Roofs come in all shapes and sizes. Flat roofs are commonly found on commercial buildings because they are an economical and durable roofing option. Despite their popularity, flat roofs are susceptible to many of the same problems as their sloped counterparts.
Leaks are among the most common issues found in any roofing system. The more you know about leaks on a flat roof, the better prepared you will be to address these leaks on your own flat roof in the future.
What Causes Flat Roofs to Leak?
The first step in understanding leaks on your flat roof is being able to identify what causes these leaks to form.
Flat roofs are typically composed of a roofing membrane and a layer of foam or tar. These materials are not designed to house the weight of a person for an extended period of time. Damage to a flat roof is often caused by technicians walking across the surface of the roof to service HVAC equipment. Aging materials and poor installation can also cause a flat roof to leak.
How Can Flat Roof Leaks be Spotted?
In order to address leaks on your flat roof, you need to be able to identify where these leaks are located.
Start by inspecting your flat roof while it is wet, either from rain or from manual water distribution. Focus on the areas where there are seams in the roofing materials or areas where water appears to be pooling.
Step lightly in these areas and watch for air bubbling up through the water. These air bubbles mark the spot where a leak has formed. Note the location of the leak so that you can have your roofing contractor make the necessary repairs.
How are Flat Roof Leaks Fixed?
There are a few methods used by roofing contractors to repair leaks on a flat roof. If the leak is small, the area can be patched. Patching requires that a contractor cut out the damaged roofing materials and replace them with new materials that will not leak.
Patches are usually considered a temporary fix and have to be replaced periodically to maintain the watertight seal of your flat roof.
You can also address flat roof leaks by choosing to have your contractor apply a roof coating. Coatings are thin layers of synthetic material that can be painted on the entire surface of your flat roof.
A coating not only fixes a leak but also helps to protect your roof against further damage in the future. For more information visit a website like http://www.allamericanroofing.com.