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  • Writer's pictureJoshua Stannard

Which Type of Flat Roof Covering Has the Longest Lifespan?

When it comes to flat roofing, Doncaster homeowners and business owners alike have a variety of options to choose from. However, one question that often arises is, "Which type of flat roof covering has the longest lifespan?" In this blog post, we will explore different types of flat roof coverings and their respective lifespans to help you make an informed decision.

Understanding Flat Roofing

Before we delve into the specifics, it's essential to understand what flat roofing entails. Contrary to its name, a flat roof isn't entirely flat but has a slight pitch for water drainage. Flat roofs are common in commercial buildings and modern residential designs due to their cost-effectiveness and space efficiency.

The longevity of your flat roof largely depends on the type of covering used. The right choice can provide durability, weather resistance, and extended lifespan - all crucial considerations for any property owner in Doncaster.

Types of Flat Roof Coverings

There are several types of coverings available for flat roofing in Doncaster. These include:

1. Built-Up Roof (BUR): This traditional hot-tar-and-gravel roof is built from three or more layers of waterproof material alternated with hot tar and topped with a layer of smooth river stone.

2. Modified Bitumen: A single-ply rolled roof similar to ice-and-water shield but impregnated with a mineral-based wear surface.

3. Rubber Membrane (EPDM): A durable rubber material that can be anchored with fasteners, ballasted with stone or glued.

4. PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) & TPO (Thermoplastic Olefin): These are single-ply membranes known for their strength and durability.

Lifespan Comparison

Now let's compare these options based on their lifespan:

1. Built-Up Roof (BUR): BUR systems have been around for over 100 years and are known for their longevity. With proper maintenance, a BUR system can last anywhere between 15 to 30 years.

2. Modified Bitumen: This type of roof covering has a lifespan of about 10 to 20 years. However, with regular inspections and maintenance, it can last longer.

3. Rubber Membrane (EPDM): EPDM roofs are known for their durability and resistance to weather elements. They have an average lifespan of about 20 to 25 years.

4. PVC & TPO: These roof coverings are relatively new in the market but have shown impressive durability. They have an expected lifespan of about 20 to 30 years.

The Longest Lasting Flat Roof Covering

From the above comparison, it's clear that PVC and TPO roofing systems tend to have the longest lifespan among flat roof coverings. These materials are resistant to wind, fire, and chemical exposure, making them a durable choice for flat roofing in Doncaster.

However, it's important to note that the actual lifespan of your flat roof will depend on several factors beyond just the material used. These include installation quality, local climate conditions, maintenance frequency, and usage demands on the roof.


Choosing the right flat roof covering is crucial for ensuring longevity and durability. While PVC and TPO systems offer impressive lifespans, other options like BUR or EPDM might be more suitable depending on your specific needs and budget considerations.

Remember that regular maintenance is key in extending your flat roof's life regardless of the material used. For professional advice or assistance with flat roofing in Doncaster, don't hesitate to reach out to experienced professionals who can guide you through this important decision.

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