Your home or business flat roof can fail if you don’t properly maintain it, leading to small leaks, catastrophic flood damage or even collapse. It’s especially important in a rainy climate that you have your roof checked yearly since every rainy day brings the potential for failure. Here are some of the problems with flat roofs and how they can be repaired.
Rain that falls on your roof should run off, but an uneven surface from poor installation or settling can cause water to remain on certain sections for days or weeks. The roof surface gradually weakens and cracks. Cracks may be hard to see at first, but when pooling happens repeatedly in the same areas, they’re sure to fail eventually.
If your flat roof doesn’t drain, water can accumulate and eventually put enough pressure on the structure below that it collapses. A collapse can happen suddenly, destroying the building and injuring anyone inside. Every flat roof needs a drainage system that includes gutters and special interior drains in low spots that can’t be leveled.
When air or moisture gets trapped between the layers of your roof, they can begin to separate or blister. A small blister won’t leak, but blisters almost always get worse over time if not repaired. They will swell from sunlight and heat and eventually open into visible holes that can let water in. That’s why it’s important to fix even small blisters.
Water infiltration, UV radiation, or a shifting foundation can cause your roof’s asphalt membrane to buckle. A buckling roof is visibly uneven and is considered structurally unstable. It must be repaired or replaced. Buckling can allow a large amount of water to get under the roof’s surface, causing leaks, electrical shorts, and other damage.
Flat Roof Repair
To maintain the integrity of your building, you must have your flat roof checked at least once a year. Flat roof repair can prevent leaks and catastrophic failure. If your roof has several small problems, adding a waterproof coating can be an economical solution. Your flat roof may also need blister repair, drainage improvements, surface evening, or replacement of the asphalt membrane if damage is severe.
Homeowners and business owners often like flat roofs because they allow room for generators or HVAC equipment above usable areas, but they require regular inspection and maintenance to continue doing their job. When you watch for pooling, drainage problems, blistering, and buckling and get problems fixed quickly, you can enjoy the benefits of a flat roof even in a rainy climate.
Anita Ginsburg is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing. You can follow her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.