If you have a flat roof, then you are aware of the benefits such as energy efficiency and being aesthetically pleasing. Flat roofing also serves as a secondary outdoor space. Despite the amazing benefits, flat roofs can also cause problems such as pooled water and leaks. You have to take extra care to prevent these problems so your roof and building do not get damaged. A leak in a flat roof can lead to eventual collapse and tons of property damage if you’re not careful. But you can avoid most of these problems with regular maintenance. It is important to first understand that flat roofs are not entirely flat. If a flat roof is properly designed, it typically has a very slight slope. This slope helps to keep water from pooling on your roof. The slope is so slight that the untrained eye cannot even see it.
How to Prevent Problems with Flat Roofs?
Rainwater can be a pretty serious threat to a low-sloped or flat roof. Unlike a steeply pitched roof, these surfaces don’t always have the power of gravity working with them to carry runoff down to the ground. It is easy for drainage systems on a flat roof to become overwhelmed quickly by falling debris. If there is any pooled water on the roof surface, issues will develop. The pooled water weighs your roof down, which can cause it to collapse. Additionally, the water provides an opportunity for leaks to occur, especially in any hairline cracks that may form from continued water exposure over time. To best protect your flat roof and extend its longevity, here are the best tips to follow.
Inspect and Clean Gutters Frequently
Rainwater outlets on your flat roof’s drainage system can become blocked by debris that gets blown around. You can prevent blocked gutters to an extent by installing a leaf guard. But don’t count on it to prevent blockages entirely all by itself. You will still need to perform regular maintenance of your roof’s drainage system to make sure that water is going where it’s supposed to.
Sweep Leaves and Dirt Off the Roof
There are occasions where you may end up with a rogue tree on your roof. Some have found that saplings take root after they have been left for too long. Without regular maintenance, trees can take root but a regular sweep will easily solve that problem.
Replace Your Roof Every Ten Years
Barring any unforeseen events, a new roof will last around fifteen years. Because they are constantly exposed to moisture and standing water, flat roofs just don’t last as long as sloped roofs. Your flat roof will need a full roof replacement every ten years, so budget w accordingly for this.
Seal Your Roof with a Waterproof Coating
A waterproof sealant can protect your roof. In fact, many flat roofs are sealed with water-resistant coatings. The application of the coating is important. Uneven coatings or the wrong kind of sealant can cause a lot more harm than good. First, you need to have the roof cleaned to keep debris and dirt from mixing with the sealant. The roof should also be dry so as not to trap moisture below the coating. This can lead to rot and mold eventually. You should also have the roof inspected by a professional before attempting to add sealant, so they can find any damage or problems that would prevent the sealant from doing its job. It is also recommended to have the sealant applied by a professional to ensure it is done properly.
Inspect Your Roof Frequently
It is recommended that you have a flat roof inspected twice a year to identify problems before they become serious. Aim for having an inspector out to visit once in the summer and once in the winter. Small flaws can often be repaired rather easily, so it is best to catch these issues early. Issues that you want to have taken care of right away include:
- Repairing small cracks and fissures – Look for cracks around any raised ridges and enlist professional help as needed.
- Check for blistering – These occur when air gets trapped between the roof layers. These can rupture and create holes, allowing water into the roof.
Giving your roof the help it needs is the best way to keep it in great shape. Roof maintenance experts can help you identify problems before they become major issues and help you with a regular maintenance schedule. Contact us today to speak with a flat roofing professional to make sure your flat roof goes the distance.