Flat Roof Maintenance: 2 Problems to Look For

Flat roofs are very common over first floor extensions, but with a flat roof maintenance is even more important than with the more traditional pitched roof. The reasons for this are many and sometimes complicated, from simple pressure from water which cannot drain off of a completely flat roof to people walking up and down on it, causing damage. Some people take the option of having their flat roof maintained regularly by a contractor, but you can also choose to do it yourself if you have a little bit of knowledge and a few spare hours. Performing a few simple maintenance procedures can save you a lot of money if it prevents your flat roof from springing a leak, so you will probably end up grateful that you did it.

Preventing Water Damage

Water damage is the most common cause of problems with your flat roof. The source of the problem is quite simple, as there is no source of drainage for a flat roof. If you think of a typical pitched roof style, then it is clear that water can flow down the shingles and into a gutter, forced along by gravity. This is not true of a flat extension roof, as gravity actually keeps the rainwater on the roof itself. In order to prevent water from gradually seeping onto the ceiling below, you can perform two acts of flat roof maintenance. Firstly, you can install a piece of plastic sheeting, slightly raised at the wall end, which will act as a pitch, and allow water to drain away over the edge. This plastic must be installed close to the wall, preferably with caulking. Another good idea is to put a layer of waterproofing on the surface of your roof. A mixture such as tar will mold itself over the felt, helping to seal that, and also allowing water to stay on the roof. You could use a broom to brush this water away.

Preventing Other Damage

Another common source of water damage for the flat roof is through mold or fungus growing in between the felt on the roof. Once there is penetration of the surface of the roof by water, mold and other nasty infestations quickly follow. You can use a fungicide to quickly get rid of mold, but you will also need to seal up the leak which has allowed water to penetrate. If you have an asphalt roof, for example, use a layer of asphalt to prevent water from penetrating the surface, followed by a primer which strengthens the roof.

Your flat roof might need strengthening if children or adults regularly walk across the surface. Most children don't understand a simple No, and will climb out bedroom windows to stand on the outside. If you have a problem with weight causing damage to your roof, try adding glass fibre matting over the surface, followed by a layer of tar or asphalt. You may also want to pour an extra surface on top. Lay down a row of pvc pipes, and then pour the tar or other roofing material over the top. This will help to provide more support to your roof.