February 6, 2023
If you are the owner of a commercial property, your roofing system is one of the most important components protecting your investments. It keeps your business assets and your employees safe from the harsh elements in nature, and it keeps them dry and warm in the winters, and cool and safe in the hot summers.
But your roof takes the brunt of every beating that nature brings your way. This post will discuss the lifespan of different commercial roofing systems, so if you just searched for, “what is the lifespan of a commercial roof?” all you have to do is scroll down to your roofing system type (by material) and find your answer there!
If you came because you were wondering which roofing material has the longest lifespan out of all of the different commercial roofing material types, this next section is for you:
Which Commercial Roofing Material Has the Longest Lifespan?
Slate roofs have the longest lifespan. There are lots of durable roofs available for commercial roofing but the one that lasts the longest is a premium type of tile called “slates.” Slate roofs are made from natural stone tiles and other types of slates.
Slate roofing systems have a lifespan of 75 to 100 years. If your slate roof is properly installed and has been flashed properly, it should be the last roof you ‘ve ever have to put on your business.
NOTE: Slate roofs are made from the strongest materials available, and they look great too, but they may not be the best solution for your commercial building. Fill out this contact form to get a free consultation from one of Sellers Roofing Company’s expert commercial roof inspectors!
Best Commercial Roof for Minneapolis Winters
Winters in Minneapolis can be pretty harsh. The harsh winters can take a toll on commercial roofs. At Sellers Roofing, we receive a lot of questions from clients asking, “Which roofing material has the longest lifespan?” or, “What commercial roofing material will survive through cold and icy winters here in Minneapolis?” or this one, “I think my commercial roof is cracking in cold weather, should I be using a different type of roofing material for Minneapolis roofs?”
The sad part is, that we get the good majority of these questions after the winter has passed and damage is already done. For those of you looking for the best commercial roofing system to withstand the harsh Minneapolis winters, we have a few suggestions for you right here in this next section:
What is the Lifespan of a Commercial Roof?
So, What is the Lifespan of a Commercial Roof? The answer to this question is not as straightforward as you would think…
Here’s the thing…
The lifespan of a commercial roof depends on a number of factors, including the type of material that the roof is made of the quality of materials used, and the level of maintenance that is upheld over the years, among others.
The most common types of commercial roofs are asphalt shingles, metal roofs, built-up roofing (BUR roofing) and single-ply membranes such as PVC, TPO, EPMD, and TPE.
Asphalt shingles are typically the least expensive option, but they have a shorter lifespan than other types of roofs, lasting 15-20 years. Metal roofs are more durable and can last for 30-50 years, but they are also more expensive.
Single-ply membranes are made from synthetic materials and can last for 20-30 years. However, all types of roofs will need to be properly installed, and then require proper commercial roof maintenance in order to achieve their maximum lifespan. Regular inspections and repairs will help to extend the life of any commercial roof.
Commercial Roof Lifespan Expectancy by Type of Material
So, what is the Lifespan of a Commercial Roof? There are many different types of materials that can be used for a commercial roof, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages.
One of the most common roofing materials is asphalt shingles, which are reasonably priced and easy to install. However, they have a shorter lifespan than some other materials and are not suitable for all climates.
Metal roofs are another popular choice, especially for commercial buildings. They are very durable and can last for decades, but they can be more expensive upfront.
For a more environmentally friendly option, consider installing a green roof, which is covered with vegetation. Green roofs help to insulate the building and can even absorb stormwater runoff. Ultimately, the best roofing material for your commercial building will depend on your budget and your climate.
The next few sections will go over the commercial roof lifespan expectancy by type of material. Just find your roofing material type below and read more about it there.
What is the Average Lifespan of a Metal Roof?
Metal roofs typically last between 40 and 70 years. The lifespan of some materials is even longer – some copper roofs have been around for more than 100 years. However, your roof’s longevity can also be affected by a number of factors.
In comparison to asphalt shingles’ average lifespan of 15-30 years, metal roofing has a significantly longer lifespan. Unlike shingles, metal panels are designed to withstand environmental pressures without warping or buckling. In fact, a properly installed metal roofing system has an almost double average lifespan than that of an asphalt roofing system, making it an ideal material for those concerned about durability and aesthetics.
What is the Average Lifespan of a EPMD Roof?
EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) has a 30 year lifespan if it is maintained properly. A special design makes it resistant to hail and thermal shocks. The rubber membrane on this type of roof ensures its longevity.
When rubber roofs are maintained regularly, they will last longer since they expand and contract. Commercial buildings often use synthetic rubber because it has a lower degeneration rate than other rubbers.
What is the Average Lifespan of a TPO Roof?
One of the most popular roofing materials is thermoplastic polyolefin, which can last up to 30 years. Continuous improvements have increased the lifespan of TPO roofs from 10 to 20 years. In some cases, TPO can last up to 35 years, especially in the newer and heavier versions. Single-ply membranes with polymers and fillers make up this commercial roofing type.
There are four main components to TPO roofing: polypropylene, polyethylene (PP), block copolymer polypropylene (BCPP), rubber, and some type of reinforcing filler. Warehouses, malls, and office buildings tend to have this type of roofing. Well-maintained TPO will last a lifetime if it is maintained by qualified technicians.
What is the Average Lifespan of a PVC Roof?
It is possible to save up to 35 years on polyvinyl chloride (PVC) roofing. Originally introduced in the 1960s, this heat-welded, single-ply roofing system was the first of its kind. Unlike other plastics, PVC is highly durable, flexible, resistant to chemicals, oils, greases, fungi, fires, and other industrial debris.
