How to Make Your Flat Roof Last Longer
Over the past few weeks we’ve been taking a look at the different types of flat roof that are available nowadays, examining the advantages and disadvantages of each type, with some tips on how to choose the right type of flat roof for your premises, whether that’s a domestic or commercial building. Having a new flat roof installed is an expensive business, and how long the roof will last depends on what type of flat roof you choose. Whatever type of flat roof you have, making sure it lasts as long as possible will save you money in the long term, so today, we’re going to take a look at some of the measures you can take to get the most out of your flat roof and make it last as long as possible.
Obviously, the choice of materials for the flat roof is the most important indicator of how long it is likely to last. This means that choosing the best flat roofing solution you can afford represents a wise choice.
Make sure that your new flat roof is installed by professional roofers with a good reputation (look for online reviews, testimonials, etc., or, ask for recommendations from contacts in your network). One of the most common causes of roof failure is poor installation, so selection a material that is easy to install in one piece with no joins or seams (where leaks are most likely to occur) is likely to represent the best option.
Pay attention to maintenance. Whether you opt for a lower maintenance option or not, a stringent maintenance programme will help to make sure your flat roof lasts longer. The following maintenance tips will help to ensure this:
- Clean gutters regularly to make sure that there are no blockages that could lead to a build-up of debris which will prevent water from running off your roof.
- Remove any water that pools on the roof. Heavy rainfall over an extended period of time can cause water pooling, so removing the water will help to prevent leaks and prolong the life of your flat roof.
- Remove any vegetation that grows on the flat roof. Some types of flat roof are more vulnerable to this type of growth than others. Make sure that mosses, algae and lichens are dealt with and removed before they can really get a good hold and spread.
Regular inspections are a must as they will enable you to spot any early signs of damage to the roof and carry out any necessary repairs before the damage becomes a serious (and expensive) problem to fix. The frequency of inspections will depend on the type of material chosen as the flat roof covering – some types of roof are more vulnerable to specific issues, leading to the requirement for more frequent inspections. Most flat roofs should be inspected twice a year, with extra inspections following period of severe weather.
As the building owner, you are responsible for providing safe access to the roof and ensuring the safety of those who carry out maintenance and inspections. If you have plant or machinery located on the flat roof (as so many commercial premises do), then it’s likely that more regular access will be required for maintenance. Installing a rooftop demarcation system that does not penetrate the roof membrane to prevent access to the more hazardous areas of the roof will not only help to ensure the safety of maintenance workers, but it will also prolong the life of your flat roof.