Although any type of roofing can be vulnerable to the weather, flat roofs present their own individual problems. These problems can be made worse by the fact that certain insurance companies are unwilling to cover flat roofs because they perceive them to represent a special level of risk. IIt is therefore vital to identify and problems problems or potential problems with flat roofing quickly.
Although it is easy to spot the point where a leak enters the ceiling of a property, the external breach in the roof may not necessarily be directly above it. The reason behind this is that after entering he top roof layer, the water will run between the layers beneath until it finds a convenient point of entry through the ceiling boards. Care should therefore be taking in ensuring that the correct point of breakdown in the roof is identified.
Prevention is always better than cure. In order to reduce the incidence of leaks and the damage that they can cause to a property, it is prudent to undertake regular maintenance work, especially if you have been refused flat roof insurance or the premiums are prohibitively high. Leaks to flat roofs can cause damage to the fabric of the roof itself and the repairs will frequently have t go far deeper than simply to the external covering. If an incomplete or inadequate repair is carried out is is likely to result in further problems in the future.
Identifying the Cause(s) of the Leak
Before effective maintenance or repair works can be carried out it is necessary to identify the cause of the problem. On flat roofs, one of the most common reasons for leakage is the incidence of “ponding” or “pooling.” This is where small ponds or pools of water of form on the roof’s surface. This accumulation of water, if left unattended, is likely to result in what may be serious damage to the roof and the property that it is protecting from the elements. The problem is usually caused by ineffective drainage or a defective roof gradient. Of course, in dryer, warmer weather, the evidence of ponding may not be quite so clear, as any superficial water may have evaporated. The roof should be checked carefully for signs such as watermarks or the growth of vegetation s circumstantial evidence of ponding.
Fat roof issues can also arise due to faulty design or construction. The flat roof should be checked carefully for evidence of any cracking around the roof joints or at its corners. These are indicators that the roof has suffered movements and will require speedy remedial measures. The roof should also be checked for any rusted or absent roof nails, both of which can be responsible for leaks. If your roof has a gravel or other similar coating, any discoloration of the coating may be indicative of problems, as might blistering of the roof’s covering material, which is likely to point to existing incidence of water infiltration. It is also prudent to check that the flat roof has a sufficient void space between the of surface and the ceiling as an inadequate space can result in condensation. Finally, something as simple as blocked or leaking gutters can cause infiltration of water so they should be kept clear of any obstruction and in a secure state of repair.
As we have demonstrated, there are several reasons for potential problems with flat roofs. Although many people prefer to avoid them because of the problems that we have described, for some people, who occupy properties that have a partial or total flat roof, as in the case of most commercial and industrial properties they have no alternative but to take all the necessary steps to check and maintain the roof.
At our South Devon and South West Roofers we provide a complete roofing service, enabling you to check the state of your fat roof regularly and to repair any problems in a timely manner. In this way, some of the more significant costs associated with a flat roof problem will be avoided.
If you need any help with your flat roof do not hesitate to contact us at:
The Roofers SW, South Devon Roofers,
Sterling House, Meadway,
Decoy Industrial Estate,
Tel 07515 393231 07710 621755 0800 0322213