Flat roofs are ones that have a pitch of less than 15 degrees. Many business premises have them. You home may also have one or two areas, including where an extension is put in, that has a flat roof.
Just as with any normal pitched roof, you should expect this area to last a long time if you ensure that you carry out the right maintenance.
There are a range of different materials that are used on flat roofs including:
- Felt and tort-on felt.
- Mastic asphalt.
- GRP and fibreglass.
- PVC, TPO or EDPM single-ply membrane.
Older roofs that have been made with pour and roll bitumen can certainly be more prone to damage over time and these some of the most common problems that we come across at G R Regan. New roof treatments such as EPDM or GRP can be guaranteed for 25 to 30 years or more.
First of all, it’s important to get up to your flat roof and check it periodically. Doing so will ensure that you spot any problems before they get out of hand. If you have an old roof covering that looks like it’s seen better days, you may want to consider upgrading it.
Common problems that are associated with older, poorly maintained flat roofs include:
- Splitting: Your roof is going to be exposed to all sorts of weather conditions. Freezing in winter can cause splitting but so can poor maintenance or even a badly installed roof. The surface can also be damaged if you have been walking on top of it.
- Ponding: If you go up to your roof and see pools of water sitting on the surface which is not draining away this can certainly cause problems over time. It’s an issue that occurs because the roof is not maintained properly or has poor drainage.
- Blistering: This happens a lot on felt based roofs when air gets trapped beneath the top layer. You’ll find blisters developing and when these burst or are punctured it exposes your underlying structure to the elements.
Maintaining Your Flat Roof
Whether you have a large flat roof or a small area above an area like an extension, regular maintenance is key.
- Make sure you remove debris or leaves which may have collected during periods like Autumn.
- Be careful if you have to stand on the flat roof as it may not be designed to take your weight and you could cause more damage.
- If there has been any big weather event like a storm or snow, getting your ladder out to check the flat roof makes good sense.
- Check for problems such as splitting, ponding or blistering. If you do see an issue, it’s important to get a roof specialist to take a look.
- If you have overhanging trees, cutting them back can prevent your flat roof from getting covered in leaves and other debris in the first place.
- Don’t forget to check internally either. If you see damp marks on the ceiling below the roof it’s a clear indication there’s a problem that needs to be remedied.
At G R Regan and Son, we provide a whole range of specialist roofing services for homeowners and businesses across Sevenoaks and Tunbridge Wells. If you think there’s an issue with your flat roof, give us a call today to see how we can help.