The Whys And Hows Of Flat Roof Maintenance


The construction of residential and commercial buildings with flat roofs has become increasingly common to help keep the total costs of construction down. Flat roofs are perfectly safe and like all roofs still require regular maintenance and inspection in order to perform their best. Age and weather can damage any flat roof, especially in the SFL climate. Establishing a regular maintenance schedule can help detect any problems before they turn into costly disasters.

First, it is helpful to define exactly what a flat roof is. A flat roof is a roof that is level or nearly level, lacking the slope frequently associated with other roofs. Since there is no slope to guide water into a gutter system, a waterproof membrane must be installed to seal the roof against the elements. This membrane can be constructed in a variety of different ways:

1. Asphalt roll roofing uses a layer of fiberglass or base felt attached to cold asphalt using nails to protect the structure from water. It is usually covered with a granular substance such as gravel to reduce the weather’s impact on the structure.

2. Multi-ply roofing consists of overlapping rolls of mats or felt with the asphalt used in roof construction. Something like gravel is again applied on top to reduce the damage caused by wind and rain.

3. Single ply roofing, which is an extremely broad term that can be used to denote anything from self adhesion to the utilization of hot asphalt at the construction site.

Each of these options has its own set of requirements in order to install safely. Therefore, the installation, repair, and maintenance of all flat roofing systems should be left to qualified construction experts. It may be tempting to attempt to do it yourself, but the specialized equipment and level of expertise required make it unlikely to end well for anyone without specific training in Flat Roof Maintenance. Dan Jones of Transcontinental of U.S.A. is specialist with over 50 years experience you could call for an inspection and maintenance.

Regular Flat Roof Maintenance is necessary because weather conditions, failing joints, and the overall inflexibility of the roof system can cause a variety of problems. These include; but are not limited to; a crack in the roof, loose fasteners, rusted flashings, seam separation, water pooling, and the loss of the granular material used to protect the system from the elements. Any of these problems can become expensive to fix with time, so it is best to catch them early on.

The best way to find offending leaks is by having your roof professionally inspected twice each year, especially after major storms. This ensures that any issues cannot snowball into a total disaster. Any good inspector’s checklist must include the following:

1. All flashings and seams must be water tight.

2. All roof drains must be clear.

3. Ensure the actual waterproof membrane is not compromised in any way.

4. Ensure that there is no water pooling anywhere in the system.

5. Double check that the granular substance, such as gravel, remains in place.

Any blisters, creases, or small leaks should be fixed immediately at the time of inspection, while you are still thinking about them. This is another reason why it is so important to have an expert waterproofer carry out the inspection. The majority of the time, a repair job done poorly is worse than if no repairs were attempted at all.

Even the smallest leaks allow water to seep into the structures below. In turn, this water can result in rot and mold harmful to people and pets alike.  It can also compromise the structural integrity of the roof itself, in some cases forcing it to visibly sag requiring a reroof. Locating the offending leak can also prove challenging, as the water damage tends to be somewhat removed from its cause. If water damage is present but the offending leak cannot be located, infrared thermography may be used to pinpoint it.

All of this maintenance work may seem like an unnecessary hassle, but rest assured that a properly maintained flat roof will last years longer thanks to the attention it receives. This is especially important in the Fort Lauderdale area. Among American cities, Fort Lauderdale homeowners have the highest chance of a hurricane or other major storm hitting within 75 miles of them.

The area’s tropical climate and salty air also wreck havoc on flat roofs. While flat roofs are common in southeastern Florida, due to their lack of shingles that can rust, they still require regular maintenance. When it is time to choose who to trust with your roof, there are a number of different factors you should keep in mind. First, your waterproofer should be licensed, insured, and familiar with the hazards of the Fort Lauderdale area.

You should also get a written quote on the price, allowing you to shop around so you do not get ripped off. Checking your contractor’s references is a good idea too. The contract should be in writing as well, preventing any disputes about exactly what is to be performed.

In conclusion, flat roofs are a quality, cost effective option only if they are maintained regularly. While the damage caused by even a small leak can be severe, a licensed waterproofing specialist like Dan Jones and Transcontinental of USA, Inc, can help you keep your current roof over your head for years to come! Call us now to schedule your inspection and get an expert’s opinion and advice! We want you to get the most bang for your buck and keep you property in tip top shape at all times. Give us an opportunity to meet with you and become your waterproofing contractor of choice. No job is too small or too big! 954-763- 7339

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