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A flat roof is exactly what the name suggests. It is a roof which is pitched at a low angle and is seen as almost level or “straight”. Flat roofs are extremely common on garages, commercial buildings, and home/patio extensions. They have their own sets of benefits and challenges compared to sloped roofs and it’s important to consider these and what goes into repairing a flat roof.
What Are Some Common Flat Roof Issues?
Flat roofs do not have the angles that sloped roofs have. Therefore, the natural challenge with flat roofs is moisture and water. If the roof is poorly installed or there is not adequate drainage, liquids may pool on the roof. The roof is designed to hold up water but if the water is allowed to stay there for a long period of time it will ultimately lead to deterioration of the exterior of the roof, which may result in a shortened lifespan and/or leakage.
Once a roof stops preventing water from entering the building then it may lead to other problems within the building such as mold, etc.
Another common issue with a flat roof is aging. Over time the roofs asphalt may lose its elasticity and result in cracks appearing. These are usually signs that the roof needs repairing or if the damage is extensive it may need to be replaced. If a flat roof cracks, it may be structurally compromised therefore, it is extremely important to immediately contact a roofing professional.
What Goes into Repairing a Flat Roof?
Flat roofs require a lot of knowledge and expertise when being maintained, repaired, or replaced – it’s essential that you use a qualified roofing company.
The best repair method for a flat roof is prevention. You should have qualified professionals inspect the roof semi-annually or after major storms, etc. They can identify any minor issues and repair them before they become major issues. They will also be able to identity if your roof needs repaired or replaced. Sometimes a roof may beyond repair and needs to be totally replaced. As a general rule, flat roofs need to be replaced every 10-15 years so a good place to start is to find out how old your roof is.
One of the common flat roof issues mentioned earlier was the pooling of water. This is where liquid collects and can cause damage to the roofing materials. There may be various reasons for water pooling but sometimes it may be as simple as the pitch of the roof being off. In this case, you can add a tapered insulation when replacing your flat roof. This will allow water to run off into the gutters and prevent pooling.
Rotted decking is another issue often caused by leaking roofs. Many roofs are covered with a base sheet and a modified bitumen cap sheet. The cap sheet can be installed by hot mopping asphalt or torch applied. This is important to note because in order to determine whether the decking is rotting, you need to strip away the felt in the areas that are leaking to determine whether a roof needs replacing or if it can be repaired.
The above information is a small insight into what common issues roofers find with flat roofs. A flat roof make look simple but the repairs can be complicated and the issues are always best dealt with by professionals who can properly maintain, identify any problems, repair, and if necessary, replace the roof. For more information on flat roof repair contact ABC Roofing Corp at (954) 344-4622.