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Do Flat Roofs Always Leak

Locate And Identify The Leak On The Flat Roof


Locating a leak on your flat roof is not the easiest task. Many will say that it is easier than finding a leak on a sloped roof, however, that doesnt necessarily mean that you as the homeowner can make the discovery. You are first going to look at the location where you noticed the water is entering the room.

You should follow along with a roof leak repair guide to try and troubleshoot the location of your leak. Often times a leak can begin on one area of the roof exterior and run down the roofing material until it finds an opening to drain down into. Since the water can travel, it is a good start to find the water leak inside the home and then trace it back to the area outside the home.

Pipes And Openings Poorly Sealed

Just like a house, there are pipes on flat commercial roofs, and they usually have the HVAC units and other equipment extending through the surface. There should be adequate seals installed around these roof openings, but once they become damaged or weakened by the climate, heavy rain can get through them and saturate the roofing, damaging the roof and the structure. Again, a monthly inspection should look for these issues and repairs made immediately so that heavy rain doesnt cause a flat roof leak.

What Is The Best Material For A Flat Roof

If you need to replace your flat roof, you have several options for them. Whats best for your building will depend on your particular situation. One of the leading options for flat roofing is PVC. Its low maintenance and highly resistant to impact damage. Its also less likely to crack than other roofs. Similarly, TPO is another good choice. These roofs resist tears and punctures and are as energy-efficient as PVC. These roofs seams are heat welded together in order to prevent leaks. Among the most budget-friendly roofs are modified bitumen, although they are subject to cracking, which will require flat roof repair.

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Flat Roof Repair Birmingham

Even though flat roofs are usually the strongest types of commercial roofing, they are not immune to roof leaks. In most every circumstance, standing water creates the need for a flat roof repair of some kind.

The real skill comes in pinpointing the actual cause and location of the roof leak, especially on tar and gravel roofs. In this case, 2 to 3 inches of gravel are covering this flat roofing surface and it takes a real expert to get to the bottom of it. We have the experience and the tools to do just that.

How To Fix A Rubber Roof Leak

How Liquid Rubber saved a leaking flat roof!

Rubber roofing has been a revolution for DIYers looking for an effective flat roofing system. Thankfully, rubber roof membranes are as easy to repair as they are to install. Common problems include tears, splits, holes, and shrinkage if the material was not applied correctly. Thanks to their single sheet installation, EPDM membranes rarely suffer from roof leaks when compared to felt roofing, as there are no seams or joins for water to attack.

If youre looking for a quick fix for a rubber roof leak, and the issue youre dealing with is small, wed suggest using lap sealant around the affected area. This should give you a solid, albeit, temporary fix to the rubber roof leak youre dealing with. For a more permanent fix, the most common way is to perform a patch repair. This involves using self-adhesive flashing, along with self-adhesive rubber tape to cover the hole. You then need to use an EPDM primer to stick the patch to your roof. Wed also recommend sealing the edges with lap sealant, especially if its in an area where water pools.

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How To Find A Qualified Flat Roofer

When trying to find a qualified roofer for a job, be sure to do your research. There are 10 different kinds of flat roofs commonly found on homes in the DC Metro Area. The advantages of TPO make it the most popular flat roof installation in the Washington DC area. Repairing an existing flat roof requires that the roofer can recognize the material on top of your roof and they know how to successfully repair it. The average exterior contractor will take on the job of repairing or replacing any flat roof because they want to get paid and dont care what the outcome is. With the most popular roof in the DC Metro Area being asphalt shingle installations, majority of roofing companies are not experienced far beyond that. Premier Roofing Solutions has different crews specialized for all roofing systems. Our slate roof replacement and repair team will never touch a flat roofing system. And vice versa. Installing a quality and efficient flat roofing system is not going to be cheap. So if youre window shopping and looking for the cheapest price, youll end up hiring an inexperienced general contractor. Which they will have a great sales pitch and the finished job will look great to the untrained eye. But 5 years down the road you will start to experience issues.

Cost For Repairs To Fix A Leaking Flat Roof

Typically, a leaking flat roof repair will cost between $300-$500. For a flat roof, you are generally looking at square footage of the repair. Those costs could range from $250-$350 per 100 sq. ft.

Keep in mind that replacing a full roof generally runs you close to $12,000. So, doing a flat roof repair by yourself is an economic way to go. If your health and physical conditions do not allow you to work outside or for long periods, it is highly recommended that you call a professional.

