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Are you looking after your flat roof?
Your roof is vital 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. This means waterproofing for flat roofs, but it can seem daunting to know where to start.
It doesn’t have to be, though! Please 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 waterproofing a roof or inspecting it, make sure your flat roof is safe to walk on. Secure your ladder before you attempt to climb up there. If you’re unsure, it’s always best to call a professional roof contractor.
In most cases, professional roof waterproofing is the way to go unless you know what you’re doing. They’ll use the right tools and know many waterproofing methods to find the right one for your roof. A professional roof waterproofing company will seal and waterproof your roof using various methods.
First, look for any apparent holes or cracks. While this is uncommon, it can cause significant damage to your flat roof and your property’s structure. 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 more prominent 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 building, and you want to avoid this.
This is an issue if you see water pooling on your roof, which lasts more than two days after the last rain. It’s a sign your flat roof can no longer shed water as it should.
The climate in Los Angeles can make this hard to notice until it is too late. You should check your roof between December and 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 in your business. 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 blockage or the top starts to sag, the pooling issue can worsen.
If left ignored, pools of water can cause damage to the protective membrane on your flat roof. Keeping your gutters clean and having the correct gradient for your flat roof is essential.
A brush should be enough to remove most debris from your gutters and roof. If you have algae or moss that proves more stubborn, you can also use a pressure washer to loosen and wash it away.
Keeping gutters and roofs clean can help to prevent standing water and pools from forming.
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 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 afterward. 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 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 a suitable way for your roof.
This is a more common option for large residential properties and commercial buildings. Sheets can fit across the whole roof if required. Ballasting, adhesion, and fastening are the most popular ways to do it.
Plastic fasteners screw into the single-ply to attach it to the roof deck. Stone ballasts can only sit on top of the seats, 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.
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 must clear your gutters. Do regular checks and keep an eye out for signs your roof is struggling.
Contact us today if you’re looking for professional flat roof waterproofing in Los Angeles. 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