Flat Roof Problems – Five Signs that you have a Leak
Flat roofs are designed to keep the weather out, particularly the rain – the roof should have been designed and installed to ensure that it can stand up to repeated exposure to rain, sunlight and all other types of weather. However, flat roofs do not last for ever – they should be regularly inspected for damage and repaired at the first sign, before a small problem turns into a much larger one, often necessitating more expensive repairs or even replacement. Today we’re going to look at some of the tell tale signs to look out for when inspecting a flat roof.
- Pooling Water – even in dry weather it’s possible to spot this problem. The roof is likely to have a slightly lower spot surrounded by a dirt stained ring. This could be a sign that the membrane or even the timber structure is damaged. Seek professional advice and get this fixed before it can become any worse.
- Moss, Algae and Plant Growth – If your roof is covered with moss or algae, it’s likely to be less effective than it should be and the more moss that grows, the more likely it is that other, more invasive species of plant will be able to take a hold. A small seed blown onto the moss has found the perfect growing medium and will germinate, set roots and begin to sprout quite happily. Unless you’ve opted for a green roof (and you probably haven’t or you wouldn’t need to be inspecting it in this manner), growth of any type of vegetation on the roof surface is likely to cause serious damage. Make sure that you have an effective roof maintenance and cleaning procedure for your flat roof that includes the removal of mosses, lichens and other vegetation.
- Blisters and Cracks – if your flat roof has cracks or blisters you need to deal with them immediately. They are the weak spots that will eventually tear and allow water to seep under the flat roof’s protective membrane, damaging the structures below.
- Undercoat Exposed – if you can see the undercoat of your flat roof, then there’s nothing protecting it at all! You’ll need to deal with this immediately as wet weather will cause significant damage and problems.
- Water Stains, Mould, Wet Insulation - this may be seen either on the exterior walls or inside your home. Interior damage of this type means that you already have a problem that is not going away. Call in professional help and get the damage fixed before it gets worse and is even more costly to repair.
While flat roofs are much less costly to install than pitched roofs are, it’s vital that they are inspected for damage and maintained regularly. If you’re doing the inspection and work yourself, then take care – flat roofs can be fragile and you may need to take extra safety precautions. Walking on a flat roof is not advised unless you are using safety equipment such as a roof walker systems which will enable safe access to the parts of the roof you need to reach.