How Long Does A Vanguard Single-Ply Flat Roof Last?

Vanguard Single-Ply Flat Roof

If you’ve decided to buy a new flat roof, you want it to last. A new roof is a huge investment, so it’s only natural that longevity is a big consideration when you’re weighing up the pros and cons. 

Did you know that most flat roofs only last somewhere around 5 to 10 years? Most flat roofs, that is, but not all…

Introducing the Vanguard single-ply flat roof.

How Long Does A Vanguard Single Ply Flat Roof Last?

The Vanguard single-ply flat roof system is known for being one of the most durable in the business.

Compared to a traditional felt roof, which you’d be lucky to get more than 10 years out of, and GRP flat roofs, which often fail within just a couple of years, Vanguard single-ply flat roofs hold strong and are guaranteed for 20 years and often last up to 40 years. Some installers even offer a lifetime guarantee.

How’s that for a long-lasting roofing solution?

At PFR, we’ve seen single ply roofs that were installed in the early ’90s still going strong today. If that doesn’t tell you a Vanguard roof is a great investment for your home, we’re not sure what will! 

Why Do Vanguard Single Ply Flat Roofs Last So Well?

Vanguard single-ply flat roofs are put together using strong, flexible sheets of polyvinyl chloride, or PVC. These sheets are laid together and welded into place with a specialist heat gun, and once complete, offer extreme durability against all weathers. This is very different to many products that rely on seams being glued, as glues will often break down before the waterproof membrane. Most of the time, the glues are not included in the warranty!  

There are a whole host of benefits to installing a Vanguard single-ply flat roof. These roofs are:


Because a PVC roof is pliable and flexible it won’t crack or split. This is in stark contrast to a GRP roof which is plastic reinforced with glass fibres, making it more prone to cracking. PVC can withstand normal building movements without stress, whereas GRP is rigid and can’t flex with the building movement, meaning it often fails at upstands or junctions to the main building.

Strong, Even At The Seams

Vanguard roofing sheets are heat-welded at the seams rather than glued. Roofs that rely on glued seams, like EPDM, can succumb to issues when the glue becomes weathered and breaks down, allowing water to seep in. 


Though felt roofs are sometimes the cheapest roofing option and relatively easy to DIY, many are not designed to last, so you would need to budget to replace it every few years. Vanguard single-ply flat roofs, at the other end of the spectrum, are made from PVC, a material with an incredibly long shelf life that will protect your home year after year without breaking down. 


Vanguard roofing systems can withstand searing heat and cold, harsh temperatures without any issues. They are also, as one would hope from a roof, totally watertight, meaning you can both protect the internal roof structure and keep your home dry all year round. 

Quick To Fit

Thanks to pre-cut sheets and bespoke fixings, installing a Vanguard single-ply flat roof is simple. They can even be fitted over an existing roof system, saving time and money. Vanguard roofs can also only be fitted by certified installers, meaning there’s little to no chance of being taken for a ride by a roofing cowboy. 

Easy To Look After

Vanguard roofs look after themselves, with little to no maintenance required.

Environmentally Friendly

Vanguard roofs are made from 100% recyclable materials, so you can rest assured your investment will both last for years to come AND be recycled when it finally gives up the ghost. 

Vanguard Single Ply Flat Roof

How Do Flat Roof Guarantees Work?

Generally speaking, flat roof guarantees aren’t straightforward.


Well, the company that installs your flat roof is rarely the company that made it in the first place.

This might not sound like much of a problem, but whilst the manufacturer will offer a warranty on the product of around 10-20 years, an installer will only give you 2-10 years of warranty once they have fitted it. What this means is that if you run up against issues after those first few years, you’re on your own. 

Filing a claim for flat roof issues is often clunky and hard work because of this double-edged warranty sword, with the manufacturer usually blaming the installer and the installer throwing the fault right back the other way. 

Game-Changing Vanguard Guarantees  

Because Proactive Flat Roofing both manufacture and install the Vanguard flat roof product, we take full responsibility in light of a claim. 

At PFR we offer a lifetime warranty on Vanguard single-ply flat roofs. 

Installation is covered under an insurance-backed warranty for 10 years, giving you peace of mind that your roof is covered even if the worst were to happen. And the Vanguard product itself is guaranteed for as long as you live in your property. In the event of a house move, your new owners will benefit from 20-year warranty from the date the roof was installed; a great selling point for anyone interested in buying your property. 

You can learn more about warranties on our dedicated Warranties 101 webpage.

How Does A Vanguard Roof Compare To Other Roof Types? 

There are plenty of different roof types out there, and each has its own strengths and weaknesses. 

Some, like felt roofs, suit the DIY-ers among us who are on a strict budget. Other types, like GRP roofs, require heavy maintenance schedules to make sure they last. Most flat roofs last up to 10 years if you look after them, but can fail in as little as 6 months if you don’t, or if substandard materials have been used or the roof has been poorly fitted. 

The Vanguard single-ply flat roof system outperforms all other roof types by far because it is long-lasting, simple to look after and durable too. Not to mention the lifetime warranty! 

Want to read up on other popular flat roof styles? Read our recent blog on the topic here.

Other Things To Consider When Choosing A New Flat Roof

The price of a new investment often shouts the loudest when it comes to deciding what to go for, but other factors should be considered too.


In reality, longevity is a better-suited top determining factor. Understanding the expected lifespan of a prospective new roof will give you an idea of how cost-effective your investment will be… The last thing you want to do is fork out on a fancy roof that fails fast. 

Warm Roof Vs Cold Roof 

Cold roofs were invented to try and combat the problem of humidity-related structural damage that was common in houses built in the pre-war era onwards. Roofers were required to ventilate their roofs, allowing cold air to enter and ‘dry out’ the condensation.

Warm roofs, on the other hand, work to manage condensation at its source so that it doesn’t reach your roof space at all. A warm roof is the ideal, the gold standard of modern roofs. 

Not sure what you’ve got, or want to find out more about how warm and cold roofs compare? Click here for our comprehensive guide

Finding A Reputable Company

Knowledge is power! And we’ve got a ton of it squirrelled away in our extensive blog series. 

Educate yourself on all aspects of flat roofing so you know what to look for when it comes to sourcing a trusted roofing company. It’s the best protection against cowboy roofers. 

Already Have Some Questions Lined Up?

When you’re in the market for a new flat roof, there are plenty of aspects you might want to know more about. 

How much does it all cost? How long does installation take? Which flat roof will suit my needs best? 

There’s a lot to it, so why not take the stress out and book a free PFR flat roof survey? 

With no commitment expected from us, talk through all of your worries and questions with one of our highly trained flat roofing surveyors. And the great service doesn’t stop there. Inclusive of a condition report, action plan and full breakdown of costs – still with NO PRESSURE – your free survey will demonstrate exactly what to expect if you choose to solve your roofing issues with PFR. 

Click here to book your 100% free roof survey today.

Before You Go!

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