Flat roofs are popular in commercial and industrial buildings, but over the recent years, homeowners seeking luxurious and space-saving roofing alternatives have found this roofing style desirable. Low-sloped or flat roofs create convenient space for the installation of HVAC systems and make it simple to carry our roof repairs and maintenance. But, when your flat roof begins to leak, it’s definitely not pleasant news. You’ll want to carry out a thorough inspection to determine the cause of the leak and make the necessary repairs to prevent water and moisture from causing hazards such as flooding, rotting, and mold growth.
Causes of Flat Roof Leaks
Your flat roof can leak due to a variety of factors, including old age. If your roof is old, some areas may have deteriorated and will likely fail, allowing rainwater to infiltrate your building. In most cases, flat roofs leak around vents and plumbing stacks or at the edge of the roof.
Other common causes of leaks on flat roofs include:
- Ponding water – When water remains on your roof for more than 48 hours after precipitation, it can lead to damaging leaks.
- Damaged Membrane – If your flat roof is made of a single-ply membrane, it can be susceptible to damage due to ponding water or roof traffic. A compromised membrane allows water to enter the insulation, causing more serious leaks.
- Roof Structures – Just like sloped shingle roofs, flat roofs are vulnerable to leaks around areas where a structure rises up through the roof’s surface. These structures may include plumbing vents, gas lines, pipes, and other building elements.
How to Prevent Flat Roof Leaks
In many cases, flat roofs can leak when debris is left on the roof for long. It can block water from flowing down your roof or redirect it to other areas. Make sure you regularly clean your flat roof without pushing debris down the drains.
You may also want to inspect the drainage system for clogging preventing water from draining off your roof. Knock on the metal drain pipes using your knuckles and listen. If the pipe sounds dull, then there is some debris stuck inside.
Other long-term ways to prevent your flat roof from leaking include:
- Installing Flashing – Adding flashing to your flat roof will prevent leaks around chimneys and vents. Let your roofer also install flashing along the edge of the roof, ensuring it bends over the edge.
- Use a Membrane – A rubber membrane is typically installed on top of shingles to take the place of gravel on a flat roof. It’s a great way to prolong the life of an old, deteriorating roof.
Work with a Professional Roofer to Stop Leaks!
If your flat roof has already sprung leaks, it’s important to have a professional roofing contractor carry out a thorough inspection to determine the cause of the leak and make the necessary repairs. Guardian Homes is your trusted flat roof specialist in the greater Puget Sound Area. Contact us today to learn more about preventing leaks from wreaking havoc in your home.