Flat Roofs and Possible Complications

Flat roofs are a common option for commercial buildings; They’re cheaper in terms of both cost and labor, and they typically go in much quicker and easier than either metal or shake shingle roofs. Maintenance is easy and simple, plus there’s the added bonus of having a dual-purpose outdoor space (weather permitting of course).

Despite all of these advantages of having a flat roof, problems can easily arise if maintenance is shirked. Standing or pooled water is the enemy of a flat roof. Luckily, a keen eye and knowledge of maintenance schedules can help keep your roof in tip-top shape. Here are the possible complications that can arise if standing water stands a little too long atop your flat roof

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Damaged seams

Flat roofs aren’t made to hold water for long periods of time. Water that is allowed to collect atop flat roofs can eventually seal into the roofing seams. This results in weakened roof adhesive, which can in turn lead to leaks, moisture infiltration, and other sorts of issues. 

Vegetation

Water begets life. If seeds and plant-containing dirt finds a home in the standing water atop a flat roof, the result can be plant life. While a little greenery may look nice on paper, plants growing on top of your roof can be a real issue. Just like moss on shingles can eventually compromise an entire roofing system, other forms of vegetation can wreak havoc on a flat roof. Roof systems eventually start burrowing, eventually causing cracks that can cause leaks. 

UV Damage

UV damage can cause damage to the protective coatings on a roof, as well as the roof itself. Just like water at the beach can increase the risk for a bad burn, water on a roof can intensify UV rays, leading to further premature damage. 

These problems may be compounded by the fact that the low/non-existent slope of flat roofs means that there is often less insulation installed. This means that extreme weather and temperature changes have the potential to cause even more damage to a flat roof. 

Solutions

The best way to protect your flat roof from the complications standing water can bring is to ensure your roofing company installs proper drainage. This way, water is still able to leave the roof, leading to a decreased risk of standing water.

Routine maintenance can also help to catch and problem areas (damaged seams, vegetations, etc.) before they become issues that can compromise your roofing system.

If you have any questions about flat roofs, contact our team at Western Construction and Roofing today. We provide top-notch roofing service for your Coeur d’Alene home or business. Explore financing options