Cleaning and maintaining a flat concrete roof requires some hard work. As opposed to sloped roofs, flat roofs hold water and collect a lot of dirt and debris. In order to ensure that your roof remains watertight and is strong enough to hold the standing water, you need to make sure that you regularly clean it and perform maintenance checks.
Flat Roof Cleaning
There are many different ways in which you can keep your roof clean. However, you should know that excessive cleaning of the roof may result in damage and breakage as it puts additional stress on the roof. That said, the three most common methods of washing flat roofs are chlorine bleach washing, sodium hydroxide washing and pressure washing.
- Using chlorine to wash roofs is good in that it requires less rinsing. However, chlorine can be toxic to plants as well as people in some cases. Hence, you should take adequate precaution if you use chlorine to clean your roof.
- If your roof is especially dirty or grimy, you can sodium hydroxide to clean it. The downside is that sodium hydroxide needs to be rinsed thoroughly, and this adds to wear and tear on the roof. Also, sodium hydroxide can be harmful to people, animals, and plants, so you need to take extra precaution when using this.
- While the first two methods are more commonly used on asphalt roofs, pressure washing is extremely popular for flat concrete roofs. Moreover, pressure washing means that you are not going to be using any harsh or harmful chemicals. Its cost-effective, eco-friendly, can clean the hardest stains, and can remove algae and moss. The only disadvantage if you have a colored roof is that it can wash away thin or thinning layers of coloring.
Flat Roof Maintenance
Maintenance of your flat concrete roof requires that you regularly check for cracks and blisters. Any sign of damage could result in a leak, or worse, a collapse. Flat roof maintenance becomes particularly important after a heavy downpour or snowfall. Here are some pointers to help you get started.
- Always keep your roof clean. Flat roofs tend to collect a lot of debris, dirt, and even fallen branches from nearby trees. Make it a point to regularly remove such dry debris.
- One of the biggest disadvantages of flat roofs is that water does not drain off it. Hence, keeping your drains and drain pipes/downspouts clean becomes exceedingly important. Remove all the sludge and algae that accumulates around the drain openings, and use drain cleaners to keep the pipes/downspouts from getting choked.
- Inspect the roof surface for blisters and cracks. It is always better to find these when they are small, so you can repair them before excessive damage is done. If you find any cracks, use a roof cement to seal it. For blisters, poke at them with a knife, drain out all the water, and then apply the roof cement.
- Sometimes, extensive damage may require the removal of sections of the roof and replacement with newer material. This, however, can impair the waterproofing of the roof, which is essential in flat roofs. If you find too much damage on your roof, consider covering the roof with a reinforced fiberglass sheet, which contains a polymer composite. And know when to consult a professional.