How Do You Know Your Flat Roof Needs Replacing?

/ / Flat Roofing

Flat roofs are among the most common ones for commercial buildings, and when properly installed, they can last for over a decade with only minor repairs needed. But how can you tell what’s a minor issue, and what’s an issue that will threaten the integrity of the whole roof? Here’s what to look for during your roof inspections.

Minor Fixes

No roof is immune from the wear and tear that comes from being an outdoor structure. Often, these issues can be taken care of during a quarterly or six-month inspection. Being on top of these repairs will also extend the life of your roof. Average wear and tear includes:

  • Minor tears and punctures
  • Popped out nails
  • Worn down flashings
  • Sealants and caulking starting to deteriorate
  • Rust on fasteners
  • Minor damage to coping caps
  • Clogged gutters and drains

Major Fixes

Most flat roofs will last about 20-25 years before they need to be replaced–though depending on weather conditions and upkeep, your roof may need replacing sooner. Here are the telltale signs that it’s time for a complete roof replacement.

Bubbles, Cracks, And Blisters On The Roof Membrane

The roof membrane is a material set over a flat roof to make it watertight and weather-resistant. If you start to see bubbles or cracks in the membrane, then it’s not tight enough to keep water out.

Gathering Water

Flat roofs aren’t completely flat. Usually, they have a 15-degree slope to allow water to run off of it. If you see pools of water on your roof after a rain storm, that means the materials that make up the roof are starting to warp and bend. This leaves you at risk for leaks and water damage, which will compromise the structure of your building.


This one speaks for itself: if you’re having persistent leaks in your building, chances are there’s a crack in your roof that’s allowing water to seep in. Water damage could, again, compromise your building’s structure, and mold and mildew could put any people inside the building at risk.

Increased Energy Bills

Leaks are a pretty obvious sign that your roof needs replacing, but your energy bill could give away that it’s time for a replacement, too. If your energy bills seem to keep going up for no reason, chances are it’s your roof to blame. As cracks develop, you start to lose insulation, and heat is able to escape–it’s like having a perpetually cracked window.

What Do I Do About It?

Regardless of what condition your roof is in, you should arrange to have a roof inspection at least every six months to ensure that there’s no major damage or issues–this will prolong the life of your roof and ultimately save you money.

Juneau Odenwald Roofing is here to take care of all your roofing needs, from minor upkeep to major repairs to complete roof replacement. Flat roofs are one of our specialties, and we’ll be able to help you no matter what sort of building you have.

Not sure what state your roof is in? Let us help you figure out what you need; contact us today for a free estimate, and let’s get your roof back to tiptop shape.