20 Oct How to Make Sure Your Flat Roofing Lasts Long
Flat roofing is becoming a thing when it comes to adding aesthetics to the home. It gives the house a beautiful and simple look. The structure of the flat roof is so different from other traditional roofs. It’s just as it sounds, the roof is flat. Flat roofs are different from the conventional roofs, and there is so much care that needs to go into maintaining them in perfect conditions.
There is a big need to pay so much attention to your flat roof. Other than the fact that it adds more aesthetics to the home, it also serves security purposes, just like any other roof. Also, flat roofs are known to be very durable, but they need regular care to last for a long time.
Installation is one process that needs attention, maintenance is the main factor to consider. With proper maintenance, your flat roof can last long.
In this article, we will show you how to maintain flat roofing. We will also discuss in detail, all of the steps you need to take to make sure flat roofing lasts for a long time.
Related article: Flat Roof Repair – How to Repair a Leaky Flat Roof
Flat roofs and what makes them unique
Nothing makes flat roofing more advantageous than the traditional roofing than the fact that is doesn’t have a slope. However, that’s not all. There are several other advantages of using a flat roof over other types of roofing. They include:
They are cost-friendly
This is one of the several advantages of flat roofs. The materials needed for the construction of the flat roofs are cheap, as they don’t have much curb appeal. Also, since installation is less risky and comes with the reduced hassle, you don’t incur a lot of expenses. Also, when there is damage, repair always comes cheaper compared to other types of roofing.
They are quicker to install
The installation of flat roofs is straightforward. Hence, moving into your new home will not take as long as it would when using other roof types. Also, if you need to repair the roof, or have it replaced as a whole, it takes less time than it would be compared to traditional roofs.
If you are going to have a flat roofing session scheduled in your home, it’s not going to be a big deal. Hence, you don’t need to clear your schedule to attend to labour workers. They are easier to install and constitute less of a hassle during installation.
It can also serve as an outdoor space
You don’t need to have all the space in the world to have a home where you can relax outside. With a flat roof in your home, you get the extra space needed to chill. On the roof, you can have a barbecue and relax with your partner or any member of the family.
Also, the roof can serve as space for your solar panels, which will save you extra cost on electricity. In short, there is that space there, and you can do anything you want with it.
Maintenance is easy
Not only can you have fun on the roof, but they are also very easy to maintain and inspect. Unlike other types of roofs that are not easy to maintain, the flat roof can is accessible for routine maintenance checks. The roof is flat, which makes inspection easy. Also, you don’t have to worry about falling off the roof during your inspections.
These, among other reasons, are what make flat roofs unique and arguably the best types of roofing available in Toronto.
Maintaining flat roofing: Which is the most durable flat roof?
There is no guarantee that particular flat roofing material is the best or not. It’s all dependent on the material used by particular manufacturers. Also, the environment in which the roof will be used is essential during consideration.
The ambient conditions in your locality also have an immense role to play in how well your roof lasts. Also, another factor that can influence the lifespan of a particular installed roof is the maintenance culture. If properly maintained, the roofs are bound to be more durable than stated by the manufacturer.
Here are materials that have an overall excellent performance across various areas.
This is one of the most adopted flat roofing systems used in Toronto home. If your flat roof is one on which there will be continuous movements and activities, then this is the best material to get. There are some manufacturers with products that can last about 20 – 30 years without any issue.
GRP Fibreglass roofing
This is also very durable and adapted for use in several regions. It is also very resistant to damage. If the roof finally gets damaged, you can easily carry out repairs on it, leaving no dent or sign of repair. Some products in this category are known to last for 25 years and beyond.
EPDM rubber roofing
In the case where there is no need for a massive roof or one that can withstand so much weight, this is the best choice. It is a very lightweight roof, and it is relatively easy to install.
Though this material is somewhat light, it can unbelievably handle so much foot traffic throughout its lifespan. When the maintenance is done right, EDPM rubber roofing can last up to about 30 years and more. There are some products with this material that can even last up to 50 years.
