Prevent Water Damage, Maintenance of Flat Roofs

Flat roof resistant to water damage

A flat roof can add a beautiful, sleek element to your home. This attractive style of roof will hold its value but only as long as you are willing to put in the necessary maintenance. It is essential to keep a regular maintenance schedule on a flat roof to ensure that it can withstand any harsh environmental changes. It’s one thing to have a home that keeps you warm and dry in the winter months, but you also need a roof over your head that can ensure your safety and protection. Here are some tips to keeping your flat roof in stellar working order and avoid water damage:

Water ponding on a flat roof

Ponding is classified as an accumulation of water that sticks around without naturally drying out or evaporating within a 48-hour span of dryer conditions. Ponding water can wreak havoc on a flat roof if it’s not resolved. If the sun comes out to warm up the land after a harsh rain and the roof doesn’t thoroughly dry out, your roof can take a heavy hit via membrane degradation from the magnified UV rays, algae growth or accelerated aging. Structural damage is a huge risk if ponding goes without being detected and repaired. Ultimately, this particular vulnerability can cause roof failure leading to damage of the home’s interior. To prevent these problems, you could see about installing some drains, implement an automatic pump or possibly build up the lower spots on your roof to prevent any more ponding. If you aren’t sure, it’s best to contact a professional, ensuring that the job gets done right.

Flat roof blistering

As you regularly check and inspect your flat roof, make sure you are looking for any blistering. Blistering can become catastrophic if not resolved. This type of mishap consists of air being trapped in-between the felt layers or the substrate, causing separation. As the air heats up between the materials it expands leading to pockets of air that ultimately can become punctured when the blistering breaks. If this nasty situation was to occur it could lead to some major leaking throughout your roofing system. Blistering can be corrected through cleaning and professional repair leaving you with a sufficient waterproof seal.

Splitting and cracking of a flat roof

Maintaining your flat roof also consists of checking for any splitting or cracking. Splitting is often caused by UV rays, as the membrane begins to break down from the harsh rays. Splitting can also be caused by a freeze-thawing or just stress and added pressure upon the roof. Water ponding can also cause splitting as it can result in areas of the roof being spongier. Splitting and cracking can also result from poor workmanship when the roofing system was designed. You can help prevent splitting and cracking by using solar-reflective paint, sheet covering, or reflective tiles. The well being of the surface of your roof is vital and any splitting or cracking must be addressed immediately to prevent additional damage.

Snow accumulation on a flat roof

Snow can pose a major risk to a flat-roofed home. Since the roof is flat there is no way for it to naturally slide off, instead, it accumulates and overloads the roofing system. Flat roofs that are not properly maintained in a snowy climate have often been known to collapse. And then, of course, when the snow begins to melt you may end up with some major ponding if it doesn’t drain properly. Snow can potentially become a major enemy of a flat roof, especially if not maintained.

A flat roof may have plenty of potential problems but it doesn’t have to. If you stay vigilant and regularly check up on your roof keeping it adequately maintained, you should be able to avoid any major issues. Fall and Spring are great times of the year to schedule a roof inspection but don’t hesitate to check on it after a heavy storm or snowfall. It’s also beneficial to include, with your regular roof maintenance, a quick inspection of your ceilings checking for any existing water damage. Taking care of your flat roof will not only extend the life of that roof but it will help keep your home looking great!

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