Updated: Dec 6, 2022
The flat roof is different from the usual peaked roofs. They have a different composition that prevents water from getting into the house. At the same time, they give a modern and minimalist feel to your house. Depending on the type of flat roof, your roof should last at least 10 years, depending on how well you maintain your flat roof.
There does come a time, however, when roof replacement has to be performed, especially when the roof is all worn out and the warranty has expired. This guide explains how to tell if a roof repair is needed for your flat roof, or if it already requires roof replacement. You will also know how to take care of flat roofs.
What a Flat Roof Is
A flat roof is like a membrane placed on top a building. This membrane is made of various waterproof materials, depending on the type of flat roof. The common factor between all of them is that they all use roof felt as a base. The membrane hangs over a sort of structural deck. In between the deck and the flat roof is a vapor barrier. The vapor barrier is a kind of material that prevents moisture from building up and developing in the flat roof layers. Metal flashing is also used to seal the edges. Water is directed away from the roof into small gutters that drain the water off the roof.
The most common flat roof types are as follows:
Roll Asphalt- Fiberglass or organic base felts are saturated with asphalt and applied over the base roof felt. Asphalt cement and nails are used to seal the roof, and it's topped off with mineral granules.
Single-ply Membrane- This type utilizes a revolutionary new kind of material that only needs a single layer to completely waterproof the roof. It is usually what is used after the roof replacement of Built-up Membrane type flat roofs.
Built-up Membrane- Various layers of coated or saturated roof felts are installed with bitumen (a product of asphalt and coal tar pitch) in between layers. The top layer of roofing sheet or granules protect the layers below from weathering. Depending on the materials used, a Built-up Membrane flat roof usually lasts up to 30 years.
Flat-Seam Metal- This type of flat roof utilizes many small pieces of sheet metal that are soldered together to form a flat surface. Galvanized metal or lead-coated copper are usually used for this type of flat roof.
Signs Of Flat Roof Disrepair
Flat roofs are relatively sturdy. However, it can still wear out after some time. It's time for roof replacement if you notice any of these signs on your roof:
If a lot of holes and leaks are starting to develop on the roof and into the ceiling.
If the large roof panels have come apart and cannot be put back together.
If the vapor barrier in the middle has been torn and infiltrated.
If the top coating has been blown off by strong winds, exposing the undercoat and especially the inner layers and therefore damaging them.
Taking Care of a New Roof
If your flat roof is due for some roof replacement, then go ahead and buy the materials for your new roof. Once you have installed your new roof, make sure to take some steps in taking care of your newly-installed flat roof. One way to do that is by adding an extra protective coating over it, such as polyvinyl coating. It will resist all kinds of weather and protect your roof from the heaviest of rains. Check if the drains are working fine, and remove anything that might clog them up.
Flat Roof Maintenance
In order to keep your roof for a long time, you have to take steps in regularly maintaining your flat roof. That way you wouldn't need roof repair, as the roof is constantly in top shape and well taken care of. One of the best ways to take care of your flat roof is to always check it after it rains. Check to see if there is any standing water remaining on top of your flat roof. You need to take the water out within 3 days after it rains, or else it might do some permanent damage to your roof. If you have a large flat roof, maybe you should install a roof pump to get rid of water automatically.
Having a flat roof is a great option over having peaked roofs. If you take care of your roof properly, you will be able to enjoy it's durability and long life possibly for many decades. To learn more about flat roofs, roof repairs and roof replacement, feel free to visit our directory where you can connect with lots of roofing companies and contractors in your area that can assist you with any of your needs in home improvement.
Posted by: TrustedPros