Flat roof maintenance refers to work carried out on a roof to prevent wear and tear and ensure that the roof continues to perform at its optimal performance. It is really important that flat roof maintenance and inspections are conducted twice a year, or following extreme weather. This will determine if there is anything that needs to be repaired or replaced. We take a look at what you should consider when it comes to maintaining your flat roof.
Look for Obvious Signs of Damage
With a flat roof, it can be hard to see any damage without looking down or across – something that is not possible from the ground. You will need to look closer at the roof to check for any obvious rips, tears or cracks where water may be able to enter the roofing system and cause damage to the property below. Be mindful though that there could be damage that you can’t see. Water will find its way in through any small crack or hole, even those that aren’t obvious to the human eye.
Debris that is blown on to the roof by the wind can scratch, tear or cause other damage to the roof. If you see anything on the on the roof such as moss, leaves, twigs and the like, it needs to be removed. While removing debris, you can also give the roof a quick visual inspection.
As getting up on the roof can be fraught with dangers, you may choose to have your roof professionally cleaned at which point you can have the roof visually inspected to check for any signs of damage. If you would like a professional inspection, we would be happy to advise.
Inspecting Seams & Membranes
Particularly on felt roofs and older systems, where 2 pieces of material are joined, these seams and membranes can be vulnerable to leakage. Pay particular attention to areas around skylights, roof windows, air conditioning units and air vents. It is not just storm damage and rain that can cause the issue – the sun’s UV rays can break down the membranes which can lead to problems.
Replacing Damaged Flashings
Where two opposing surfaces meet, flashings are installed to provide extra protection. This flashing adds a further barrier to try and prevent water leaking into vulnerable areas. These flashings can become loose or become damages from their regular exposure to water and require replacing.
Clear Gutters and Downpipes
Make sure that all guttering and drainpipes are kept clear and that they are cleaned out regularly. If the water can’t run off, it will eventually cause damage to the roof. Regular gutter cleaning is advised, especially after the autumn leaves have fallen and after bouts of particularly bad weather.
Look for Blistering
Roof blisters are raised, spongy looking spots on the roof which occur when air becomes trapped between the layers. Water can enter when the blister pops and damage the roof. To an untrained professional they may be difficult to spot but these are the thing that will be picked up in a proper flat roof inspection.
Standing Pools of Water
After heavy rain, you may discover standing pools of water that just sit on the flat roof without any way of draining away. It can dry out leaving a sag, a water mark or a dirt thing. If you notice these marks in dry weather, it means that the water has been pooling regularly and you need to look at a more effective draining system. Eventually, the weight of the water will cause the roof to crack under the strain and you will end up with leaks in your flat roof.
Check for Splitting & Cracking
Any cracking, splitting or visible damage to your flat roof needs to be seen to sooner rather than later. These vulnerabilities are how water will find its way in through the roof. Patching it up or trying to repair it yourself is just like putting a plaster over something and it will only be a short while before you are experiencing further issues. After a heavy bout of rain it can be patched until you can get it seen to properly but this is a very temporary fix.
Flat roof maintenance will save you a lot of money in the long run and a new flat roof is more cost effective than the potential damage that you might occur within your property. Water can cause more damage than you might think and if you leave things too long, as well as the cost of having your roof replaced, you may need to have internal work done too.
Inspecting Your Own Flat Roof
While you may be quite happy to get up on a ladder and check and inspect your flat roof on your garage, conservatory or extension, we really would recommend that you leave it to the experts for a proper and thorough inspection. Our team at Thermal Roof know how to spot the signs of wear, tear, damage, vulnerable weak spots and other potential hazards that could cost you a lot of money in the long run. It’s also far less dangerous to leave it to the professionals.
if you would like to discuss flat roof maintenance, arrange an inspection or get a FREE quote for a new flat roof we are here to help. Give us a call on 01934 824005 and arrange a professional flat roof inspection.