A flat roof is commonly applied both in the residential and commercial building. It often requires more work than other standard types of roofs. While it may have been simpler to build, it requires a lot of maintenance and inspections to keep it up and make sure that everything is functioning as it should. The hard part about a flat roof is whether it needs to be replaced, or a few minor repairs. Herewith a list of the top 6 most common problems occur in flat roofs, and how best to deal with these issues depending on their severity.
One of the surest signs that the flat roof needs replacement is a phenomenon called alligatoring. What happens is the asphalt used to build the flat roof has aged and lost its elasticity, causing it to crack and bubble and look something like the skin of an alligator. Unfortunately, this means that asphalt flat roof has deteriorated past the point of no return, and will need replacement.
- Leaks and moisture
Probably the most common problems with flat roofs, leaks and lingering moisture are issues that can be dealt with effectively, as long as you stay on top of them. Just like any roof, a flat roof will develop leaks, but since it’s flat, the water doesn’t have anywhere to go but straight down. This means that moisture can seep into the roof itself and cause problems that may lead to mold and fungus. The best way to deal with this is to make sure that the flat roof inspected regularly, and maintenance every time any issue occurs.
- Buckle in membrane
Most asphalt flat roofs are constructed similarly to shingled roofs in that they are made up of a membrane soaked in asphalt, and then laid across the top of the building to make the roof; unlike shingled roofs, however, the membrane on a flat roof is all one piece. This means that over time, as the building shifts and settles, so too will the roof. Excessive movement can cause buckles in that asphalt membrane, which signals the end of flat roof’s life. A roof that is buckling is not safe to live under and can cause major problems down the line. It’s a good idea to get it replaced as soon as possible.
- Pooling water
Since the roof is flat when it rains or snows, there’s nowhere for that precipitation to go. Over time, the roof itself will shift a bit, meaning it might not be as level as it was when it was first installed. This may cause water to pool in divots and dips in the flat roof. While most materials are manufactured to hold up to water, draining these pools as soon as possible is necessary and check to make sure that water didn’t seep into lower layers of the roof. If pooling is allowed to linger, it’s likely to deteriorate the exterior of the roof, shortening the lifetime of the flat roof.
- Crack in roof
Flat roofs tend to have more pressure exerted on them since they are flat instead of slanted. Sometimes this pressure can build up, and if the pressure and stress become excessive, it can cause the roof itself to crack. In the event that the flat roof does crack, it is advisable calling a professional immediately. In addition to exposing the building to precipitation, a crack in the roof is often a sign that the roof is structurally compromised, and it’s time for a new one.
Just like most other materials, asphalt flat roofs tend to expand and contract with changing weather and temperatures. Over time, this continued expansion and contraction can cause the flashing to pull away from the edges and corners of the roof, leading to leaks and moisture that can get trapped inside the roof. The best way to avoid this is to inspect and maintain the flat roof regularly. Once the leaks become significant or having a lot of deterioration in the flashing, most likely the solution is to get a new roof.
The best way to maximize the life of flat roof is understanding the common issues and promptly repairing them. The most common repairs include fixing leaks, resealing surfaces, and replacing and maintaining gutters to ensure proper drainage. In flat roof, look for water pooling or puddling in spots on the roof; because these are areas that are likely to begin leaking, and repairing them before they evolve into full-on leaks can save money and headache.
On average, a flat roof costs about $550-$750 per square, which is a measurement equals 100 square feet, to install. It is vital to frequently inspect the roof and quickly address any tears, holes, or leaks you find. This is effortless to do on flat roofs since they are more stable to walk on than pitched roofs. Small leaks can naturally be patched if they are noticed early enough, which is why inspection is critical. If you decide to hire a roofer to patch a leak, it costs about $750-$1250 on average. In general, it may cost up to $950 in average for the flat roof repair.
In general, most residential roofing repairs cost $650 – $1,200 on average, and this depends on a number of factors. Factors that influence roofing rate including (1) size/complexity of the repair, (2) roofing material, (3) additional expenses (if applicable) such as underlayment, sheathing, flashing, gutters, insulation, interior structural damage, ceiling damage, etc. and (4) geographic location.