Does your home have a flat roof? Here are some things you need to watch out for!
Inspecting your property after a long, icy winter is one of the oldest traditions of homeownership, and if your house has a flat roof, that means you need to pay special attention to the drains and membranes that keep your home safe and dry all year round. If you want to know where you should start with spring roof maintenance, here are five tips that can help.
1. Check Roof for Ponding Water
As soon as it is safe to do so, you should check your roof for ponding water. As the snow melts, it should drain off towards the edges or down into your central drainage system. But over time flat roofs can develop depressions that trap water and increase the likelihood of leaks.
If you notice ponding water on your roof, you should get in touch with a roofing contractor in Scarborough that specializes in flat roof repair.
2. Sweep Roof Deck
Once the roof is dry, it is a good idea to clean it thoroughly using a broom. Dirt and large pieces of debris can cause significant problems for flat roofs over time, hastening the decay of the membrane or tar-and-gravel covering, and exacerbating ponding water problems.
Dirt can also end up getting washed into your drains, making drainage slower and contributing to the formation of blockages.
3. Thoroughly Inspect Membranes or Tar and Gravel
With the deck clear, you can now inspect for any holes, rips, tears, or punctures that have opened over the winter.
While roofing membranes are designed to be extremely resilient, stress points can suffer damage through rapid temperature changes, hail, and falling tree limbs, so pay extra attention to the vulnerable points like seams between membranes, plumbing stacks, and the edges of parapets.
4. Clean Dome Covers/Outlet Bowls
Flat roofs have many advantages over pitched roofs, but they also have one significant weakness: drainage. Though modern flat roofs are designed to provide ample drainage capacity to ensure water is swiftly channeled into pipes and gutters, these drains require regular maintenance, especially in spring.
It’s a good idea to remove dome covers and clean out any garbage or organic matter that may be caught in the housing. This will also give you a chance to look at the baffle vanes and outlet bowl inside to ensure nothing is impeding water flow.
5. Snake Drains
If you’ve cleaned the dome cover and checked the internal mechanism, but you’re still notice issues with ponding water and slow drainage, there may be a clog in one of the internal pipes that will need to be removed.
The easiest way to do so is with a drain snake or hydro jet. Many homeowners choose to do this themselves, though most plumbing companies also offer this service.
It is common for homeowners to use their flat roofs in the summer as a place to relax, put up some deck chairs, and enjoy the sunshine and breeze. Before you can do this, however, you need to make sure your roof is ready by cleaning and inspecting all the essential features to ensure that the roof is in the best possible condition before the season starts.