Flat Roof Maintenance Owner Information:
Both commercial and residential buildings constructed using flat roofs should have regular inspections and maintenance in order to ensure the building remains free of leaks and other damage. As the roof grows older, flat roof maintenance becomes even more important. Wind and rain can wear down the materials in all climates, but in Fort Lauderdale, the weather conditions can lead to catastrophic damage because the temperature variations and brutal Summer sun cause more rapid deterioration. Using a regular schedule for preventative maintenance of a flat roof helps to minimize problems that develop. You roof will leak sooner or later so an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
Characteristics of Flat Roof
The flat roof does not have a definite slope but is almost level. It is covered in a waterproof membrane (rubber). The membrane is installed in such a way that water drains into a system of gutters. The flat roof offers the primary advantage of being much less expensive than the traditional slopping roof. In Florida, another advantage of the flat roof is that it requires no shingles, that tend to rot quickly in the local climate.
The flat-seamed metal roof has been used since the 1800s, but today consumers will find three commonly installed flat roof systems:
Asphalt roofing makes use of an organic or fiberglass base, attached to the roof using nails over roofing felt and covered in cold asphalt cement. The entire structure is then covered using a granular surface, such as gravel in order to reduce weather wear.
A single ply membrane roof can also be used with differing installation approaches, that vary from self adhesion to installation using hot asphalt and heating the roofing membrane before it is applied
Built up or multiple ply roofing that uses overlapping mats or rolls of felt layered with asphalt and finally covered using a granular roofing sheet to reduce weather wear.
Each of these systems have special requirements for application and need the skills of a qualified contractor, like Transcontinental of USA, for installation, maintenance and any repairs, whether temporary or permanent.
Need for Regular Flat Roof Maintenance
The primary reason owners select flat roofs is for cost savings. Eventually, even a flat roof covering will need attention. Failing joints, weather conditions and inflexibility can lead to problems including:
Torn, broken or cracked surface
Fasteners that become loose
Flashing that is rusted or incorrectly sealed
Loss of gravel (deterioration)
Degraded tie-in for pan roof.
Over time, even a small leak may cause serious damage. Flat roof leaks are often not noticed until significant damage is done. Water soaks into the insulation and structure below the roof. Rot begins to develop and mold may cause a health risk to occupants as well as pets. Rot can also compromise the structure of the roof itself. Location of the leak is sometimes difficult as visible moisture may be some distance from where the leak takes place. Water leaks may lead to a sagging roof that compounds the problem.
Flat roofs need to be inspected at least twice annually and after any major storms. The following checklist is important for flat roof maintenance:
Lap seams and flashing should be water tight in all locations
Roof drains need to be inspected and cleaned as necessary
Any damage to the membrane found must be repaired
Gravel must cover asphalt based materials
Repair blisters and creases to prevent leaks
Fix leaks by applying a roof coating
Infrared thermography might be used in difficult situations to locate leaks, but an experienced waterproofing roofer like Dan Jones that has 50+ years experience is invaluable and can usually spot a problem area with an inspection. Flat roof maintenance and repairs ensure the roofing system lasts many years, especially if done immediately by a knowledgeable and experienced contractor, like Dan Jones the original roof waterproofing contractor. Dan uses his PolyGlycoat System and has options for most any budget.
Dan Jones’ company Transcontinental of USA also offers a Ceramic Silicone that can reduce your flat roof temperature by as much as 50 degrees thereby lowering your electric bill and inside temperature. We have helped so many SFL residents enjoy their sunny flat roofed rooms once again using this coating.
Roof Damage Caused by Fort Lauderdale Weather
Owners of buildings with flat roofs in Fort Lauderdale face other challenges in addition to flat roof maintenance to maintain the integrity of the system. While it provides shelter from the elements, the roof also receives the most wear. The salt air, summer rains and tropical climate can all create a negative impact on the roofing systems. Commercial building roofs have more traffic due to air handlers, lightning rods, window washers etc. that also add to the wear of their roof.
In addition, severe storms as well as hurricanes can all cause damage. Within any given year, there is a 25% chance that a hurricane will pass within 75 miles. Such storms result in expensive and extensive damage to any type of roofing system. The daily exposure to moisture, sun, winds and storms can be a problem for the aging roof. Older roofs as well as those recently damaged by a storm require attention from a professional waterproof roofer like Dan Jones who will seal your aging roof and repair damage affordably. .
Selecting a Flat Roof Maintenance Contractor
Local roofing contractors with experience in making flat roof repairs should understand the flat roof maintenance and repair requirements for Fort Lauderdale buildings. Keep the following important points in mind when selecting a flat roof maintenance pro:
Roofers should be licensed, certified and insured
Ask for a written quote and compare with work of a similar nature in one’s neighborhood
Ask for and check references
A signed written agreement that specifies materials, installation, cost with payment schedule, and any guarantees should be signed by both parties.
The time invested in research and planning with a professional waterproofing roofer guarantees the best results. Dan Jones’ Transcontinental of USA serves the greater Fort Lauderdale areas of Pompano Beach, Deerfield Beach, Coral Springs, Oakland Park, Tamarac, Margate and Lighthouse Point, and the eastern portions of Palm Beach and Hollywood.
Dan Jones offers a FREE no obligation inspection and he will advise you of your options to keep your roof for many many years! Avoid costly leaks and even reroofing by scheduling regular inspections and maintenance. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org; you’ll be glad you did!