Are you looking after your flat roof?
Your roof plays a vital role in keeping your home safe from the outside elements. But it can only do that if you look after it and keep up with the maintenance. For flat roofs, this means waterproofing, but it can seem daunting to know where to start.
It doesn’t have to be though! Keep reading for our guide on flat roof waterproofing so you know what to expect.
The first step is to inspect your roof. Especially if you’re already experiencing issues like leaks, or you’re worried about them.
The good news is that most leaks on flat roofs won’t need a whole new roof replacement. Instead, you should be able to get away with patching or repairing the damaged section.
The tricky part is finding the leak in the first place. You’ll need to poke around inside and out to locate it. Once you find the drip, measure the distance from the wall. You can then use that to find it on the top of your roof once you’re up there.
When it comes to how to waterproof a roof or inspect it, make sure your flat roof is safe to walk on. Secure your ladder too before you attempt to climb up there. If you’re unsure at any point, it’s always best to call a professional roof contractor.
In most cases, unless you know what you’re doing, professional roof waterproofing is the way to go. They’ll use the right tools and know many waterproofing methods to find the right one for your roof.
First look for any obvious holes or cracks. While this is uncommon, it can cause major damage to your flat roof and your property’s structure as a whole. Here are some other signs you should be looking for.
Blistering happen as pockets of trapped air form under the flat roof’s surface. They range in size and can get larger if the weather warms.
While they’re not nice to look at, it’s sometimes better to leave them alone if they’re not burst. If they do, or have, burst then you will need to patch them fast. Otherwise, they provide a point of entry for water into your home and you want to avoid this.
If you see water pooling on your roof, and it lasts more than 2 days after the last rain, this is an issue. It’s a sign your flat roof can no longer shed water as it should.
In Los Angeles, the climate can make this hard to notice until it is too late. You should make sure to check your roof between December – February, when the temperature is lower.
Alligatoring is where debris, water, or UV damage causes cracks on your membrane surface. It almost looks like the hide of an alligator, hence the name.
To fix it, you’ll need to re-waterproof your flat roof. If not, the small cracks will get deeper and could cause leaks into your home. If left unchecked, this will become a huge source of stress and expense.
With flat roofs, standing water is a big issue as rain can gather all across it. If the drainage gets a blockage, or the roof starts to sag, this can make the pooling issue worse.
If left ignored, pools of water can cause damage to the protective membrane on your flat roof. It’s important to keep your gutters clean and make sure you have the right gradient for your flat roof.
A brush should be enough to get most debris out of your gutters and roof. If you have any algae or moss that proves more stubborn, you can also use a pressure washer to loosen and wash it away.
Several factors will determine what waterproofing method you use. These include:
Usually, you’ll have a choice of three main types of waterproofing for flat roofs. These methods are liquid waterproofing, reinforced bitumen membrane, and single-ply membrane.
This involves applying a coating that weatherproofs your flat roof. You can actually use it on most types of roofing, but it’s most common in flat roofs.
If done right, it can last between 20-40 years. This will depend on the product applied, how it’s installed and how well you maintain your roof after. Some examples are fleece liquid and fiberglass liquid.
The most common type of waterproofing people use for flat roofs is RBM. The process sees the bonding together of 2-3 layers of the membrane. These layers go across the whole surface of the roof.
The installer then uses a polyester carrier with a coating to create waterproofing. To attach this waterproofed bitumen, you can pour hot bitumen at the front to seal the roof’s edges.
You can also use a cold adhesive to bone the materials to your flat roof. There are also self-adhesive methods and gas torches. A professional installer will find the right method for your roof.
For large residential properties and commercial buildings, this is a more common option. Sheets can fit across the whole roof if required. The most popular ways to do it is are ballasting, adhesion, and fastening.
Plastic fasteners screw into the single-ply to attach it onto the roof deck. Stone ballasts can only sit on top of the sits, knitted together to keep them stable. The adhesion method uses polyurethane to secure the single-ply and the insulation.
So, there you have it! Now you know your flat roof waterproofing options, you’ll be sure to pick the right one for you.
But the key is keeping up with your maintenance once you’ve waterproofed your flat roof. It’s hard to keep the rain draining away, so you need to keep your gutters clear. Do regular checks and keep an eye out for signs your roof is struggling.
If you’re looking for professional flat roof waterproofing in Los Angeles, contact us today. At HP Roofing Pro, we’ve got the skill and knowledge to suit all your flat roof needs.
Contact us at The HP Roofing PRO office or submit a business inquiry onlineContact Us