If your home has a flat roof, you know it can offer great benefits in terms of energy efficiency and aesthetics. What’s more, a flat roof can also be used as a secondary outdoor space. While residential properties can be entirely covered by a flat roof, it’s common for a home to have a pitched roof over most of it. The flat roof is then above one part of the home, such as a garage, porch, shed dormer, balcony, or an addition.
But when it comes to flat roofs, homeowners have to be more careful about leaks because unlike the sloped type, flat roofs give snow and water more time to sit and find openings.
Common Causes of Flat Roof Leaks
- Ice, snow, and ponding water. Since your roof is flat, rain, snow, and ice will not shed as quickly as on sloped portions of your roof. This will put substantial weight on the roof and produce cracks that grow over time. As water remains on the roof longer, it’s more likely to develop damaging leaks, algae, and destruction of the reflective coating.
- Damaged flashing. Flashing is installed at the exterior edges of the roof and around drains, vents, pipes, and HVAC units. But over time, the flashing can pull away from the edges of your roof due to damage caused by wind or temperature changes. This creates openings for moisture to get trapped inside the roof and water to get into your home.
- Damaged roof membrane. The roof membrane protects the interior of the building from water. But as time goes by, the membrane can crack, blister, puncture, or shrink, giving the water a clear path inside and soaking the insulation.
- Cracks in the roof. Compared to sloped roofs, flat roofs tend to have more pressure exerted on them. When the pressure is excessive, the roof will crack and expose your home to precipitation. What’s more, this can be a sign that your roof is structurally compromised and roof replacement should be considered.
What Can Be Done to Prevent Leaks from Happening
A flat roof requires proper maintenance to keep it in good working condition and ensure it lasts its lifespan. This involves:
- Regular inspections. Since flat roofs are not visible from the ground, it’s important to have a roofing contractor inspect your roof for bubbling, peeling, cracks, or other issues.
- Debris removal. It’s easy for tree leaves, branches, and other debris to settle on top of a flat roof. The debris should be removed regularly to prevent ponding water and cracks.
- Check the Drainage. Flat roofs usually have a slight slope to direct water off the roof. Still, sometimes puddling will occur, increasing the chance of leaks. Having a roofer check the drainage and make necessary repairs is imperative.
- Prompt Repairs. When it comes to flat roof damage, the sooner you act the better of you’ll be. If your roof is leaking, you should arrange for a roof inspection and repairs as soon as possible. Prompt roof repair ensures the problem is tackled before it develops into a disaster, saving you headaches and money.
For flat roof repairs in Central Florida, you can rely on West Orange Roofing. We are well experienced to conduct thorough inspections, find the source of the leak, and fix all roofing problems. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and estimate.