5 Tips for Maintaining a Flat or Low-Sloped Roof

Flat and low-sloped roofs have traditionally been used in commercial buildings, but the popularity of contemporary architecture has led to increased popularity of this type of roofing. Advantages of flat and low-sloped roofs include they give you additional space that you could use for your HVAC or other purposes, they keep the room beneath the roof comfortable and cool even in extreme heat, they are cheaper because of lower material requirement, they are windproof, they are easily accessible and easy to maintain, they are durable, and they are energy efficient.

 1. Foot Traffic Protection

 Flat and low-sloped roofs seem safer and more stable to walk on, but foot traffic leads to their deterioration. Whenever someone is working on the roof, ensure they use a work blanket as a barrier between the tools and hardware they are using and the roof and between the roof and their feet. In areas of the roof that get heavy foot traffic such as the path to the HVAC system, permanently installed ladders, and exterior doors, invest in semi-permanently installed walk pads to reduce tear and wear.

 2. Regular inspections and maintenance

 Many property owners only call in a roofing contractor whenever there’s a leak or other problem. You should schedule regular inspections to catch potential problems before they exacerbate and require expensive repairs. It is only with inspections that such problems as obvious rusting, tearing, cracking, holes, blistering, evidence of ponding water, and weak areas at the edge of the flashing will be discovered.

 Regular maintenance should particularly be done after such adverse weather conditions as heavy wind, snowing, and rainstorms and it should involve removal of debris and removal of snow to prevent ice dam formation.

 3. Pruning nearby trees

 If you have trees that have branches that come at least 6 feet away from the roof, you should prune the trees to stop the branches from falling on the roof and damaging it. Small branches and twigs can clog the drains while large branches can cause serious structural damage.

 4. Clearing the drainage systems

 Clogged drains are common and are the leading cause of water damage on flat and low-sloped roofs. Take a walk around your home when it is raining and look through the eavestroughs to see if there’s overflow. If you notice clogging, take the downspout apart and use a large a large stick or a plumbing snake with a garden hose to clear the obstruction.

 5. Proper Installation

 If the roof is to stay healthy, it must be properly installed. Poor installation is the leading cause of flat root/low-sloped roof damage. In case of BUR (built-up roofs), the roofer you go for should be aware of the risk of ridge development or blistering resulting from poor membrane touching or damp substrate. The gutter, fascia, soffit, and flashing must also be properly installed for wildlife and water protection.

 Consider hiring a roofing contractor for roofing maintenance because their experience and training will lead to better maintenance. Different roofing materials have different maintenance requirements and you should, therefore, go through the manual from the manufacturer for tips on the best way to maintain the roof.