Common Problems of Flat Roofs

Jan 12, 2022 | Roofing

When you were a kid and drew a picture of a house, you probably didn’t make a rectangle and call it a day. You put a triangle on top, right? 

When we picture what a house looks like, usually there’s a pitched roof on top. But there are plenty of buildings that have flat roofs, too. Flat roofs are super common. You don’t see many office buildings or apartments with triangular roofs in Cornelia, right? 

So why have a flat roof at all? Aren’t roofs with angles that let rain and snow fall off easily more desirable? Flat roofs do offer some advantages over pitched roofs:

  • They’re usually cheaper to install
  • Professional roofers love working on them because walking is easier
  • They can be more energy efficient 
  • They’re a better location for things like HVAC systems or solar panels

Of course, there’s no one perfect roof design, or everyone would have it for their buildings and homes. While flat roofs have these upsides, some downsides need to be addressed from time to time by professional roofers.

Sun Exposure

One of the benefits of a pitched roof is that as the sun moves through the sky, it can’t blast the entire surface of the roof all day. Once the sun passes a certain point, one-half of the roof will be in shadow. Not so with flat roofs. 

Flat roofs are exposed to the sun’s rays all day. Unfortunately, this means that the heat of the sun will affect flat roofs far more than it will for pitched roofs.

Rain, Snow, Debris

Without proper draining, flat roofs can harbor lots of standing water. Even with proper draining, flat roofs can develop low spots where rain and melted snow can collect. 

In addition to harboring pests like mosquitoes and leading to mold growth, standing water eats away at your roof’s material. Add to that the debris from trees and other plants that can easily collect up there, and you’ve got a breeding ground for insects and bigger pests, like rodents and birds.

Leaks

Once standing water has compromised your flat roof’s material integrity, that water will make its way inside. From there, the water will lead to weakened drywall and wood, shorted wiring, and mold growth. 

Having flat roof repair done by professional roofers before these leaks happen is the only way to keep water from eating away at the rest of your house. 

Buckling Asphalt

This one seems kind of unfair because it’s not really the roof’s fault, but the house committing a sort of sabotage act. Flat roofs are sealed with an asphalt barrier that prevents moisture and UV radiation from getting through, but houses will settle and shift on their foundations over time, causing the barrier to crack and buckle. 

It looks a bit like it’s rippling. Professional roofers will need to replace the barrier because once it buckles, it’s time for a new one.

Punctures and Tears

Storm damage can take its toll on flat roofs. They’re much more susceptible to hail damage and debris, especially if they’ve already been compromised by standing water. 

If there’s any foot traffic on your roof, that’s another shortcut to needing flat roof repair. Cracks and tears can also occur just because of the sheer weight of snow accumulation. Even though Cornelia only sees an average of 2 inches per year, snow weighs a lot

Shrinking Flashing

Flashing will expand and contract thanks to temperature changes. Eventually, the flashing can pull away from the edges of where the roof meets the house’s structure. 

Hire some professional roofers to examine your flat roof repair or service history to find out when the flashing was last addressed. Regular maintenance can keep the flashing from leading to enough damage to justify getting a whole new roof.

Lack of Maintenance

Here’s the real flat roof killer. Neglecting your flat roof’s basic maintenance will result in a drastically shortened lifespan and even damage to the rest of your home. 

Professional roofers can examine and diagnose problems and even prevent them from popping up and destroying your roof. Set up a routine maintenance plan to have your roof issues addressed on a regular schedule. 

Division Kangaroof: The Flat Roof Experts

In Cornelia, there’s one name you need to remember when you want repair, replacement, or service for your flat roof. Division Kangaroof can preserve the roof you have or replace it when it’s time. 

Every one of our contractors is licensed and insured, and nothing is done under the table, so you can trust that every repair is above board. Don’t neglect your flat roof; let Division Kangaroof do what we do best and hop to it!