areas
Flashing details — lower quality flashing might fail before the rest of the system, or vice versa
Quality of installation — the better the installation, the longer it will last
Slope — roofs that shed water more effectively last longer
Maintenance — maintained roofs typically last at least 25% longer than roofs that are not maintained
3. If we had a severe leak recently, does this mean it’s time to replace the roof?
The amount of water that can leak on a flat roof can vary with the location on the roof that has failed, the type defect and the drainage characteristics of the roof structure. A small hole located in a low area may leak like a bathtub drain and a larger opening in a well drained location may barely cause a visible leak. Have a Sentry Roof Care professional evaluate the problem and we will provide solutions that take into account the general conditions of the roof and the customer’s objectives. A big leak can sometimes be a very manageable repair.