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Residential Flat Roof Maintenance

Flat roofs are being used more frequently than ever before for residential homes. They provide many advantages to property owners, including a modern, clean structure and look. Those who have these roofs on their homes must ensure that they are properly maintained to protect both their appearance and their overall structural integrity. For homeowners, the idea of a flat roof, or low-slope roof might seem like more maintenance than a traditional sloped roof. 

Why do some houses have flat roofs?

A flat roof has numerous advantages for homeowners. They are frequently used in commercial settings because they allow for more space for equipment such as exhausts and air conditioning systems. They have, however, become more widely used in homes in recent years.

This is due to factors such as lower costs and ease of maintenance. They also create more structural and architectural design elements. Flat roofs are an excellent choice for property owners who want to make use of their rooftop space. Flat roof are also less dangerous to walk around on and inspect for damage by the homeowner

There are multiple materials to consider

There are several types of flat roofs that are commonly used on residential properties. This includes the following:

  • Roof Construction: This is a traditional hot tar and gravel style roof, also known as BUR. It does, however, typically have three or more plies of a waterproof material as well as hot tar. It is also typically ballasted with smooth river stone. It’s an excellent choice for fire protection and looks nice when there’s a view.
  • Rubber Membrane Roof: An EPDM product, this type of roof is made of rubber. It has a single-ply membrane made of material similar to that of an inner tube, but it is designed to be resistant to sun damage. These are lighter and easier to install, but they are also highly resistant to damage.
  • Roof made of modified bitumen: This product is applied in the same way as a single rolled roof, but it has a mineral-based wear surface. Some models have a peel-and-stick installation method. These are simpler to set up. These roofs are also excellent at reflecting heat, lowering energy costs.

Flat roof maintenance timetable

It is critical to keep these roofs clean at all times. That is, after a storm, it is critical to visually inspect the structure to ensure there is no damage. Remove all material from it on a regular basis.

Following that, it is critical to have the roof inspected at least three times a year. This includes minimizing snow and ice damage after the winter. The most serious problem with flat roofs is pooling water, which can cause damage. Any holes, blisters, or soft spots are also cause for concern. Cracks should be repaired as soon as possible as well.

Maintenance tips for your flat roof

Property owners who have a flat roof must work hard to keep it in good condition. To do so, keep the following key points in mind:

Installation by a professional

Make sure your flat roof is installed by a Minneapolis top reviewed roofing company. Make sure the roofing contractors are also available to do professional inspections, this is essential to a long flat roof lifespan. Even if a property owner inspects the roof on a regular basis, it can be difficult to detect areas of concern completely. That is why the roof must be inspected on an annual basis. This should be done at least three times a year or after any major storm impact to your home.

Clear the debris

Because there is no angle/slope on flat roofs, debris accumulates more frequently. You must inspect them on a regular basis to ensure that nothing is present. Take care not to damage the material when walking on it. With a broom, sweep away leaves, dirt, and other debris. Anything with a sharp edge should be avoided.

Trees should be pruned back

Keep trees away from the roof’s overhang to limit the amount of debris removal you’ll need to do. Any trees or plants making contact with the roof pose the greatest day to day threat to the material’s structural integrity because branches touching or falling on the surface can damage it. Remove any tree branches that may grow and rub against or scrape the roof’s surface. Also, keep in mind that moss can quickly spread from trees onto the surface of the roof, causing damage to the overall integrity.

Quickly handle leaks and any stagnant water pooling

Flat roofs can crack, resulting in a leak. If you notice a crack, assume there is a leak present, have a professional inspect it, and repair it as soon as possible for the best results. Roof leaks that begin small will grow larger and more significant over time if the problem is not addressed quickly. The most common areas of concern are seams and flashing, but they can occur anywhere there is surface damage. If you notice any pooling water schedule a roof inspection immediately.

Reduce the weight

Another major issue with flat roofs is the amount of weight they can support. Most of the time, this is not a problem, but when heavy snow or ice accumulates on the surface, it causes stress and strain on the system, resulting in damage. Even if properly installed, the roof cannot support a large amount of weight. Though it is unlikely, these roofing structures could collapse under the weight. Unlike an angled roof, where water and snow eventually fall, a flat roof does not have this advantage.

Maintain a drainage system and watch out for pooling water

A properly sized and designed drainage system for the structure is an important part of having a flat roof installed. This will aid in the movement of water away from it. If you have pooling water on your roof’s structure, it means your drainage system is not working or is inadequate. There could be a blockage somewhere, or it could be damaged. In all cases, contact a roofing professional as soon as possible to make repairs to these structures.

With proper maintenance, a flat roof can be worthwhile and last a long time

Just like with sloped roofs, the most important aspect of flat roofs is their upkeep and to act quickly when you notice any damage or concerning signs. This will help maintain your flat roof’s appearance and functionality while also ensuring that you get the most out of them, which could be decades.

In This Article...

Key Takeaways

Minneapolis Flat Roof Maintenance

  • Flat roofs, like sloped roofs need regular maintenance to ensure a long lifespan
  • Flat roof have a greater risk than sloped roofs for pooling water
  • Clear debris off of flat roofs regularly and trim back trees and plants to minimize the amount of debris that accumulates
  • Get regular roof inspections from a reputable roofing company, especially after a storm

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