Americans pay a lot of money each year to take care of their roofs. In fact, the roofing market currently stands at $52.2 billion in 2022! If you’d rather protect the roof you have rather than pay for a new one, you need to know how to maintain it.
Flat roofs can be great, but they can also need more ongoing care and maintenance than pitched ones. But there are a few simple steps that you can take to extend the life of your roof and save money on repairs.
Let’s explore flat roof maintenance in more detail.
Flat roofs benefit from regular maintenance, rather than a lot of work every so often.
It’s a good idea to create a regular schedule of roof inspections. Twice a year is the minimum, and it’s wise to check it more regularly if you live in an area of extreme temperatures. Spring and fall are the best times to schedule them.
San Bernardino has a fairly moderate climate, so every six months will usually be enough.
Flat roofs are prone to drainage problems. If the water can’t run off, it sits and starts to break down the roofing materials beneath. Because water can travel a long way under a flat roof, it can be tricky to find where the leak is situated.
This is your chance to check that all aspects of the flat roof installation are functioning correctly. Check all flashing is in good condition first. Check the roofing material for holes or tears.
Are there pools of water on the roof? They should clear within 48 hours of rainfall, so investigate those if they’re hanging around.
Are there bumpy patches on the roof? This could be a sign that the insulation material beneath is damaged.
EPDM roofing can start to dry out quickly in the warm, dry climate of Southern California. It can start to look like crocodile skin, with cracked sections and possibly air bubbles. The sheets can start to pull away from each other, letting water seep in between.
Modified Bitumen Systems (MBS) can be prone to installation and wear issues. If there is not enough overlap of seams or the end seams are not staggered, they can start to deteriorate. They can also get punctured by falling branches.
Check any previous repairs for signs of damage. Patches can work well if they’re properly installed by a reputable commercial roofing company. But if not, they can be vulnerable to leaks.
If you can safely access the roof and are confident you know what you are looking for, there is no reason not to inspect it yourself. Of course, always follow safety protocols at all times.
But if it’s tricky to access or you’re not confident that you can find problems, call in commercial roofers to assess it.
If you notice an issue during the inspection, get it sorted quickly. Small leaks can quickly escalate. You’ll save time, money, and damage to the inside of your property by getting them sorted as soon as possible.
There are several practical things that you or your maintenance crew can take care of each year to keep your flat roof in great shape.
Roofs get plenty of abuse throughout the year. Although rainfall isn’t high in the Inland Empire, there’s plenty of air pollution. Most days San Bernardino County sits in the moderate range, according to the latest statistics.
Often you can’t see the pollution, but it sits on roofs and can degrade the materials if it’s not cleaned off regularly. It’s much easier for leaves and trash blowing in the wind to get caught on flat roofs and stay there.
If you can access your roof easily, go out and clean it regularly. A light brushing is all that it needs on a regular basis to keep damage at bay.
You’re asking for trouble with your flat roof if water can’t easily drain away. Clogged gutters allow water to sit on your roof and damage the materials beneath.
Trees present a couple of dangers to flat roofs.
First, they can deposit leaves on the roof that block gutters and sit rotting on the roof itself. This can damage the top surface of the roofing material and also attract pests to take up residence there.
The Santa Ana winds can cause branches to be ripped off surrounding trees. This can be bad news for flat roofs because they are prone to punctures. Make sure to lop off any weak or dying branches on surrounding trees before they can blow off and do some damage.
Some businesses may add a splash of color by adding some plants to their roofs. In these cases, you need to keep on top of your flat roof care.
If the pots are too heavy, they can create depressions in the roof materials, leading to pooling water. Also, keep on top of roof cleaning so that organic matter doesn’t build up on the roof.
Flat roof maintenance can be summed up in three steps – regular inspections, consistent cleaning, and removal of hazards.
But if your roof is hard to access or needs a repair, leave it to the professionals at HP Roofing Pro. We’re proud to provide high-quality flat roof installations and repairs to businesses in Riverside, CA.
Call us at 800-842-8029 or get in touch online today.
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