There are several other materials used in the construction of flat roofs in Toronto, but these are the best. You need to research and adapt the best type to your home or space. If you are still not convinced about the best roof type for you, it is best to have a professional analyze your house to come up with a decision.
Factors to consider before you install your flat roof
Installing a flat roof shouldn’t be done hurriedly. Neither should it be done because you hear from someone that it’s a great roof. There are so many factors you need to put into consideration, as this will help you know if the flat roof is just the right one for your home. These are the factors to consider before settling on a flat roofing decision.
The slope of the roof
There are various materials used in making roofs, and you should know that flat roofs don’t have an incline. You need to consider the slope of your building to see the roofing system that is just perfect. For flat roofs, the slope of the structure should be between 5 and 15 degrees. This allows water to drain effectively from the roof.
Flat roofs are not steep. Hence, they need enhanced drainage systems. When you are ready to have a flat roof installed in your home, you need to reach out to a company to consider the current drainage situation of your home. This way, they can figure out the perfect flat roofing solution to employ. Flat roofs require different drainage needs, and these should be duly considered.
Structures on the roof
You need to duly consider the amount of load that will be going on the roof upon installation. The weight of the load to be on the roof will determine the quality of the material needed for use. There are types of flat roofs that can even withstand the weight of a car on it. It all depends on how strong the structure is. Therefore, before you have flat roofing installed, let your contractors know how much load you want to have on its
The common flat roofing repair need
All buildings come in different shapes and structures, hence, they face peculiar roofing issues and have different needs. These issues vary in intensity. While you can quickly solve some, others are extensive and cause significant damages to the building.
The extent of the damage is also a determinant of how much you will spend in repair. Remember to contact a flat roof repair company if ion damage on your roof is extensive.
Some popular flat roof faults that you need to look out for to make your flat roof last long include:
This is one issue that flat roofs are always prone to. It is easy to think that standing water is a result of the flat surface. In many cases, this is not the case. In most recent constructions of the flat roof, professionals leave an incline. This is to prevent water from gathering on the roof.
However, standing water can still result from areas where there is an extension of the part of the building. For example, if the fireplace extends out of the house, in the areas surrounding it, water can gather.
Standing water is also liable to occur when there is a sag in the roof, or when the drainage is blocked. When this is left for too long, it leads to the damage of the protective membrane, causing leaks to appear.
The use of EPDM on roofs seem to be advantageous. It is. However, in many cases, there is a side effect to its use. It serves as an outer coating, but around the edge, over time, it can lead to shrinkage of the roof. When the roof shrinks, there is a loosening of the seams, which can allow moisture to finds its way through to the underlying structures.
When this happens, the damage is bound to occur. In cases where the damage can easily be repaired, it is better not to leave things to chance. If left for too long, it could damage the whole flat roofing system.
Blistering is known to occur when water is trapped between the roof and the membrane. In most cases, this happens in hotter regions where there is the possibility of water expanding. Just like the mild shrinks, it is straightforward to repair blisters in flat roofs. In the short term, it may not be much of a threat. However, it can be in the long run, exposing your roof to adverse conditions that may damage it and structures beneath.
HVAC Installation damage
There is always that structure that needs to protrude out of the house. Your HVAC system is one of them. However, HVAC systems are often installed after the flat roof has been installed. When you need to install an HVAC in the home, the best place to do this is through the roof. This makes the house look better overall.
However, it is very detrimental to the roof. Care needs to be taken during installation so that issues like condensations and vibrations don’t hurt the roof. If these occur, there will be wear and tear on the roof, and this can be damaging in the long run. Combating this with routine checks around the equipment is your best course of action.
How to repair flat roofing upon damage
The roof is one of the essential aspects of the home. It protects the home and whatever is in it, from external factors. By preventing damaging materials from finding their way into the house, they, in turn, take a beating.
Over time, the resultant effect of weathering and other factors may leave you needing a repair. There are cases in which you can handle the repairing of your roof when there is damage. However, you may need to call a professional flat roof repair expert to solve some others.
