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A Home Owner’s Guide to Basic Flat Roof Maintenance


Market research shows that the average cost of replacing a roof is between $4700 and $9200. Homeowners with flat roofs will spend less on installation and maintenance. But the cost will still leave a dent in most homeowners’ pockets.

Yet that is not the only issue you face when replacing a residential roof. You’ll have to move till the project is complete. You can avoid the relocating costs and other inconveniences with a few preventative measures.

Flat roof maintenance involves more measures than pitched roof routine. Keep reading this homeowner’s guide to basic flat roof maintenance.

Clean Your Gutters

Homeowners rarely think about roof care because most have pitched roofs that drain naturally. Yet, flat roofs tend to hold more debris and water during the rainy seasons.

As a flat roof maintenance measure, ensure you clean the gutters regularly.
It’s important to clean the gutters of flat roofs because they are responsible for the drainage. If they clog, debris will remain on the roof.

Check for Water Damage

Various roofing options can hold the water but only for a while. After that, you’ll start encountering some leakage issues.

Worse still, water logging creates the perfect conditions for mold and pests to thrive. Even after the water has dried out, it forms a dirt ring. More than an eyesore, watermarks are a sign of frequent logging.

Pounding also causes residential roof blistering. Blistering is when your roof starts to look spongy. The residential roof may look like it has raised spots of trapped air. Water seeps through the blisters once they pop open.

Contact your roofing contractor immediately if you identify blistering on your roof. Trying to treat it yourself will only invite more trouble.

You can also add scuppers along the side of the wall to ensure that water drains every time it rains. Ensure that your flat roof has smooth transitions with the gutters to improve water drainage.

Besides, install flat roof options that are resistant to water damage. This flat roof guide will inform you of the benefits of waterproofing your roof.

Trim Tree Branches Near the Roof

Heavy tree branches hanging over the roof may look good in pictures but are not a smart idea. The branches can fall on the roof and cause great damage, especially during storms and rainy seasons.

Worse still, the whole tree can fall on the house, causing irrevocable damage. Avoid residential roof punctures by trimming branches near the roof.

Further, you can contact residential tree removers to do the job for you.

Carry Out a Regular Inspection

Carrying out a regular Inspection may look like unnecessary trouble. Yet, smart homeowners know that it’s best to prevent damage than replace the whole roof.

You can do it yourself. But it’s best to work with the initial roof installers. This way, you will get better inspection rates and free roof care tips.

The inspectors will look for any signs of damage: a cracked shingle, a broken seal, or moss growth. Splits and cracks are also signs to look out for. The good thing is that you can easily spot them on flat roofs.

They are a result of harsh weather and stress. The professionals will know how best to treat your residential roof. They can use a suitable seat to fill the cracks.

It’s also wise to have a record of the inspection visits.

Repair Roof at the Seams

Seams are the most vulnerable parts of the roof. This is because they are where two roofing materials join.

Or where the shingles meet a skylight, a vent, or an air conditioner unit. Check for any signs of cracks in membranes near these parts.

The tiny cracks create a seepage space for water. Thus, neglecting these parts can result in water leakage issues in the future.

A qualified roof contractor will be able to identify the causal agent. For instance, harsh UV rays can cause cracks along membranes on flat roofs.

Besides, you can install roofing options with smooth transitions at the seams.

Replace the Flashings

Roofing contractors use flashings to prevent water leakage where perpendicular surfaces meet. You can spot them where your wall joins the roof.

After some time, the Flashings loosen off from the wall. This is because they take most of the damage from moisture that would otherwise affect the wall or the roof.

When they start to rot away, they become part of the problem. Thus, it is wise to add them to your roof maintenance routine.

Unclog Plumbing stacks

Pipes that direct airflow in the residential drainage system are placed on the roof. It is advisable to ensure that the plumbing stacks are not the cause of the problem.

You can achieve this by making sure they have proper seals on them. Check for any obstructions or mention them to the inspector.

Prevent Snow and Ice Buildup

A flat roof holds more snow than its pitched counterparts. They create the perfect ground for ice dams. This is where the melting ice freezes again before it can completely run off. The cold and humid conditions are detrimental to the roof shingles. They are a common cause of roof rot.

Use a roof rake to remove the snow before it builds up. It’s different from an ordinary rake in that it won’t damage your shingles.

Fill Pitch Pans

Pitch pans have similar roles to flashings. But you can use them at any point where there is penetration through the roofing material.

As part of your roof maintenance, clean and fill the pitch pans regularly.

Flat Roof Maintenance Tips

Flat roofs can hold more debris than pitched ones. This makes them harder to maintain. However, with the roof maintenance tips above, you will extend the longevity of your roof.

More than that, you will save on the cost of replacing a roof. Flat roof maintenance demands regular inspection from the homeowner.

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