Check out this great tutorial on how to find leaks and repair them on a flat roof. You will not be disappointed by watching and learning about this great information on flat roof leaks and repairs.

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Structural Issues Or Poor Design

Along with the more easily avoided issues above, two problems which can cause flat roof leaks are structural issues, and poor structure design. For example, where the roof deck is overspanned, or where the distance between rafters is too great. This means that your flat roof will be more susceptible to thermal movement, and the structure will not be as strong. Another aspect of flat roof design which is often overlooked is ensuring that it features an adequate pitch. Failing to do so will lead to pooling water, and leaks. Finally, another common error is shallow upstands. The upstands in a flat roof should be at least 150mm to prevent rainwater from overflowing after a heavy shower.

Inspect And Clean Gutters Frequentlyeven If You Have Leaf Guards

5 Common Leaks on Flat Roofs – How to Find and Identify leaking spots – This is a GameChanger

Rainwater outlets on your flat roofs drainage system can be easily blocked by windswept debrisparticularly in the height of autumn, when the leaves are falling fast. Installing a leaf guard on your gutters will help a little, but dont count on it to prevent blockages entirely all by itself.

As the owner of a flat-roofed home, youll need to perform more regular maintenance of your roofs drainage system to make sure that water is going where its supposed to.

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Do Flat Roofs Always Leak An Arizona Roofer Answers

Are you eager for the simplicity and price effectiveness of a flat roof but are weary of leakage on those rainy Arizona nights during monsoon season?

If so, then you may have fallen victim to the rumor that a flat roof equates to a leaky roof.

However, this is simply not the case.

Lets break down the facts and misconceptions of flat roofs.

Is It Ok To Put A Metal Roof Over Shingles

In almost every case, the answer is yes, you can lay down a new metal roof over an existing shingle roof. This is one of the many reasons metal roofs keep growing in popularity their installation doesnt require completely tearing off the existing roof, which is a time-consuming and expensive job.

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When To Call A Professional

When it comes to roofing, it is always best to reach out to a professional roofing contractor. Even if you have a DIY video that provides great repair advice with a step-by-step key, it is important to remember that other areas of the roof might be damaged. Having a licensed certified roofing contractor come out and conduct a thorough inspection of your roof is the most cost-effective way to reducing any further roofing issues.

Benefits Of A Flat Roof

Flat Roof Repair Kits

Not only are flat roofs as capable as their steeper counterparts but they also carry a significant number of advantages as well.

Save money on heating and cooling costs

One of the benefits is the savings in heating and cooling costs that it provides.

Many dont think of this fact, but a steeped roof adds extra space to a structure and the more space there is, the more your heating and cooling systems need to work to fill all of this space with heat or air conditioning. Flat roofs help to control this extra air with slightly less space.

Save money on upfront costs and repairs

Flat roofs are typically less expensive than steep slope roofs, mostly because flat roofs use less material than their sloped counterparts.

Flat roofs are also much easier to install so labor costs are lessened and they are easier to access formaintenance and repairs.

They give you room to build upon it

Flat roofs also have many functional benefits as well because they give you more room to build upon your house. If you want to create a roof garden or install solar panels, the process is much easier to implement on a flat surface.

How you intend to use your roof should be a significant influence on which model you choose.

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Causes Of A Leaking Flat Roof

There can be many reasons for your leaking flat roof. Those reasons range from natural disasters to just old age in the material. Natural disasters can include hail, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, wind storms, heavy lighting storms, and other potentially severe weather.

You should call a professionally certified roofer to inspect your roof after any natural disaster. There are areas on the roof that they could inspect and you might otherwise not check. Also, find out if there is a warranty left on your roof. This can save you money!

Flat Roof Leaks Can Be Difficult To Find

Lets hope if your flat roof is leaking, that it can repaired. Flat roof repair cost are always less expensive than replacement. When it comes to a roof that is flat, sometimes the most difficult part of repairing the roof is actually locating the source. Because flat roofs have a slow slope, water is able to travel a long distance under the membrane before finally making its way into your home or commercial building. With a correct and proper installation, flat roof can last approximately 20 years, but after 15 years, repair costs can mushroom.

