In this month’s Professional Roofers blogs, so far we’ve talked about the insane amount of rain that fell on Toronto this month, and also the reasons that flat roofed houses have become so popular. In this third, three-part instalment, we’re going to talk about things that can potentially go wrong with your flat roof, and what you can do to avoid or fix these issues.
Part 1: You wanted a patio, but you got a swimming pool
It’s easy to understand why someone would think that flat roofed houses are flat: it’s right there in the title! However, if you think about it from an engineering standpoint for a moment, you’ll realize that flat roofs must of course be built on a slight gradient so that rain and melting snow can roll off the structure and drain out. To facilitate the draining process, your roofer should install drainage points in the form of outlets along the parapet. That way, when the weather turns mild (which, thank god, we are finally starting to see here in Toronto), you can set up a patio with a great view on your flat roof for socializing or enjoying a glass of wine as the sun goes down. What you don’t want is for your patio to turn into a swimming pool.
Part 2: Of Footballs, Pigeons, Squirrels & Leaves
In our time here at Quality Roofers, we’ve seen all nature of debris blocking drainage outlets. Whether it’s squirrels or pigeons trying to make a home, plain old dead leaves or a football the neighbourhood kids lost control of, things tend to get stuck from time to time. This happens less in the winter when your roof is covered in icy snow — to repeat an important point, do not attempt snow removal in the winter — but in the more temperate seasons, you may need to keep an eye out for blockage. These types of blocks can be easily remedied by simply knocking loose the debris, but please, just watch your step.
Part 3: A Fresh Membrane to keep you Sane
Recent advancements in roofing technology have led to the development of the water-proof membranes that typically constitute your lovely flat roof. If “membrane” sounds a little vague to you, allow us to clarify: these membranes are typically made from synthetic rubber, modified bitumen, or else thermoplastic (PVC or similar material). How long do they last, you ask? Great question! Typically, they should last around thirty years; if you do not get them replaced after that you may end up with a swimming pool in your living room. Since your friendly neighbourhood roofers should stop by every few years for maintenance anyhow, they (or we, I should say) can check the membranes and keep you up to date.
If you’ve heard from friends and acquaintances that flat roofs are prone to leaks and generally inferior to good old fashioned pitched roofs, you can go ahead and readjust that notion. When the materials are right and the craftsmanship is solid, flat roofs are just as good, if not better. The potential for added lounge space — like a hip, relaxing green roof — adds even more value to an already great proposition. So whether you’re looking for someone to build you a new roof from scratch, or some experienced pros to maintain your current roof, Professional Roofers have got you covered.