If you are trying to fix your flat roofing yourself, you will need materials including a utility knife, clothes or rags, safety gear, asphalt roof cement, galvanized roofing nails, hammer, and the material of the new flat roof you want to use in the repair.
When it’s time to repair the roof, it’s better to have a professional handle the job. Although there are some minor problems, you can solve on your own, it may prove energy-consuming. If you are going to have your damaged flat roofing system repaired, there are essential steps to make sure it is as seamless as possible.
Inspect for the area of damage
It may be challenging to tell the location of the damage immediately, especially when the position of the leak in the structures below does not tally with the structures on top. Make sure you are very careful when climbing on to the roof. If you don’t have an opening window or an artic, you can climb up with a ladder leaned against the wall.
Look around the roof, as closely as you can, because some faults in the roof may be hard to notice immediately.
Clear the area
The most common fault suffered by a flat roofing system is waterlogging. If the problem you are tackling is that of stagnation of water on the roof, the very first problem to address is to clean up the water. Find a way to drain the location of water; only then will you be able to work on the faulty part.
Remove the blisters
When what you are dealing with are blisters, it is best to remove them. You need to cut out the damaged part, around the middle area. While doing this, however, you need to make sure that you don’t damage the roofing felt situated under the roof. Do this also if the problem is standing water. Just make sure the area is cleared out before you start work.
In this case, you should not use just any cement. You are explicitly making use of roof cement. Lay the cement on the cut patched areas. Also, if there are holes and cracks in the roof, the roof cement is effective. You should also spread the thick cement layer over any rough part of the roof. Make it even. Roofs are prone to damage when they are not even. Applying roof cement evenly can help you solve this.
Cover the cement layer with a roofing membrane
This is the last thing to do if you want to repair a flat roof. Measure the affected area that needs to be repaired. Take your flat roofing material, and cut out the required size. You should make sure this is done when the cement is still wet.
Patch the cutout roof onto the damaged area and ensure a total covering. When this is done, make use of galvanized nails in sealing the edges of the blisters.
Optional step: To ensure that the membrane is perfectly sealed, you can add a layer of aluminum coating. When you apply this over the entire length of the roof, it will be shielded from UV rays produced by the sun.
How to maintain your flat roof for longer life span
There is a lot that goes into making your flat roof last very long. The roof needs to be in top shape and to ensure this you must be ready to pay close attention regularly. Generally, it is advised that you perform maintenance checks on the roof for a minimum of twice a year. Make sure you inspect the roof after every rainfall or snowfall. You don’t want the results of precipitation to damage your flat roofing.
Beyond this, the processes involved in ensuring a long life span for your flat roof are categorized in three;
- Maintenance and
Embedded in these processes are best practices that will ensure your roof lasts long, even more than the warrantied period.
Cleaning your flat roof
Weather is a very cogent factor to note, as it is the leading factor that causes your roof to be unclean. Snow, rain, dust can constitute an unavoidable nuisance for your roof Whenever this happens, you need to take immediate steps to have the debris off the roof. Leaving them in place can lead to gradual damage, which will turn out to be extensive.
Whenever it is time to start cleaning the roof, you need to make sure that you sweep off debris and leaves. When you leave water from rain on the roof, before you know it, it will result in algae growth, and that maybe the genesis of unwanted leaks.
Use a pressure washer
You need a pressure washer to help in washing your roof. The pressure can spew water at about 2.4 gallons per minute. This will help you get rid of algae and moss forming on the roof, with ease. This is also very friendly to the environment since it does not involve the use of chemicals.
This is another excellent way to clean your roof. It is a beneficial process. Unlike the pressure washer, this process is also more effective. This offers you a fast solution to your algae problem, but you need to be careful. Some people are allergic to chlorine, and some plants react negatively to their use. You don’t want to hurt nature in the name of cleaning your roof. Technically, the use of chlorine may not be eco-friendly, compared to a pressure washer.
This is also similar to chlorine. However, you need to spend more time rinsing after application. Also, before you apply this on your roof, you need to be sure you have the right concentration.
