Flat roofs need regular maintenance to live up to their full potential. Most roofing professionals recommend maintenance and repairs to be done at least twice a year. If you live in an area that experiences severe weather, more regular maintenance may be necessary. Having the flat roof maintained before and after severe weather will help minimize damage.What happens during maintenance?
The services that fall under preventative roof maintenance vary depending on the roofing material. Your roofer may inspect the roof, clear gutters, remove debris and unwanted elements as well as perform small general repairs on the roofing system.
1. Check the seams
The seams of a roofing system are the points where two pieces of roofing materials connect. It could be the area where the two roofing sheets meet or where two pieces of metal meet. These areas are usually prone to leaks. During the inspection, the seams need to be assessed for signs of water damage. If the area is loose, it needs fixing immediately to prevent roof damage. Your roof contractor can recommend installing water barriers under the expansion joints to prevent water from leaking into the building. Water barriers can also be installed around the coping of the roof to protect the system and enhance the durability of your roofing material.
2. Check the roof penetrations
Roof penetrations are areas on the roof where the roofing material is cut to fit a different accessory such as the air vents or skylights. In most commercial buildings, you’ll find other roofing components such as A/C units and vents installed. These accessories cause the roofing system underneath to be vulnerable to leaks. The space that is around the penetrations needs to have sufficient clearance to make it easy to perform any necessary repairs. When inspecting the roof, your contractor will keep an eye for signs of water damage in these penetrations.
3. Check the metal flashing
Flashing is a very important component in a flat roof. It is installed to prevent water from leaking through the areas of the roof where to pieces of roofing material are joined together. The flashing needs to be properly maintained to prevent exposing the roof to severe damage. For roof membranes that have a 20-25-year lifespan, flashing will need more routine maintenance. If you have invested in a re-roofing project, it means you may have two or three roofs that will need to be re-flashed after a while.
4. Check the gutters
Most roofing experts recommend cleaning the roof gutters at least two times a year. However, there are a few factors that you may consider when determining how often you need to clean your gutters. For instance, if you have pine trees growing above your house, you may need to inspect the gutters after every 3 months. Remember, you can’t tell if your gutters are clogged unless you inspect the roofing system. Clogged gutters can cause a roof leak which will damage your paint, furniture, appliances and cause serious electrical problems in your commercial building.