The use of strong gauge PVC ensures minimal wear and tear and can tolerate extreme weather conditions. UV protection is usually provided by the top ply; therefore, you can rely on it for commercial purposes.
What is the Average Lifespan of a SPF Roof?
An SPF (Spray Polyurethane Foam) typically lasts between 20 and 50 years. In order to determine the lifespan, two factors must be taken into account. The first is the quality of the professional application.
The polyurethane foam is created by mixing two chemicals under pressure and applying it evenly over the roof surface with a spray nozzle head. It can be reduced by problems with the chemical mix, the temperature during application, or inadequate surface preparation.
An elastomeric coating applied over the foam is probably a more important factor. Water and UV rays are protected from the SPF by the coating. A roof without a coating will start to fail in about 20 years and will eventually deteriorate due to UV rays and water reaching the foam. To extend the roof’s life, it needs to be recoated.
What is the Average Lifespan of a Slate Roof?
One of the reasons slate is so popular is that it doesn’t need to be replaced throughout a lifetime. With proper maintenance, slate roofs can last at least 75 years and sometimes even 200 years. Depending on the condition and weather exposure, slate will need to be replaced or repaired every 20-25 years.
What is the Average Lifespan of a Built Up Roof? (BUR Roofing)
It has been common practice to use BUR roofs worldwide for many years, but how long do they last?
Depending on the material used in the roofing, BUR can last from 15 to 40 years.
In addition to climate exposure, BUR’s lifespan is affected by how well it’s applied and installed. BUR’s lifespan is reduced by cold temperatures. A BUR’s longevity will also be determined by its layer count.
Flat roofs with built-up roofing last for a long time. BURs should last 25 to 40 years before they need to be replaced. The roof, however, needs to be maintained.
What is the Average Lifespan of a Modified Bitumen Roof?
Modified bitumen roofs, also called “modified bit” roofs, have an average lifespan of 15 years. Low sloped or nearly flat roofs benefit from the material.
The surface finish of the roll roofing is composed of small rock granules like those on a 3-tab shingle roof. In the photo above, granule loss and cracking of the surface are evidence of the material reaching the end of its lifespan.
Based on “average” conditions, the average lifespan is estimated to be 10 to 16 years. It is possible for a particular modified bit roof’s life to differ – sometimes significantly – from the average due to many factors.
Factors that can affect the lifespan of a commercial roof
A commercial roof is a big investment, and you want it to last. However, there are a number of factors that can affect the lifespan of your roof. First, the materials you choose will make a big difference. Asphalt shingles are the most common type of roofing material, but they have a shorter lifespan than more expensive options like metal or tile.
Second, the climate in your area can also be a factor. If you live in an area with severe weather conditions, your roof will be under more stress and is likely to degrade more quickly.
There are many things that can degrade or damage the quality of your roof, especially here in Minnesota. Among them are:
- Extreme temperatures
- Storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, and tropical disturbances
- Inspections and proper maintenance
- Impact of heavy equipment (such as HVAC units and other vents) on the roof
- Roofing material used for commercial buildings
- Professionalism of the roof installation company.
A commercial roof’s quality cannot be completely avoided or eliminated. The bottom line, your commercial roof’s lifespan depends a lot on partnering with a trained professional, and ensuring that proper maintenance and inspections are done.
What is the Lifespan of a Commercial Roof? – Final Thoughts
The lifespan of a commercial roof can vary depending on a number of factors, including the materials used, the climate, and the maintenance schedule. Of course, regular maintenance is essential to prolonging the life of any roof. Regular inspections can help to identify potential problems early on, before they have a chance to cause significant damage.
Furthermore, promptly repairing any leaks or other damage can also help to extend the life of a commercial roof. By taking these steps, businesses can maximize the lifespan of their roofs and avoid the need for premature replacement. Commercial roofs come in many different shapes, sizes, and materials.
For professional opinions, inspections, installation, repair, and maintenance of commercial roofs in Minneapolis, call on the pros here at Sellers Roofing Company! Click here for your free estimate today!
What is the difference between asphalt shingles and metal roofing?
Asphalt shingles are made from recycled materials such as paper pulp, wood fiber, and rubber. They are also less expensive than other types of roofs. Metal roofs, however, are usually heavier and more durable than asphalt shingles, and accordingly more expensive but worth the extra cost.
What is an average commercial roof cost?
A typical commercial roofing material costs between $3-$5 per square foot for asphalt shingle roofs, and $10-$15 per square foot for metal roofs. The price depends on the size of the building, the quality of the materials used, and whether the roof has been previously repaired.
Can hail damage commercial roof?
Hail is one of the most common causes of roof damage, and it can be particularly destructive to commercial roofs. The impact of hail can cause cracks and indentations in the roofing material, which can then lead to leaks. In addition, hail can also damage gutters and downspouts, making it difficult for water to drain properly. For these reasons, it’s important to have a commercial roof inspected after a hail storm to ensure that any damage is repaired quickly. When left unaddressed, hail damage can cause serious long-term problems for a commercial roof.
What to do if you think your commercial roof needs to be replaced
If you think your commercial roof needs to be replaced, the first step is to contact a qualified roofing contractor. They will be able to inspect your roof and give you an accurate estimate of the cost of replacement or repair. Once a solution has been agree upon, the next step is to select the type of roofing material that you want to use.
There are many different options available. The experts here at Sellers Roofing Company will help your choose a material that will be durable, easy to maintain, and able to accomodate your budget. After the roofing material has been selected, we will make needed repairs or install the new roof according to manufacturer instructions and local building codes.