Flat roof problems – and their solutions

Flat roof problems – and their solutions

Many commercial and industrial-use buildings feature entirely or partially flat or low-sloping roofs.  Although flat roofs are practical in many ways, they do present some unique challenges that don’t occur with pitched roofs. The important thing is to understand the potential issues that could arise so that you can address them accordingly.

Water damage

Leaks on a flat roof are very difficult to trace to their origins. Whereas on a pitched roof it is easier to follow the path of water, a flat roof doesn’t offer that advantage.  Because of that, recurring water damage can be an issue with flat roofs.  It’s a good idea to hire a trained roofing contractor to inspect your roof regularly.  They can check for potential danger zones or existing leaks.  They’ll look for things like ponding (where water pools and gathers on your roof) as well as the presence of water stains and even plants growing on the roof.  All of these things can indicate a risk of leaks or even the presence of one.  During the inspection, the contractor may also find other potential flat roof issues, such as poor drainage and cracks in the roof, particularly at the joints and points of ventilation, which can easily lead to leaks.

Once the roof has been inspected, steps can be taken to fix or prevent potential leaks.  Depending on the extent of the damage, it may be possible to opt for a simple patch repair.  In cases of extensive damage, however, in order to fix problems with flat roofing in Calgary homeowners may need to invest in a full roof replacement.  This is particularly true if the damage extends deeply, into the layers beneath the covering.  Otherwise, the structural integrity of the roof could be compromised, which poses potentially serious danger to your home and your family.

Flat roofing can be made of several different types of coverings.  One such option is a type of felt, which is consisting of two or more layers of bitumen felt.  This type of covering provides a fully waterproof coverage.  Another option is one-ply membranes, which are made of just one layer of material.  This type of roofing can be affixed directly to the roofing foundation.

Whether you need a patch job or a full replacement of your flat or low-sloping roof, the most important thing is something you can – and definitely should — do routinely.  Routine checks of your flat roof to look for pooling water and other potential leak risks will definitely go a long way toward catching the problems when they are still small.  That will save you a lot of time, hassle and money in the long run.

If you are a building owner, it’s important that you keep your building in safe condition for your tenants.  A leaking roof can very quickly become a big (and very expensive!) problem.  To avoid that, it’s important to have your building’s roof routinely inspected.  Always hire a professional roofing company to do the inspection.  They will know what to look for and will then have the means to fix any problems that arise.  Flat roofs have unique issues associated with them