Flat roofs come with their own set of particular problems and techniques when it comes to repairs. While a flat roof leak may seem minor at first, it's crucial to properly diagnose it to avoid major problems. To keep your flat roof secure for as long as possible, avoid these common repair mistakes.
1. Don’t play the waiting game.
Flat roofs need to be inspected regularly. Minor cracks and damages that form small leaks can quickly turn into major problems if left untreated for too long.
No matter how small the crack or bubble on the roof membrane, they always indicate some form of leakage.
When your flat roof is installed, ensure it’s sloped properly and that drain spouts are in the right location. A poor drainage system will result in standing water, which will deteriorate the roofing membrane and lead to leaks.
2. Repair more than just visible problems.
Repairs on a flat roof should be performed once the problem is properly diagnosed. Failing to find the root of the problem can make the leak worse.
Don’t settle for a small amount of roofing cement or sealant over a crack, or cutting open a bubble to paste on a quick patch.
Leaks in a flat roof can quickly damage large sections of the roofing system, so the issue needs to be treated properly. Don't accept a repair solution that only treats what is visible. Make sure you or the contractor inspects the problem thoroughly to determine the best solution.
3. Tread carefully with DIY repairs.
A quick online search provides homeowners with countless resources on how to perform flat roof repairs. However, unlike replacing a few shingles, flat roof repairs are typically not as simple as some Youtube videos may have you believe.
Finding the source of the leak is a challenging task. Water easily travels many feet from a defect in one layer to a problem in another.
Flat roof contractors have experience in diagnosing and properly repairing leaks, and for almost all cases, flat roof repairs should be left to professionals.
They also have the knowledge to inspect the entire structure to determine the overall health of the roof. They may determine the entire roof is compromised and recommend a total replacement.
While it may not seem ideal in the moment, choosing to replace the entire system could save you from costly water damage and serious structural and mold problems.
Hire an experienced flat roof repair contractor.
Unfortunately, many flat roof homeowners fall victim to one of the mistakes listed above. They often deal with structural damage, severe mold growth, rodents, and, in the worst cases, a roof collapse.