Preventing Leaks in Flat Roofs

Are Flat Roofs More Prone to Leaks?

This is a question we are asked regularly. Many people are concerned about flat roofs and are under the misconception that a flat roof will always leak. This can make them hesitant to buy a property with a flat roof. However, the myth that flat roofs always leak is just that, a myth. A well-maintained flat roof that is kept in good condition will perform just as well as a pitched roof.

Why Does This Myth Persist?

There are a few reasons why the myth that flat roofs are prone to leaks persists. A primary reason is that flat roofs are naturally less able to shed water as quickly as a pitched roof. This means that when it rains, water is more likely to sit on a flat roof for longer than it would on a sloped roof. If the roof is in disrepair or the drainage system is blocked by something, this can lead to leaks. However, if your roof is in good shape and kept free of debris, you won’t have to worry.

Similarly, many people blame the roof itself for leak issues when the real problem is that it wasn’t installed correctly. An improperly installed flat roof will be susceptible to a host of problems, including leaking, blistering, and pealing.

Other reasons a flat roof may leak include:

  • Substandard materials
  • Problems with flashing or seals
  • Improperly applied coatings
  • Cutting corners on installation
  • Not making timely repairs
  • Buildup of debris on the roof
  • Not replacing the roof when it reaches the end of its lifespan

How to Prevent Your Flat Roof from Leaking

The best way to avoid leaks in your flat roof is to keep it well-maintained. This means scheduling annual roofing inspections and maintenance services with a professional roofing contractor like Lyons Roofing. We will review your entire roofing system during our yearly visit, inside and out, identifying any problems or points of weakness within the roof. If there are repair issues, we will provide you with your repair options and our honest guidance.

Relatedly, it is important that when you have a repair problem, you should have it fixed right away. The longer an issue goes untreated, the more likely it is to escalate and create a larger problem. For example, if your roof’s flashing is damaged and you fail to fix it, the next time it rains, that damage may allow water into the roofing system, creating leaks and structural damage.

Another way to protect your flat roof is to avoid walking on it. While you should inspect your roof occasionally and remove debris so that it does not build up, you want to spend as little time on your roof as possible. Walking on your roof can cause granule loss and damage any protecting coatings on the top layer of the roofing materials. Frequent walking on the roof can also cause a breakdown of roofing insulation and lead to ponding water. All this wear and tear can cause the roof not to last as long and makes it more susceptible to leaks when it rains.

What to Do If Your Flat Roof Leaks

In many cases, a roof leak results from debris buildup blocking drainage and pushing water back up into your roofing materials. This does not always mean that there is a serious problem with your roof. When water is blocked, it looks for a way out and can get into tiny pinholes in your roofing materials. However, if your roof is damaged in some way, it may require more extensive repair work to solve the problem.

If you are experiencing a roof leak, the first thing you should do is reach out to our roof leak specialists. You should never ignore a roof leak, even if it is small. When moisture gets into your roofing materials, it can cause them to deteriorate, leaving your roof more susceptible to larger leaks the next time it rains. Additionally, moisture can also cause blistering of your roofing materials or lead to mold and mildew growth. All these problems are time-consuming and expensive to fix. The sooner you call in a professional roofer to address the leak, the better.

Do you see signs of a roof leak? We are standing by to help. Call our team or send us a message online.