Low slope and flat roofs may not have the gravity assisted water shedding abilities of steep slope roofs, but they still offer plenty of secure, protective benefits. The key to enjoying and preserving all of those advantages is in how well the roof is maintained. Knowing some potential problem areas to watch for can help in this task.
Leaks are probably one of the most common issues with low slope and flat roofs. Often, leaks result from poor installation, and, if that's the case, it's important to call in a trusted Fort Worth roofing professional with commercial roof expertise to fix the problem.
Whether buildings are covered by single ply membrane, metal or built up roofing, most other leaks on flat and low slope roofs are a result of faulty maintenance. Building owners who inspect their roofs routinely and correct issues as soon as they're identified enjoy longer lasting, more durable roofs.
Single ply membrane roofs like PVC, TPO and EPDM, are some of the most popular choices for commercial roofs because of their low cost, easy installation and durable nature. They are, however, vulnerable to punctures caused by too much traffic on the roof and sharp objects like tree branches.
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Clearing debris and limiting traffic on the roof often helps to keep single ply membrane roofs intact.
Leaks around seams are also a problem for both single ply membrane roofs and metal roofs. Building owners should inspect seamed areas and panel laps often, checking to make sure that the seam is closed tightly.
Similarly, roof penetrations like vents need to be properly sealed to avoid allowing water to seep into crevices. Facility managers should frequently inspect flashing used to seal those penetrations and ensure that the flashing itself is tightly attached to the roof structure. They should also confirm that any caulking used to seal flashing edges is uniform and intact.
Flat and low slope roofs can also experience ponding, which is a considerable problem if the water is allowed to sit for long periods of time. Standing water can break down the roof's protective layers and adhesives, and it can encourage mold and algae growth. To avoid ponding, building owners can make sure that all of the roof's drainage systems are adequate. If drainage isn't sufficient, an experienced commercial roofer should be called in to reconfigure the roof's drainage system.
Above all, building owners and facility managers should talk to their roofers about problem spots usually associated with their particular type of roof. Knowing where trouble spots are likely to be can help avoid a host of problems in the long run.