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Cost To Repair Flat Roof Vs Flat Roof Replacement

Understanding the costs of various types of flat roofing materials is where you should start when determining whether you repair the roof or replace it entirely.

Materials like PVC, TPO, EPDM, or similar materials can be expensive to install even without labor costs.

All the same, flat roofing repair costs can be higher than replacement costs simply because repairing the roof usually takes more time and requires more effort.

And at the end of the day, theres a good chance that hiring a flat roofing specialist is the best way to protect your investment.

Sometimes even the best professional roof repair team cant save your roof, which means its time to replace it all together.

You probably already know that if a building you own has a flat roof, water damage and leaks are your biggest enemies and all leaks must be fixed as soon as possible by an experienced professional roofer using high quality materials.

How To Make Sure Where Your Leak Is Coming From

99% of FLAT ROOF LEAKS start at the flashing – Turbo Poly Seal

To check for sure, you can use these tips:

  • take a hose up onto your roof and spray the suspected area. Go inside and have a look to see whether water is tricking inside at the spot you suspect. If you have a friend to help you, one can stand inside to check while the other uses the hose. This can present more accurate results, and might also make it easier to find the exact location without having to guess where you were standing. It can take a few minutes for water to arrive through the roof even if you have found the leak location, so dont be impatient. If you were mistaken about the location of the leak and this first step doesnt confirm it, you might have to try a few other spots on the roof or do some further explorations.
  • There might also be more than one source of the leak, so just because youve found one spot that doesnt mean its the only one. Since youre up there, you might want to try testing the whole roof area to save time going up there again for another leak in a few months.
  • When youve found the leak location, you can plan what to do next. If youre good at DIY, you can consider fixing the leaked part of the roof yourself. How easy this is to do will depend a lot on the type of roof material youve got and how bad the damage is, as well as how good you are at this sort of thing.

Finding the leak yourself shouldnt be too difficult in the right circumstances. Its what you do next that could be a bigger decision.

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How To Prevent Problems With Flat Roofs

If youre the owner of a home with a flat roof, you know that they can offer some pretty serious benefits in terms of aesthetics and energy efficiency. Plus, a secondary outdoor space? Count me in! While thats all good, flat roof owners do have to be more careful to prevent roof leaks, damage, and other problems. A leak in a flat roof can lead to eventual collapse and tons of property damage if youre not careful. But you can avoid the bulk of these problems with regular maintenance.

First of all, we should clear up a common misconception: flat roofs arent actually flat. If a flat roof is properly designed, it will typically have a very slight slope. Thats to help water from pooling on your roofits just such a slight pitch that its usually pretty imperceptible to the untrained eye.

Rainwater can be a pretty serious threat to a low-sloped or flat roof. Unlike a steeply pitched roof, these surfaces dont always have the power of gravity working with them to carry runoff down to the ground. Drainage systems on a flat roof can be overwhelmed quickly by falling debrisand anytime there is standing water on a roof, issues will abound. The water weighs your roof down, which can cause it to collapse. Additionally, standing water provides an opportunity for leaks to occur, especially in hairline cracks that may form over time from constant water exposure. Heres how to protect your roofand help it live its best life yet.

Flat Roof Leaking Causes

There are a number of reasons why your roof may spring a leak or other roof damage may occur.

Natural disasters like hail storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, electrical storms, floods, wind damage storms, and related severe weather often damage commercial roofing.

If you experience one of these natural disasters, inspecting your roof and assessing any damage is something that you should prioritize during the aftermath, even if you do not notice any leaks right away.

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Damaged Or Deteriorated Flashing

Flashings are a key part of any flat roofing system. Their job is simple, to cover and seal any angles, seams, or joints, that would otherwise provide the perfect place for water to enter. This could be along an adjoining wall, around roof vents, and more. However, despite its impressive lifespan, lead flashing can falter, particularly when exposed to extreme temperature fluctuations. Over time, as the metal heats up and cools down, it will expand and contract, eventually revealing the edge it was meant to protect. This then, in turn, causes flat roof leaks.

Preventing Future Flat Roof Leaks

Flat Roof Repair: A Guide On What to Do (Step by Step)

Puddled water on a flat roof will wear down the materials faster and create a potential leaking issue. Additionally, it will also cause mold and mildew to grow on the roof. If you do have mildew growing on the roof, hose off the roof, use a cleaning solution and add zinc strips.

Two options to consider that will alleviate the issue are:

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