Within the past decade or so, flat roofing and materials have become more advanced, providing much stronger, stylish and more durable flat roofing systems. Thanks to these developments we have eliminated some of the most common failures found on older roofs. For example, single ply membrane roofing is effective and reliable. It offers maintenance free protection for decades and can be installed in a wide variety of flat and low incline roof situations. When it comes to choosing the best flat roof, you should look at all of the options available and remember that the cheapest solution isn’t the one that lives the longest and requires the least maintenance.
With that being said, older flat roofs are infamous for having issues and it’s important to keep and eye on them so you can get a flat roof repair in time or look at a flat roof replacement or even a cost-effective flat roof overlay system before further damage is done to your property.
Frequent Leaks & Ponding
Leaks are a sign that your flat roof is suffering from old age and some components are in desperate need of fixing up or replacing. With the installation of your flat roof, the guarantee period differs depending on what type of flat roof you have installed. The guarantee period for a felt roof is 10 years, for rubber (EPDM) it is 15 years and PVC, GRP, SIG membrane and liquid roofs have a guarantee between 15-20 years.
It’s expected for signs of wear and tear as roofs age so annual maintenance surveys are strongly recommended. The earlier you determine potential risks and damage, the better. A flat roof is also particularly vulnerable to “ponding”. This is when water accumulates in pools when the roof becomes overwhelmed from rain or snow. If standing water remains on your flat roof 48 hours after the rain has stopped, it has the ability to saturate the roof cover and ultimately degrade the material. It’s advised that you perform a maintenance survey 48 hours after it has stopped raining to check if there is any ponding.
Furthermore, leaks can be prevented before they start. The first task would be to find where moisture has penetrated under the cap sheet or bitumen build up. This is undertaken with infrared technology however, if you do not have access to this, a general maintenance check of the whole roof would be the next best step, preferably by a flat roof specialist.
Loose Flashing Metal
Metal flashing contributes to a watertight seal at the edges and if you take care of your flat roof, you’d have regular service checks for these. Most leaks are due to roofing materials loosening from flashing. It’s known for the fasteners to slowly work their way out of the substrate and when this happens, the flashings become unreliable and vulnerable to wind and water penetration. If these were installed on your flat roof, ensure they are not pulling away from the roof or leaving gaps. If that is the case, it can be an indication that you have leaking or serious damage to your roof membrane.
Roof Material Blistering
Blistering on flat roofs can be caused by poor installation or ventilation and moisture in the felt layers. You can easily spot blistering by checking for raised, spongy patches as these are often signs of blistering. When this occurs, it means that the trapped air or moisture separates the layers and can reduce the waterproof properties of your flat roof cover. The weather can also cause the blister to grow on a daily basis.
Before carrying out other flat roof maintenance checks, it’s important to check the state of any guttering and downpipes attached to your flat roof. Remove any debris that could potentially puncture or damage the roof, as well as leaf mould to ensure water is able to drain off the roof during any rainfall. These can clog drains and cause roofing surfaces to decay. Although this may seem like a small task to complete, it’s one that could easily determine problems that could lead to severe damage if left too long.
All types of flat roofs should be checked after any extreme weather conditions. With this being said, your flat roof will battle it’s fair share of strong winds, lots of rain and snow, as well as experience occasional sunny days Britain is lucky enough to receive. The protective layers will suffer form wear and tear and this is often how cracking and blistering occurs, resulting in water entering the roof. The only way to prevent such damage is to carry out regular maintenance surveys to protect your investment.
We understand that your roofing system represents a value investment which is why we deliver nothing but excellence to domestic and commercial customers throughout the Liverpool and Merseyside area. Browse through our site to view the widest range of flat roofing solutions or alternatively you can contact us with any queries you may have.