Maintaining a Flat Roof: Common Challenges and How to Address Them

Homeowners know just how challenging it is to maintain their homes. There are quite a few factors to look at when it comes to maintenance. One of these factors is roofs. Flat roofs, in particular, require more attention and care as opposed to other types of roofs, which makes their maintenance all the more challenging.

Roofer builder worker

Some of the common challenges flat roof owners’ experience include:

  • Alligatoring:
    This occurs when the asphalt utilized to construct the roof, starts showing cracks and bubbles. This situation resembles the look of an alligator’s skin, from where it gets its name. At this point, the roof has lost all elasticity and will require roof replacement.
  • Flashing:
    Flat roofs due to changing weather conditions and temperature, expand and contract over time, which allows the flashing to pull apart from the roof’s corners and edges. This will cause leaks and moisture in your roof.
  • Greater leaks and moisture:
    A flat roof doesn’t allow water or other precipitation to slide off. This means water will trickle vertically through the roof’s construction. This facilitates increased moisture to be absorbed, making a flat roof, more prone to seepage and leaks.
  • Water Accumulation:
    A flat roof, as opposed to a slanted one, will accumulate water in a single place. This makes the draining process a bit more of a hassle and, if left on its own, can damage the roof over time.
  • More prone to cracks:
    Flat roofs allow more pressure to be exerted on them as opposed to a slanted roof. If this pressure builds up to a certain point or exceeds it, the roof can develop cracks and will require immediate attention.

Luckily, there are some easy maintenance measures that can be taken to lower the hassle of the above-mentioned challenges and extend the life of the roof altogether:

  1. Optimized Drainage:
    Engage in routine inspection and cleaning of the gutters. This will minimize the blockage of the drainage system and allow lesser water accumulation.
  2. Sweeping:
    Regularly sweeping the roof of leaves and dirt will prolong a flat roof’s life. Using a broom for this will be sufficient.
  3. Waterproof Coating:
    Waterproofing the roof will greatly enhance its life. This, however, must be performed by an expert and must be done at a time when the roof is completely dry so that moisture does not get trapped in.
  4. Roof Replacement:
    The ideal time to get a flat roof replaced is after every ten years. Doing so will reduce the likelihood of any unfortunate accidents to almost zero. Roof replacements can be costly but are the safest way to go about when it comes to the security of the house residents.
  5. Frequent Inspection:
    Having a flat roof thoroughly inspected by professional experts is the best thing homeowners can do. This will help in identifying problems at an embryonic stage before they progress onto something greater. Inspecting a roof twice a year will greatly help in extending its life.

Detail of roofing tiles on a new build house

Timely Action:
If there are any visible problems with the roof, such as cracks or leakages, the best thing to do is to address the problems immediately instead of delaying the repairs. Repairs are inevitable and will only cost greater if they are delayed. This should again be done by professionals.