Common Problems With Flat Roofs and Tips for Fixing Them

Posted on March 25th, 2016 by Applied Roofing Services

For all of their advantages, flat roofs also have some drawbacks. That doesn’t mean, however, that they are problematic. You just need to know what the issues are and how to deal with them effectively to prevent leaks and other types of damage. With proper care and maintenance, most flat roofs hold up extremely well during all types of weather.

Flat Roof Repairs

Here are some common issues found with flat roofs and how you can fix them.

One of the main concerns over the choice of a flat roof is whether or not the roof is actually flat and if water will drain properly. A flat roof is not flat at all. It has a slight slope that is designed specifically for water runoff. This allows for sufficient drainage and prevents water from ponding in one or more given areas.

Many people choose flat roofs because they are more economical than a peaked roof. There is much less wasted space when a flat roof is used and the energy costs associated with keeping the building comfortable are also dramatically reduced. Fewer materials are needed as well.

Using a Waterproof Membrane
A major cause of most leaks when it comes to a flat roof is the waterproof membrane and whether it was installed correctly. Poor workmanship and materials can lead to cracks and openings. Only allow skilled tradesmen to install your waterproof membrane. When properly installed, a waterproof membrane can last as long as 20 to 30 years with little to no damage.

Additional Maintenance
A flat roof must be properly maintained. This means regular maintenance checks and the application of waterproof sealants to help prevent moisture from building up and leaks from occurring. Water run-off outlets should be checked often to keep them free of debris. If too much debris collects, water can accumulate and stress the roof.

Blistering can take place on your flat roof when tiny pockets of air or moisture get stuck beneath the roofing membrane or within layers of the membrane. The situation becomes worse with the sun heating the roof, causing the air or moisture pockets to expand and stretch the membrane.

Watch out for blistering issues with your roof. If you notice the issue, get the roof repaired or replaced accordingly. Blisters can be corrected by trimming the blistered material to the extent that it remains firmly fixed to the roof ceiling. Next, apply a new membrane material that extends up to at least 6 inches above the blisters’ edge to check leakage.

Alligatoring refers to the cracking of a film or developing bitumen on a flat roof which leads to a pattern like the skin of an alligator. This can occur due to water, debris, or prolong exposure to the sun. The cracking will ultimately split and grow further if not repaired, that can cause water to penetrate into the roof and give rise to leaks, moisture, and additional damage.

The alligatoring problem can be tackled by applying a new roof coating. This has to be done after thoroughly cleaning the roof to remove all the loose debris and using a primer over it.

Buckle in Membrane
Over time, as houses settle and shift, so does the roofing membrane and the roofing material. Due to this shifting, a flat roof’s membrane, which is one continuous sheet, tends to buckle. Even a poorly installed flat roof can lead to buckling and cause bigger problems.

There isn’t much one can do to get rid of this issue except for a roof replacement. However, it can be prevented through regular professional roof maintenance.

Regular professional inspection and maintenance are vital to your flat roof’s health and longevity. Contact us today to learn more about our roof maintenance service and receive a free estimate of your roofing requirements!

About Applied Roofing Services

Applied Roofing Services is a full service roofing company located in CA. We offer durable and high quality residential and commercial flat roofing. We provide roof installation as well as roof repair services, roof maintenance and inspection services. We specialize in low slope roofs, energy efficient, zero maintenance, and green roofing. We have 20+ years of experience in the roofing industry.

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