Flat Roof Repair and Maintenance Guide
August 10, 2022
A flat roof repair in Etobicoke can be caused by many factors like a lack of regular maintenance. In the past year, if you haven’t conducted activities like roof gutter cleaning, eavestrough repair Toronto, eaves cleaning Toronto, or gutter cleaning Toronto, you could be in for a problem. On a traditional roof, steep peaks are the hallmark of residential roofing systems. As time has passed, flat roofs are becoming a staple for many homeowners, and flat roofs aren’t associated with commercial buildings anymore. Flat roofs require specific installation and drainage as this roofing system has its unique characteristics that define the system. In this educational article, we will help a homeowner understand flat-roof drainage solutions to assist with installation and repairs that are founded on knowledge.
Roof Gutter Cleaning and Maintenance
Apart from a biannual cleaning of roof gutters, we want to share some helpful tips to keep your gutters working well for many years.
- Keep the trees around your roof trimmed; it will keep debris out of the gutter channels and branches, and leaves from the roof.
- Check for leaks and visually inspect the gutters to determine if they are functioning as they should. Look at the fittings to see if they are loose or have been pulled away, check for corrosion – if you have aluminum gutters – check for separation along the roof line, and address all issues as soon as possible to prevent the spread of damage.
- Ensure that the gutters are set to the correct pitch, and that water flows uninhibited to the downspout. Loose hangars can affect the pitch and slow drainage; the downspouts should be tightly secured to keep water moving to the ground and away from the foundation.
- If you experience high winds in your area, use gutter straps to keep your eavestrough secure in the event of gale force winds.
- Remove any mould and mildew upon discovery.
- Suppose you have a high volume of water flowing across your roofing system. Install commercial gutter guards to prevent debris from accumulating in your eavestrough. In that case, it will keep the drainage cycle running on schedule.
Why Maintain Your Flat Roof Gutter?
- You want to avoid standing water or pooling on your roof. Two problems arise when the situation is prevalent – susceptibility to water leaks and a breeding ground for mosquitoes. If the weight of the ponding is significant enough, structural damage to your trusses and rafters will be seen as the roof will show signs of sagging.
- In winter, snow and ice can become lodged in the gutters if debris clogs them. The extra weight in the gutters can cause the gutters to be pulled away from the roof line, creating drainage problems going forward. During the winter, snow melts when the sun shines, releasing water from the roof to the gutters. When the sun sets, temperatures cool, and the water refreezes at the gutters, creating ice dams. Ice dams are highly detrimental to your drainage system.
- Blocked eavestrough creates hazards when water is sent spilling over the channels. Foundations take the brunt of the damage, as do walkways and landscaping. If this happens in the winter, it makes sidewalks icy and hazardous, not a situation you want to find yourself in.
- If excess weight has amassed in the gutters, they can be forced away from the side of the building and will need prompt replacement when discovered.
- Downspouts play a key role in moving water away from your structure; If they don’t move water away from the building, your foundation pays the price, as does landscaping, enhancing the risk of flooding.
Top 3 Drainage Options for Flat Roof
Scuppers – they work on a chute system cut into the outside walls and extended above the roof proper. Water collects into a catchment basin that feeds the downspout installed below the chutes.
Scuppers’ primary value comes from the fact that they can move water far from building walls and foundations for safe drainage that prevents leaks and flooding in areas directly adjacent to the building.
Internal Drains – are installed on the roof; they are placed at low points to collect water and funnel the water to an internal drainage delivery system. Once the water enters the system, it is trafficked to the ground away from the building.
Gutters – are installed outside the dimension of the flat roof. The roof really isn’t flat, but it will hold a slight tilt to enable the water to move to the gutters for drainage. Gutters often work together with scuppers to move wavy volumes of water more efficiently.
The Difference Between Flat and Pitch Roof Drainage
The difference is pronounced; a pitched roof contains peaks and valleys coordinating drainage to the gutters. Flat roofs work on a similar principle – gravity – but water tends to pool on a flat roof after a light shower due to a minor incline. A flat roof will have a drainage system where a water repository stores runoff for distribution on the ground.
How to Repair a Flat Roof
Flat roof repair from splitting is a common problem and transpires when the felt or asphalt splits or tears, exposing the roof to potential water leaks. The causes are many, from walking on the roof to general wear and tear, and the weather is the most common cause. The repair for this problem is simple: remove the damaged section, determine the underneath is dry and add a new section to the area.
Flat Roof Repair From Ponding
Ponding is a regular occurrence on a flat roof; if the drainage system isn’t working well, the ponding can create indents on the roof, where more water will pool. Clean the roof drains to mitigate the problem; if it still persists, you can expand the drainage system to get the water moving. Regular maintenance and inspections will help identify the ponding problems, and small problems are always easier to solve than large ones should you neglect to deal with your roofing issues.
Flat Roof Repair From Blistering
Blistering problems start when your roof is exposed to high degrees of heat. UV rays cause blistering and air pockets that look like bubbles on the roof. Over time with expansion and contraction of the air pockets, the blisters will split open, exposing the system to leaks. To repair the problem, you need to remove the infected area, and the repair team will replace it, making sure it has been weatherized to prevent moisture and air from doing damage.
Flat Roof Maintenance Tips for Homeowners
Clean Your Roof
Debris on the roof can be a death sentence for your flat roof. Have a professional remove a large portion of leaves and other detritus from the roof to ensure drainage.
Don’t Stand or Walk on The Roof
If your roof has not been built to be walked on or stood upon, stay off it. Flat roofing systems weren’t designed to hold people, and the added weight can damage roof layers creating leaks. If you can’t reach a damaged section or debris, hire a professional with the experience and expertise to do the work.
Clear Drainage Systems
If you see ponding or pooling on the roof, it indicates the drainage system is blocked at the sources – where the drain grates are installed. Try to keep them clear of debris, and the water will flow.
Prune Foliage Around the Roof
Trees come with leaves and sticks and branches that cause problems. Leaves and stick cause drainage problems, and branches can open slits on the roof. If you keep up with your pruning, you have solved two problems: the trees trimmed, and the second is that your roof is protected from damage/drainage problems.
Look At Your Roof After a Storm.
Strong winds and storms can damage a flat roof; if you don’t pay attention, you could be paying in cash. Wind can lift felt matte, and hail can puncture a roof – in both situations opening an area where water can enter.
Keep An Eye on Your Ceiling
The ceiling in the room under your roof will reveal the tell-tale signs of leaks. Discolouration or puddles on the floor will tell you if your roof leaks, and you must act immediately to prevent further problems from coming to the fore.
We Can Help You with Comprehensive Flat Roof Repair
At Integrity Roofers, we are your flat roof repair specialists. Flat roofs have a lifespan of a generation if well maintained and regularly serviced. We have plans you suit every flat roof, and we are there for you if you need emergency service. If your flat roof is old, has outdated technology, suffers from UV exposure, was improperly installed, or faced its share of inclement weather, you need our services immediately. We recommend having the roof inspected twice a year to catch problems early before they become big headaches. For a personal consultation, our roofing experts are ready to receive your call at 416.736.7373. You can fill out an estimate form on our site, and our consultants will contact you promptly.