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Flat Roof Repair and Replacement Costs in Washington, D.C., and Maryland

Flat roofs offer an attractive, economical, durable, long-term option for homes built with a minimal slope up top. However, homeowners with flat roofs must be diligent, because repairs and leaks that aren’t addressed can escalate in a hurry.

By their nature, flat roofs can’t simply be tarped or caulked as a repair measure. Water may pond on flat roofs, and leaks are often difficult to pinpoint—you can get a drip entering the interior of your home in one spot, but the actual leak is 30 feet away. Water also can damage the insulation boards, making a small leak on a flat roof much more detrimental than an asphalt or cedar-shake roof.

Whether you repair or replace a flat roof, there will be an expense to do the job and do the job right. Here is a look at flat-roof replacement costs in Washington, D.C., and Maryland:

Repair or Replace?

As with any roof, you may be faced with a decision to repair a damaged flat roof or replace it outright. Unlike traditional asphalt shingle roofs, flat-roof repair requires an extra level of expertise—it’s rarely a DIY project to knock out yourself. You also must consider the age of the flat roof and the quality (materials and workmanship) of the original job. Newer roofs installed by contractors who knew what they were doing will be easier, and less expensive, to repair.

Repairing a Flat Roof

Usually, the most common flat-roof repairs are addressing pooling or fixing the underlayment. Always choose a professional roofer; there are simply too many variables and too many things that can go wrong—potentially leading to more problems down the line—to attempt this repair on your own. You can reasonably expect to pay hundreds of dollars, maybe even into four digits, to fix a flat roof. Unfortunately, most flat-roof repairs are stopgap measures that won’t buy you years of utility. More than likely, you still will be looking at a replacement roof sooner rather than later.

Replacement Costs vs. Long-Term Value

Flat-roof replacement costs might spur homeowners to opt for a repair instead. Though a replacement will require an investment and can cost perhaps twice as much as a traditional asphalt shingle roof, a new flat roof provides long-term value that is beneficial to your home. Replace your roof now and you won’t need to worry about it for years. Your home’s resale value will get a boost as well. Alternately, not replacing a roof that desperately needs replacing can damage the interior of your home and your possessions within. The key is to truly see a new flat roof as an investment: You pay up front but enjoy an intangible return for years to come.


Most flat roofs come with standard warranties from the manufacturer on the system itself and possibly with a guarantee of workmanship from the contractor. Many homeowners opt to purchase additional protection in case something does unexpectedly go wrong with the roof over the course of its expected lifetime. The high end of warranties is a no-dollar limit warranty, or NDL, which pays not only for a new roof if it fails but also for any damage to the home, including items within the interior. An NDL costs several hundred dollars more, but for the homeowner concerned with what a flat roof is protecting, it’s peace of mind that can’t be matched.

Energy Efficiency

Flat roofs don’t just come in black—you can choose white or gray to realize energy efficiency benefits for your home. White flat roofs don’t absorb Maryland heat like a black one does, meaning your air conditioning isn’t working as hard each summer. Gray cools your roof almost as much as white does but often still fits the aesthetic of your home. If you know you can save a couple hundred dollars every year simply because your home isn’t overheating, flat-roof replacement costs won’t seem quite as daunting.

As you investigate flat-roof replacement costs, remember that you are purchasing an entire roofing system, not just outer roofing material itself. Underlayments, installation panels, and roof coatings are some additional elements of the system that will provide value. The quality of the contractor is also important to delivering a return on your investment. Do business with someone who is qualified and with whom you feel comfortable.

What has been your experience with the flat roof on your home?

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