Flat roofs are a popular option for many homes and buildings. They are attractive, cost-effective and easy to access, and when they are well-installed and maintained correctly, they can also last many years.
But like all roofs, flat roofs can sometimes develop problems.
Here are seven of the most common problems you might experience with a flat roof and what to do about them.
1. Bad Drainage
If flat roofs don’t have sufficient drainage, this can lead to several problems including water ponding or pooling, and this can then cause water damage and leaks.
Sometimes blocked drains are the problem, and other times bad workmanship can be the cause. If there is standing water, check the drains – you may need to clean them out or even install more.
Good regular maintenance is also essential to reduce the chances of this problem occurring in the first place.
2. Organic Growth
This is related to the last point because stagnant water can lead to the formation of organic growth like moss and other vegetation.
This can retain water and cause damage over time. Regular cleaning and maintenance is important to prevent this problem, and see the previous point about ponding water.
3. Cracks & Leaks
Cracks can form on any type of roof, including flat roofs. These can lead to leaks, which can then cause mould and mildew.
Check regularly for signs of cracks. They can be serious, so you should get them looked at by a flat roof specialist. You may even need to get a new roof installed.
4. Membrane Buckling
As the building shifts over time, this can affect the roof. While some movement is natural, too much movement can cause buckles in the membrane.
This is not safe and it can lead to serious problems, so get it repaired by a professional right away.
This is the name for cracking in the asphalt, so called because it has the appearance of alligator skin. It can be due to various reasons, from water damage to exposure to the sun.
In this case, the roof may need to be repaired or replaced entirely, or it can split and cause cracks and leaks.
Blistering is where pockets of air become trapped under the membrane. These can become worse when the sun warms the roof, and they can expand and stretch the membrane.
They are not a particularly serious problem, but you should check for them regularly. You can also repair them or get them repaired by cutting out the damaged material and applying a new membrane.
7. Debris Buildup
Debris can often build up on flat roofs. Leaves, dirt, dust and rubbish are all very common, and while a small amount is not a huge problem, it can clog up the drains and lead to water pooling and serious damage.
Carry out regular inspections and clear away any debris you find before they become a problem.
Ensure Correct Installation & Maintenance
These are some of the most common issues faced with flat roofs. Some of them are more serious than others, but you should keep an eye out for any problems and get them fixed as soon as possible.
Regular maintenance is essential, but so is correct installation. Many problems with flat roofs are caused by incorrect installation, so always hire professional experienced roofers to install your flat roof to avoid these problems in the first place.