Many think it is crazy for us to have flat roofs on the ‘Wet Coast’, but flat roofs are a fact of life.
A flat roof that has been properly installed by a reputable professional roofing company should provide many care free years. It is however, more exposed to the elements and more susceptible to damage from things like UV damage, hail, heavy rain and snow, so some basic maintenance* is required to keep the roof performing well. To help you keep your flat roof healthy and dry for years to come, Penfolds Roofing offers these guidelines for proper flat roof care.
1. Create a Schedule
Flat roofs should be checked periodically, at least four times in a year. We recommend these inspections be scheduled with every season change. Check for blocked drains, unusual amounts of ponding water, damage from overhead objects such as trees, accumulation of debris, or anything that looks out of the ordinary. The frequency of these inspections should be increased where there are special conditions, like when a home is located in a heavily treed area where a lot of leaves and debris fall onto the roof, or when a roof has sagged so that water does not drain off within 48 hours after a rain. This is especially important during the wintertime. Maintain consistency by creating an alert in your smart phone or make a point of checking after major storms.
2. Remove Debris
All of those beautiful autumn leaves look great while still on the trees, but they’ll eventually end up on the roof and will block the drains. Be sure to remove all this debris as often as required in the autumn, along with any twigs, dirt and other foreign objects.
Trim back any tree limbs that are hanging over your roof. This will help prevent the chance of broken limbs falling on your house during a wind, snow or ice storm. Heavy branches can cause obvious structural damage, but even small ones can create ponding water and clogged drains.
3. Examine Your Flat Roof for Irregularities
Blisters, holes, indentations and cracks are obvious signs of a flat roof in need of repair or replacement. Also take note of where pooling water forms as this may indicate low areas that need to be addressed when the roof is replaced. Look for any areas that may feel soggy or show signs of blistering. All of these are early warning signs telling you that it’s time for a professional to assess your flat roof for repairs or replacement.
4. Flush the Drains
Periodically it is a good idea to flush the drains to ensure the free flow of water below the roof line. This can be done with an ordinary garden hose. If you notice that the water is not draining properly, then we strongly recommend that a reputable plumbing contractor be called to inspect and clean out the drains. Letting water build up on your flat roof is a surefire way to cause serious damage quickly.
*Climbing on a roof can be dangerous and can result in serious injury or death. Wet roofs are very slippery and should not be climbed on under any circumstances. Penfolds Roofing does not recommend that any person climb onto a roof without expert training and while making full use of appropriate fall protection equipment. Working off a ladder is likewise to be avoided. The following is a guideline only.