Tracking Down Roofing Issues

How To Maintain A Flat Roof

Your roof protects the home as well as its inhabitants.  If you maintain and protect your roof, your roof can protect you for a longer period since it will not need many repairs or need to be replaced.  You can protect and maintain your roof by being proactive.  There are some things you can do as a homeowner to extend the life of your flat roof.

Inspect Your Roof 

Flat roofs have little to no sloping and will collect debris such as leaves, small limbs, and pine or fir needles.  When too much debris collects on a flat roof, you can expect an increase in moisture.  Too much moisture on a flat roof is problematic because the water isn't able to run off like on a pitched roof. Moisture and water puddles may cause damage to the roof because it isn't able to dry properly.  If the water collects, especially during heavy rains, it can penetrate through the surface and into your home causing interior damage. 

You should routinely inspect your roof, particularly after a heavy rainstorm and remove all leaf deposits to ensure there is no ponding water.  Unclog any roof drains to allow the water to flow off the roof.

In addition to leaves, pay special attention to the trees dropping their leaves.  Large branches growing on the roof pose a threat to the stability of the roof.  Cutting limbs back will prevent unnecessary weigh on the roof.  Small branches can grow up the exterior walls of the home and into attic vents or upwards to the roof, giving access for squirrels to jump on the roof. 

Be Aware of Soft Spots

Walk around your roof or hire a professional to look for soft or mushy spots, which are an indication that water is sandwiched between the roofing materials.  If there are few areas where water has settled, you can simply replace the roofing material in that particular area. 

Re-sealing Your Flat Roof

Flat roofs, which are rolled, can be re-sealed if, after an inspection, reveals cracked and brittle areas.  Re-sealing will extend the life of the roof for a few more years.  Before re-sealing, the cracked and brittle areas should be repaired.

If you are re-coating your roof, you should allow the first coat to dry before applying a second coat. If the temperature is too cold, it will be too difficult to spread the coating.  If it is too hot, the coating can destroy the surface of the roof.

Flat roof systems ( Like those from Cozifoam polyurethane spray) are prone to collecting debris and therefore, as the homeowner, you should routinely inspect the roof or hire a professional roof inspector.  Keep tree limbs cut back to prevent small animals from using them as a bridge to your roof and to prevent unnecessary weight on the roof surface.  Dry leaves dropping on the roof's surface will not present too much of an issue since they can be blown off with the wind.  Wet leaves collecting on the roof surface will increase the chance of ponding on the surface and within the roofing material.  Keeping your roof free of debris and routine inspections will prevent costly repairs to the roof, as well as the interior of the home.