When you need to install a roof, you want the costs to be as low as possible. But you do not want to compromise quality. Some roofing can last a long time, but others last only ten years. The installation and material play a part in the longevity of roofing, but maintenance is also extremely important. This is especially important when it comes to flat roofing. While flat roofing has many advantages it also has downsides. The most prominent one is losing the ability to drain itself. To protect your investment and make your roof last longer, there are essential maintenance tips to remember.
Flat Roofing Maintenance Tips to Reduce The Need for Repairs
Importance of Roofing Maintenance
Roof maintenance refers to the work done on a roof to prevent extensive damage from occurring in the future. You need to be proactive to keep your roof from leaking. Preventative maintenance allows contractors to detect and fix areas of the roof that are vulnerable to future leaks. This can save you from expensive roof replacements. As the building owner, it is your responsibility to keep your roofing properly maintained. This is important for a number of reasons including the fact that the average roof warranty requires not only regular inspections but also the proper maintenance to be performed within their guidelines. If your roof system is under warranty and has been properly maintained, you have a better chance of getting your small repairs covered by warranties. Safety will also be a priority. You want to keep your roof in working order to protect not only your facility maintenance team that is on the roof from unsafe environments but also the occupants inside from falling debris or water damage.
Where to Concentrate Roof Maintenance?
There are certain areas on your roof that are more vulnerable to leaks and damage than others. These areas need extra care, attention, and inspections to keep them in working order.
- Seams: Seams occur where two pieces of roofing material meet. This could be two pieces of metal or two sheets of the membrane. Despite being sealed, these areas are still vulnerable to leaks.
- Penetrations: Most commercial roofing systems have accessories attached such as A/C units, skylights, air vents, and plumbing vents. Your contractor will need to cut the roofing material to fit around these units during installation. This leaves these areas vulnerable to leaks through the penetrations.
- Flashings: Flashings are metal pieces that are installed where two areas join together. They are designed to prevent water from leaking through any vulnerable areas. Since the area underneath is at risk of leaking, it is important to keep your metal flashings in proper working order.
Flat Roof Maintenance Tips
Many building owners and property managers don’t realize how different a flat roof is. Many do not realize until after there is a leak. Here are a few helpful tips to keep you ahead of the flat roofing care game.
- Schedule Regular Check-Ups: Regular inspections are the top tip for roof maintenance. Your roof often gives clues that something isn’t right, but the average building owner doesn’t have the expertise to notice them. Hire a professional to inspect your flat roof three times per year and after any major weather event to check for damage. These inspections can pay for themselves in no time so do not worry about the cost. A few hundred dollars to fix a problem in its early stages is better than thousands and thousands of dollars if it gets out of hand.
- Keep It Clean: Flat roofing does not have gravity to help with drainage. Dirt, leaves, and other debris don’t fall off them the way they fall off slanted roofs. Make it part of your regular cleaning routine to clean your roof every two months. The first step should be using a leaf blower across the roof. Get as close as you can with a ladder. This will get rid of as much debris as possible without putting extra weight or friction on the roof.
- Don’t Forget the Coating: No roofing is immune to extreme weather. Depending on the material of your roof, you may be able to use a roof coating for added protection. There are coatings to protect your roof from weather issues like ocean salt, heavy rainfall, humidity, and excessive sunlight. This coating often lasts ten years so it will be well worth your investment.
- Check for Leaks: One of the most common assumptions building owners have is that if their roof starts leaking, they’ll notice right away. A puddle in the office is easy to see, but this is not the start of the leak. By the time you see a puddle, the leak will have been there for a while, causing interior damage. In some cases, though, roofs leak into attics or insulation and building owners or property managers have no idea. This can cause rot in your building’s structure as well as spreading mold. Learning how to identify a leak can prevent this. Pay special attention to areas where two parts of your roof join and to seams in the roof. You also need to check the roof, especially during or after rainfall.
- Maintain Breathing Room: One of the best ways to keep your flat roof strong is to control its surroundings. Trees are great for the aesthetic appeal of the property but they can wreak havoc on your roof if they’re placed wrong. You should have at least a yard between your roof and the nearest tree branch. If you have trees close to your building, trim them on a regular basis to keep them away from your roof.
- Prioritize Your Drainage: Your drainage system is a factor that is often forgotten. A flat roof doesn’t have the benefit of gravity draining water away so you need a well-maintained drainage system to pull the water off and away from your foundation. This is especially true in the winter because if temperatures drop below freezing, standing water will freeze, cracking the roof and weighing it down.
- Stick With a Professional: When it comes to your roof, your DIY decor skills won’t cut it. Whether it’s for inspections or repairs, trying to do it yourself instead of hiring a professional can cost you far more in the long run. This is especially true for flat roofing. These roofs have special considerations and quirks that professional contractors will know. With an experienced roofer helping you out, your flat roofing will have longevity, and expensive replacements will not be a frequent issue. Call us today for inspections and questions.