When the concentration is too high, it can lead to irreversible damage to the roof. Care is pertinent, and even when the little amount is used against water, you need to rinse the area where it was applied thoroughly.
All these should suffice in helping you clean the roof. There are other advanced processes, can be carried out by flat roofing experts from time to time.
Maintaining your flat roof.
If there is any process that will ensure an extension in the lifespan of any utility, it has to be “maintenance.” This is not new to you. When you have a new shoe, the only way to make it last for a long time is to subject it to proper maintenance culture. This also holds for the flat roofing in your home.
These maintenance practices can be performed twice a year and will go a long way in making your roof as effective as ever. Here are some maintenance tips that should help:
Don’t give room for ponding
The leading causes of ponding on the roof are snow and rain. When these occur, the surface of the flat roof becomes saturated. When this is not cleaned immediately, it can result in ponding, which will ultimately result in leaks and other damages to the inner structure. In fact, in a very severe instance, the roof can experience a significant failure.
When ponding takes place on the roof, you can install a hopper to gather the excess water. Also, if you notice that the ponding occurs typically at the center of the roof, you can make use of an automatic pump. However, all of these are stressful. Right from the start, you can make sure your flat roof has a bit of an incline. This will save you from the stress of having to worry about the weather incessantly.
Drains and scuppers should be cleaned
This is a maintenance practice that many people ignore. This should not be so, cleaning the ducts and scuppers should occur about twice a year. When there are debris and blockages in the drains, water will not be able to flow off the roof. This leaves it standing, hence, the beginning of woes for the flat roof.
Inspect the roof for cracks, ridges, and blisters
Cracks, ridges, and blisters are other issues that are common to a flat roof, apart from leaking. You need to check for this as frequently as you can. Climb on the roof, and check out what is going on. There are several causes of these faults which could include poor workmanship practices during installation, stress, or freeze-thaw conditions.
For the cracks, patching it up with roofing cement is more than enough. Blisters are known to occur when there is trapping of air or water in the layers of the roof. When this happens, it separates the two layers and damages the membrane of the roof. Following the blisters-combating technique briefly described earlier will suffice.
Vegetation and removal of debris
One thing to know about flat roofs is that they are very susceptible to debris accumulating on them. When this is not curbed immediately, you will experience the advent of vegetation, out of nowhere. Technically, the vegetation will result from organic debris. You may experience the growth of bushes or even small trees. You may notice this when you go for your maintenance checks. When spotted, you should find a solution as fast as possible.
You should also pay attention to the trees around the house. You don’t want tree branches spreading over the roof as it can lead to damage.
Metal roof and heat
When you make use of a metal roof, the seams are the most prone to damage. When the environment is scorching, there is the expansion and contraction of flat roofing material. When your check is underway, make sure to always check for loose seams or screws that are out of place. When there are rusts too, find a solution immediately is best for your flat roofing.
Bonus tip: How to tell when your flat roof needs replacement.
Everyone is busy, and you may have stumbled on this article by chance or referral. While it focuses on how to ensure that your flat roofing enjoys a long life span, you should know that there are breaking points. You should be able to tell when the roof has had enough of maintenance and has to be replaced. Here are some tips to figuring that out:
- It suffers from an extensive water pooling
- You will notice large rips and tears around the seam
- Incessant leaks and need for constant repair.
- If you notice that your flat roofing material does not show damage, after a long time of use, you should replace it with one that makes you know when things are going wrong. You don’t want to be caught unawares with sudden faults.
Watch out for these, and tell when your roof needs replacement will be straightforward.
Related article: Flat Roof Repairs: Causes of Leaky Flat Roofs
Flat roofs in Toronto need to be watched continuously and maintained due to the unique weather conditions of the province. The material used in your flat roofing system may be of high quality, but it can only do so much to withstand the severe weather conditions without your help.
Maintenance is key to maximizing the use of any utility, and your flat roof also needs this. We understand that it may not be fully convenient to maintain your flat roofing but yourself. This is why we have experts that can help make things easier for you. Contact us today for your flat roofing maintenance and replacement needs!