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Are flat roofs bad? Flat roofs explained

Flat roofs are often thought of negatively, for many reasons.

roof repair

Flat roofs often are non-standard risks for many insurance companies,

meaning that checks often are carried out by insurers to check the standard and condition of the roof. Flat roofs gather negative press due to poor maintenance, or incorrect installation.

Incorrect pitch allowing water to pool:

A minimum slope of 1 to 40 should be used to allow rainwater to cascade over. This also allows for deflection of the roof and for normal building tolerances.

Aging membrane that is poorly maintained

Poor or little maintenance can allow laps or damage to the membrane to cause ingress

Historical damage that is not correctly addressed:

Damage to a flat roof may not be immediately visible, trades such as window cleaners often cause damage while using flat roofs as access platforms. Tiles often fall off of roofs, causing a pierce to the membrane.

Outlet failure:

Incorrect maintenance can cause water ingress. The simplest maintenance activity skipped by building owners is the clearing debris from gutters and outlets. This allows water to build

flat roof

A typical flat roof inspection includes both a full exterior and interior activity. For example, the exterior inspection involves an inspector checking for wear and tear, leaks, roof membrane conditions and incorrect flashing details. The inspector will look for any places where water can pool or accumulate, such as the membrane and any sunken areas, roof valleys leading to a flat roof and blocked gutters / leaf guards.

A professional roof inspector will check the roof flashing. This entails noting any missing lead cracks along the seams as well as splits and areas that look worn or fatigued. It also includes checking walls and expansion joints, besides the perimeters that have been affected by extreme temperature changes.

Another important checkpoint in a fall inspection is observing any overgrown landscaping, such as heavy tree branches, acorns and other vegetation debris, which can lead to roof damage.

Skylights should be checked for cracks.

An interior roof inspection includes examining the attic for ventilation, correct insulation, moisture and mould.

Gutters generally need to be cleaned about twice a year, but it’s a good idea to have them inspected and cleaned even more frequently, especially if a lot of trees encircle your building.

Flat roofs are typically covered by water proofing systems such as: