How do you repair a flat roof?

flat black roof

Flat roofing for commercial buildings

Most commercial buildings have what appears to be a flat roof. Technically, and logically, they aren’t a truly flat surface. They have some slope, as dictated by common sense.  While these roof types are common, and for the most part, the average person really doesn’t notice them, flat roof repairs aren’t all they may seem, and sometimes frequent flat roof repairs are needed.

In our article today, we are going to look at the downsides of having a flat roof on a commercial structure. Answering commonly asked questions, like, “Why is my flat roof leaking?”. Logic would tell us that a flat roof will leak because it can’t drain the water accumulated.  Why would water not be able to drain should be the question, and there are a few reasons that happens: 

  • Poor Construction: This can be basic human error or poor workmanship, either way, when a flat roof isn’t constructed properly, it has an increased potential to start leaking. There may not be a flat roof repair that can fix this, but an inspection by a professional flat roof contractor can advise you what can be done. 
  • Ponding Water: This happens because the water can’t drain, which is frequently from clogged drains, downspouts, or gutter system. Another issue that can cause ponding is the wall scuppers not functioning correctly. Other concerns for a flat roof leaking is are air conditioners and water tanks installed on the rooftop.  These won’t fall under flat roof repair, but once they are repaired to stop the leaking, you will need a flat roof repair service. 
  • Membrane Damaged: Where BUR roofing used to rule on commercial flat roofs, today, more owners are going with roofing membranes, a thin, single-ply of durable rubber. While these are easier and cost less to install, even provide protection for the structure, they are subjective to damage easier than the BUR type of roofing. Common issues with this type of roofing are blistering, cracking, punctures, and splitting, all making this roof vulnerable to need flat roof repairs. 
  • Penetrating Objects: Flat roof repairs are often needed when a flat roof has several penetrating objects I place, like air conditioning lines, gas lines, plumbing vents, and other assorted pipes and vents. There should be a form of field wrap, flashing, pipe boots, or rain collars around these. Each roof inspection should include inspecting these areas and repairing or replacing anything that isn’t able to do the job it is intended. 

How do you stop a flat roof from leaking?

Commercial and industrial structures with flat roofs or low-sloped because of the convenience of HVAC installation, and the ease of maintenance and repairs of HVAC and plumbing matters. However, when that flat roof is leak, you know  it needs immediate attention and a flat roof repair, or things are going to get much worse. This makes the roof and entire structure prone to flooding, mildewing, mold, rot, and more moisture creating hazards.

As we mentioned earlier, flat roof repair of leaks can often be eliminated by cleaning the roof, drains, downspouts, and gutters. While this will get the water draining, it still needs flat roof repair patch job until you can get the professional roofing contractor scheduled. The following steps will give you a flat roof quick repair with a temporary patch: 

After locating the problem, remove any standing water and clean the area around the leak, scraping offer any old roofing material. Then apply a thick coat of roofing cement, spreading it thick, extra thick in problem areas, until you a smooth area over the problem, 

For long-term prevention of flat roof leak repairs being needed: 

  • Install, Repair, Replace Flashing – Flashing is a flat roof’s best friend, especially around protruding structures like the HVAC system and plumbing pipes. 
  • Install a Membrane – A rubber membrane can be installed on top of the existing roof in most cases, then have gravel added to hold in place.       

Do flat roofs cause problems?

A flat roof isn’t faultless, or we wouldn’t have an article based on flat roof repair, right?  Here are six of the most common problems with a flat roof: 

  • Alligatoring – This happens when the asphalt that was used to construct your flat roof is getting old and losing its elasticity.
  • Leaks – As we have already mentioned, poor construction or shoddy workmanship are the biggest problems. Next is poor drainage and objects penetrating the roof surface and creating a ponding issue. 
  • Buckled Membrane – Membrane installed on a flat roof is usually a one-piece item. As the building shifts and the temperature fluctuates, the membrane will buckle. 
  • Cracks – Flat roofs have more pressure because of the flat surface, and that creates a buildup that can become excessive, causing the flat roof to crack. 
  • Flashing – Just like your roof at home, your commercial structure’s flat roof needs flashing that will provide protection around areas that are prone to contract and expand with the temperature. 

Will a flat roof always leak?

No, if they are installed correctly, and have proper maintenance and care, including monthly inspections with follow of flat roof repairs as needed, a flat roof can will go up to 30 years or longer without any leaking issues.

flat roof

How long does it take to replace a flat roof?

If your commercial structure needs flat roof repair or replacement, a repair job will take around five days on average. This is dependent upon ay repairs being completed and includes the cleaning and any prepping the roofing contractor does. 

Owning commercial property is an achievement, and it also brings about headaches, like needing flat roof repair.  When the roof has regular inspections, once a month is our recommendation, and flat roof repairs are done promptly, you’ll be able to avoid most leaking issues. Call __PHONE__ today for your flat roof in Wharton and Spring, TX.