Roof Maintenance FAQs: How to Care for Flat Roofs

Things to Know About Low-Slope Roofs

Typically, a flat roof is defined as a roof with a slope of ten degrees or less. Flat roofs (also called low-slope roofs) are not as common as pitched roofs in residential settings. However, many homes in Arizona do have flat or low slopes. These roofs are becoming more popular as they can be easier for the average homeowner to care for and have excellent lifespans.

Reasons flat roofing systems are becoming more popular in residential settings include:

  • They provide a unique, modern look
  • Are relatively quick to install
  • Are cost-effective and come in a variety of materials and coatings
  • Can be more environmentally friendly
  • Can be more energy efficient

Common Repair Issues with Flat Roofs

Though there are many benefits to flat roofs, they have weaknesses. The primary problem faced by flat roofs is the same as any roof of any pitch: leaking. Water is your roof’s number one enemy, and because of a flat roof’s relative lack of pitch, water may have a more difficult time draining. This is especially true in cases where a flat roof is in poor condition and has low spots where water collects (ponding).

Another common problem associated with flat roofs is blistering. This is when the adhesive between the layers in your roofing materials degrades, creating a bubbling or blistering effect. This can be caused by several issues, ranging from ponding to poor roof ventilation. If you see anything like this on your roof, you should call Lyons Roofing to inspect and repair the problem.

Other flat roof repair issues to be aware of include:

  • Algae or moss growth
  • Granule loss
  • Impacted or compressed insulation from too frequent walking
  • Insects and other pests nesting or roosting on your roof
  • Issues around roof installations, including leaking

Call Lyons Roofing immediately if you notice any issues with your flat roof or see signs of a leak.

Tips for Taking Care of Your Flat Roof

The best way to take care of your flat roof is to have it professionally inspected and maintained every year. There is no understating the importance of annual roof maintenance. During your inspection, our roofing contractors will review every part of your roof, inside and out, looking for signs of wear and damage. They will then provide you with a detailed report and your repair options. However, after your annual roof inspection and maintenance visit, there are some things that you can do to keep your flat roof in good shape.

Between maintenance visits, we encourage homeowners to:

  • Keep their roofs free of debris buildup, like leaves, branches, etc.
  • Trim back surrounding trees and plants to reduce debris landing on your roof
  • Trim back vines and other plants that may be growing up the sides of your home, fences, and power lines to prevent them from growing on your roof
  • Ensure that your roof has an appropriate drainage system installed on it and that it is flowing freely
  • Avoid walking on your roof as much as possible
  • Avoid excess roof installations or things that will add a significant amount of weight to your roof

Maintaining a flat roof doesn’t have to be more difficult than a traditional pitched roof. As a homeowner, your primary goal should be to keep your roof clean and to avoid putting undue stress on it. This means being careful with any roof installations and ensuring that all repair and maintenance work is done by a professional like Lyons Roofing.