It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that flat roofs and pitched roofs are different, and because of this difference, they each tend to have their own unique set of ailments that crop up from time to time. Since flat roofs are our specialty here at Professional Roofers, we wanted to spend this week focusing the common problems to watch out for in your flat roof, so that you are prepared if anything goes awry.
Before we begin, there is an important fact we wanted to highlight about flat roofs that will actually help explain some of the problems that often occur with them – flat roofs are not supposed to be 100% flat. In fact, your “flat roof” should actually be built with a gradient of at least 1-in-80, which allows for rainwater runoff.
Knowing this, we come to the first problem we often see with flat roofs – they were built too flat! If your roof is too flat, it will allow for the pooling of water, leaks, and a whole host of other problems. If you notice any of these problems in your roof, you should contact a quality, qualified roofer immediately so that they can rectify the problem. Seemingly small problems can become large ones if you don’t correct them swiftly and efficiently.
The next most common set of problems occurs with the membrane itself. Even quality roofing materials, like the ones we use at Professional Roofers, don’t last forever – eventually they will break down and begin to leak. Certain things like intense storms, wildlife, or heavy debris falling on your roof can prematurely degrade the material before the end of their expected lifespan; however, the warning signs of material failure are all quite similar no matter the cause. The main culprits to look out for are: punctures, shrinkage, and blistering.
Punctures are the most obvious of these three culprits – if there is a hole in your roofing material it will eventually let water in, even if the initial puncture doesn’t go right through the material to the wood below. Any damage that has occurred to your roof, to the degree where it has cut or left a hole in the material, will eventually leak and needs to be patched immediately. Contact us, or your local roofer for a quote on the repair as soon as you can.
Shrinkage and blistering are a little less obvious, but equally damaging. Shrinkage is something that tends to occur to rubber roofs naturally over time, which can cause the seams to break apart or delaminate and let water in. If you notice the seams of your roof have separated or don’t look right, have a professional roofer check it and patch it immediately. Shrinkage is a relatively small problem, but if it doesn’t get patched it can lead to leaks and a much larger, significantly more expensive problem down the road.
Blistering, like the name, looks like a skin blister as air bubbles form within the material itself. It may look harmless, but blistering is a serious sign that your roofing material is no longer functioning properly. If you notice blistering on your roof, it needs to be replaced. Contact us, or your local roofer for a quote as soon as you can.
We hope this information has helped guide you on some of the problems you should look out for in your regular roof maintenance and inspection. If you are ever in doubt though, please do not hesitate to give us a call, as we are always willing to help!