If you own or manage a building with a flat roof, then you know that flat roof maintenance is part of the job.
Flat roofs are great because it’s easy to get up there to fix things, but if they aren’t maintained, then problems can quickly arise.
Pitched roofs allow rain and snow to roll off, and their shape directs wind upward and away from your building. A flat roof does not have these benefits, so if you’re not careful and vigilant, they can be negatively affected by the weather.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about maintaining a flat roof. These tips will help you to extend the lifetime of your flat roof. Follow these suggestions and you won’t have to worry about leaks or repairs any time soon. No one wants to replace a roof before its time has come, and this informative post will help you achieve your roof longevity goals.
1. Keep It Clean
The most important flat roof maintenance tip you much know and adhere to is keeping your roof clean. You may be surprised how much debris ends up on your roof, especially if your building isn’t near any trees, but things will blow onto your roof and will stay there until you make the effort to remove them.
Leaves, twigs, branches, and trash can add up fast and will put unnecessary strain on your flat roof. Further, when it rains, some of these things may end up in the gutters. This can cause gutter blockage, which will lead to water collection on the roof.
If there are trees near your building, make sure you prune them on a regular basis. For the best results, trim back all trees to at least one meter from the roof to keep branches from falling and collecting on it.
2. Keep It Dry
Perhaps the biggest threat to the longevity of your roof is pooling water. When water collects on your flat roof, it will weaken its integrity and will create cracks that will lead to leaks.
As mentioned in the tip above, this often occurs due to drain blockage, so make sure your gutters and drains are clear at all times. If your drains are clear yet water still pools on your roof, your roof may not be level. Water should drain off your roof freely; if it doesn’t call a roofing contractor for an inspection.
3. Minimize Weight on the Roof
It’s tempting to hang out on a flat roof. The view is amazing, and the flatness is inviting. Some people even drag a lawn chair up there to relax. However, if you want your flat roof to last a long time, this is unwise.
If you spend time walking around on your roof, you may soon find that it has sunk a bit. Flat roofs are not intended to support human body weight. Walking around up there when the weather is warm may also result in damaged seal coating as well. This can lead to cracks and leaks and general degradation of your roof.
4. Inspect Your Roof Frequently
In order to keep your flat roof in tip-top shape, you should inspect your roof on a regular basis.
To accomplish this, you can climb up on a ladder after a winter or spring storm and peek over the edge to see if there is any visible damage. After a tough Illinois winter, you may discover torn felting, pooling water, or hail damage. Often, roof damage is evident to the naked eye.
It’s also smart to hire a roofer to give your roof a professional inspection at least once a year. He or she will be able to give your roof a more complete and thorough evaluation to head off problems before they get out of hand.
5. Recoat Regularly
The best way to extend the life of your roof is to recoat it every two to four years. Flat roofs are similar to driveways; sealant will patch up tiny cracks and will keep them from getting any larger. Recoating your roof will help it to remain strong as the seasons and years go by.
6. Stay On Top of Repairs
Roof repairs can be costly, so it may be tempting to skip issues that you believe are minor. However, it’s crucial that you stay on top of any and all repairs that are needed. You’ll be surprised at how quickly a small roof issue can advance into a major one, so don’t let that happen to you.
If a small crack or leak is found in your roof, make sure to get it repaired right away. You may be able to repair cracks near the edges on your own, but if the leak is in the middle of the roof, you should call a roof repair service for assistance.
7. Watch for Leaks
Whether your flat roof is a residential roof or a commercial roof, if a leak in the roof forms, you may be able to spot it from inside. It’s rare that we look up at the ceiling in our homes and businesses, but make a point to do a quick visual inspection of your ceiling from time to time. You may notice small leaks this way; then you can get them repaired right away.
Flat Roof Maintenance Is Easy But Crucial
There are many things you can do to maintain a flat roof and to keep it in excellent shape. As you can see, ongoing, regular flat roof maintenance is crucial to ensure the longevity of your roof. All of the above roof maintenance tips are simple so you have no excuses. Take care of your flat roof, and it will take care of you, too.
If you need help with roof repairs or if you’d like to make an appointment to have a professional inspect your roof, give us a call today. We are the best roofing contractors in the Effingham, Illinois area and we can’t wait to meet you.