Finding a roof leak in your flat roof isn’t fun. It’s even less fun when you learn your flat roof actually requires a replacement.
But before jumping right into a flat roof replacement, there are some things you need to know about it. Luckily, we’ve got you covered.
For over 30 years, the team at Bill Ragan Roofing has helped homeowners like you understand their upcoming roof replacement. Because of this, I’ll give you the information you need to know before getting a new flat roof.
Let’s get to the 4 things you need to know about your flat roof replacement.
1. Your roofing material options for a flat roof replacement
A flat roof will inevitably have sitting water on it after it rains. That’s why it needs a waterproof roofing material to keep water from getting into your home.
This is where the roofing membranes come into play. Membrane roof systems are sheets (5, 10, 20 feet wide) of rolled synthetic, water repellent membrane.
TPO and PVC usually come in a white membrane, which reflects the sun and keeps the rooms below the flat roof cooler.
EPDM is a black rubber membrane, which means the room below will absorb more heat. While membrane roof systems are usually used over commercial properties, all 3 types are now commonly used in residential roofing.
Which one you choose depends on the look you want and what rooms are directly below the flat roof. If you can see the roof from a window, you might not want to go with a white membrane because it will be dirty in six months and will look unsightly.
If a bedroom or living space is below the flat roof, you’ll probably go with TPO or PVC to keep the room cooler during the hotter months. No matter which one you choose, it’ll do the main job of waterproofing your flat roof.
2. How much a flat roof replacement costs
If you’re like most homeowners, you’re probably concerned about the price of your flat roof replacement. This is understandable, so I want to give you an idea of the price of a new flat roof.
But just know that it’s impossible to give you an exact price for a flat roof replacement because of all the different cost factors. The numbers should only be used for budgetary reasons.
With all this in mind, you can expect a flat membrane roof replacement to cost around $14.00-$17.00 per square foot for smaller projects and about $12.00 per square foot for slightly larger projects. As I said, there are a lot of factors that go into the price of a new flat roof.
But two key factors help determine where you'll fall in the range above. The first factor is the type of insulation used under the roofing membrane.
Using insulation thick enough to insulate an entire structure costs more than using fabric insulation and gluing the membrane roof system to it. The second factor is the size of your flat roof replacement.
For a smaller flat roof replacement, the cost per square foot will actually be towards the higher end of the price range. For larger flat roof replacements, the cost per square foot goes in the opposite direction and drastically decreases.
3. How long your flat roof replacement will last
After learning how much it’ll cost to replace your flat roof, you need to know how many years you’ll get out of it. Unlike the cost, the lifespan of a flat roof replacement depends on the type of membrane you use.
Besides their chemical makeup, a PVC roofing membrane and a TPO roofing membrane are very similar. The process to replace them is even pretty much the same.
As long as both membranes are installed properly, you should get around 25 years out of a TPO or PVC flat roof replacement.
An EPDM roofing membrane is more durable, and it’s almost like having a bulletproof rubber roof system. Because of this, you can expect to get around 25 to 30 years out of a fully adhered 0.060 thickness EPDM flat roof replacement.
These lifespans are the return you'll get on your flat roof replacement investment. But it also tells you when you’ll have to replace your flat roof again in the future.
4. Hire a roofing contractor with flat roof replacement experience
The most important thing to know about a flat roof replacement is that you need to find a great roofing contractor. The roofing contractor you hire has a huge impact on every aspect of your flat roofing project.
That’s why it’s absolutely crucial to find a roofing contractor with flat roof replacement experience. If you make the wrong hiring decision, you’re putting your investment at risk from the very beginning.
You need to look for a roofing company that specifically offers flat roofing services for residential homes. It’s also important not to try to find the cheapest flat roof replacement possible.
This will definitely show up in the final quality of your flat roof and can also affect your workmanship warranty.
The tips you need to hire a great roofing contractor for your flat roof replacement
Now you have the 4 things you need to know about a flat roof replacement. After reading this article, you’re better prepared for a roofing company to come and give you a quote.
Remember, you need to find one with flat roof replacement experience. While this is crucial, it’s not the only thing you need to look for in a roofing contractor.
Unfortunately, finding one is harder than you think in the roofing industry. That’s why I want to give you the tips every homeowner needs to find a great roofing contractor in their area.
Since 1990, the team at Bill Ragan Roofing has provided high-quality flat roofing services to thousands of homeowners in Nashville and surrounding Middle Tennessee areas. No matter if you need a replacement or repairs, you can count on us to do it right.