Flat roof maintenance is very crucial for its durability. Flat roofs can last for over 50 years if kept and maintained well. A flat roof is any roof with an inclination of fewer than 15 degrees. Flat roofs are becoming more popular than traditional roofing. The reason is that they are cheaper to install and easier to maintain. If the initial installation was done with quality material and constant maintenance, they would last a long time. You can follow the following tips for the longevity and durability of your flat roof.
- Ensure a trained and skilled professional contractor does the installation.
The quality of the initial flat roof installation will determine whether the roof will last many years or not. If the contractor does a poor job, the roof becomes more susceptible to harsh weather leading to leakages and damage. Therefore the first thing to consider for your roof to become durable is to hire a good and skilled contractor.
You may need to create criteria for hiring a competent contractor. Some of the things you need to consider are:
- Practicing License - Is he licensed to install flat roofs?
A license proves that the contractor has the skills, knowledge and experience to handle roofing jobs.
- Insurance – Are they insured? Do they insure their workers?
Accidents may happen despite all the precautions to prevent them. Insurance keeps you from the liability of compensating the people doing the roofing for you in the event of an accident.
- Working experience – How long have they been in this industry?
Experience is gained by doing many jobs. Ask the contractor for a list of completed roofing jobs. If they have enough experience, you will save money on mistakes made by inexperienced contractors. It also means that the work will take a shorter time.
- Location. – Are they from your locality?
Local contractors understand better the local roofing laws and guidelines. They are also aware of the best roofing material for your area. It also means that you can easily visit the projects they have done before deciding to hire them.
- Regularly inspect your flat roof
Many homeowners only inspect their roofs if they notice an issue. A regular roof inspection is vital for the durability of your flat roof. You should inspect your flat roof at least three times a year. It is essential to examine, especially after winter and after summer. It is because these are extreme weather conditions that could damage your roof.
Any damages found should be repaired promptly. Minor damages, when left unattended, could lead to significant and costly repairs. Call your flat roof specialist to map out and do the repairs before they escalate.
During the flat roof inspection, check for the following:
- Look out for roof deterioration. It could be some decay or rotting part
- Check for missing roof shingles
- Blocked gutters
- Check out for leaks or cracks on the flat roof.
- Promptly fix any damaged parts of the flat roof
Flat roofs are often covered with material that keeps them watertight, making them waterproof. These materials include bitumen, asphalt, fiber, etc. This material makes the flat roof prone to:
- Splitting – This is caused by cracking or tearing of the material used to make the flat roof. It could also be caused by stress from people walking on the roof. It can also be the result of poor workmanship by the contractor. The weather can play a role in the cracking by snow's freezing and thawing action. The cracks affect the outer appearance of the flat roof. It also permits water entry through the cracks leading to leaks and damping the interior.
The solution would be to inspect the split and repair it yourself or call a specialist to fix it.
- Ponding - This is caused by water collection in sunken parts of the flat roof. The concave portions result from poor or insufficient water drainage from the flat roof.
If you notice indents with water on your flat roof, clear the gutters. The gutter could be clogged with leaves, sticks, plants, soil and other material. This material hinders the flow of water. You may also add more gutters for better drainage. You may need to fill in the sunken parts of the flat roof to prevent water retention. With time, this water sips into the interior of your roof, making the flat roof damp and creating more damage.
- Blistering occurs when air bubbles are trapped between layers covering the flat roof.
It happens due to high temperatures whereby air trapped in the layers expands, forming what looks like blisters. When left unattended, they become large and may cause moisture to be trapped in them. When the blisters rupture, they allow water that compromises your flat roof. It would be best if you promptly took action to repair the layers.
Enlist the services of a flat roof specialist to remove and replace the affected area.
- Avoid walking or standing on a flat roof
A flat roof is not designed to carry the weight of a person. Walking on a flat roof causes cracks and splits that compromise your roof.
- Clean Roof gutters regularly
Debris accumulation on gutters could lead to water accumulation on your flat roof. This water slowly affects the layers covering your flat roof causing cracks and leaks. Water sips through these cracks, making the interior part of your flat roof damp.
Clogged gutters also bring about ponding on your flat roof.
- Cut back or trim the trees that overlie your flat roof.
Trees that hang above your flat roof usually drop leaves and sticks on your roof. They usually clog the gutters causing an accumulation of water on the roof. Trimming such trees to protect your flat roof from damage is crucial.
It is important to note that flat roofs, just like other types of roofs, require inspection and maintenance for their durability. You are bound to incur some costs for regular maintenance. It will save you from the cost of doing large-scale and major repairs. The flat roof will last longer and serve you for many years