Flat Roofing Problems and Solutions
Our roofing experts at Kauffman Roofing in Jamesport know all about flat roofing problems and solutions. Typically, a well-designed flat roof that was properly installed, waterproofed and then diligently maintained shouldn’t have problems or leak. However, a recent news story featured the collapse of a flat roof in Breckenridge. Local fire officials said that recent snow storms were just too much for the roof to handle. Extreme situations aside, issues can occur if the membrane isn’t installed correctly, if the roof is old and especially if there’s been no ongoing maintenance.
Breckenridge town officials recommend that everyone get their roofs inspected and our experts at Kauffman Roofing couldn’t agree more.
If you take a look at an article from The Helpful Engineer, you’ll find some important information about flat roofing, including inherent problems and possible solutions.
Flat roofs are popular.
Flat roofs usually work very well and are often cheaper to build. Flat roofs reduce the volume of the building and so reduce the energy costs. They are usually very easy to maintain and flat roofs can be used for other uses like a patio or a green roof for growing plants and flowers.
A flat roof should have a slope.
They appear flat but there is actually a slight slope. The gradual slope allows rainwater to drain off the roof. The amount of slope should be a minimum of 1 in 80, but a minimum slope of 1 to 40 is preferable to allow for deflection of the roof and for normal building tolerances.
Replacing waterproofing membranes.
These waterproof membranes work quite well on flat roofs and will last 20 to 30 years. Your cost savings on the initial construction and the reduction in energy use will allow you to save for a replacement membrane in 20 or 30 years.
Always maintain your flat roof.
Flat roofs need some regular maintenance. Sometimes the drainage outlets become clogged with leaves and other debris. The roof can collect water if the rainwater outlet is blocked. Often a roof’s parapet walls prevent the water from draining properly.
You might want to consider installing leaf guards but you will still need to clear out the drainage outlets, particularly in the fall. If you live near a lot of trees, you may want to do it more frequently. It’s a good practice to make regular inspections of your roof to prevent blockage and to make sure if you have leaf guards, that they are well secured.
When climbing up for a roof inspection, make sure you are safe and it’s always best to not do it alone. Snow removal from a flat roof should also be a two-person job if possible.
Choose the right roofing company.
Kauffman Roofing has the experience, skills, and insurance, and will provide you with courtesy, expertise, and timeliness to always give you a properly installed roof that will last you a long time without any issues.
Make sure your roof is designed correctly.
The design stage is as important as the installation. We will make sure your new flat roof is designed and constructed the right way. We pay attention to the joint between the flat roof and the parapet walls. This is important and a focus we do not ignore because unless it is detailed to allow for movement, then any slight deflection of the roof may cause a break in the waterproofing membrane at the roof and the parapet wall.
Make sure your roof is professionally installed by experienced roofers.
Our roof installers will try to avoid having internal outlets but if they are needed we will insulate them where they penetrate the warm roof so as to avoid cold bridging and possible condensation forming on the pipe. We will design more than one outlet to drain an area, which will help when there are blockages. We can provide leaf guards for all your outlets but you need to remember to regularly inspect them to make sure they aren’t blocked.
Our design can include access to the roof and fall arrest systems to allow the roofs to be safely inspected. This will encourage frequent inspection and hopefully prevent injuries. If you can help it, avoid inspections during poor weather conditions.
Do you want roof lights or ventilation chimneys? If so, we will make sure there is enough space between them and other obstructions like parapets, to allow the installation and inspection of your roof membrane.
Our roofing experts at Kauffman Roofing in Jamesport can answer any questions you have about flat roofing problems and solutions. While we specialize in repairs, preventative maintenance, and roof replacement, we have also customized our efforts to going beyond just being a capable roofing company, to one that offers full concept design services including needs assessment, specification writing, and value engineering options.