During the warmer months, a flat roof can be an amazing asset. It expands your living space and gives you a private space where you can go to get away from things.
However, if you want to be able to enjoy it for many years, it’s necessary to take some steps to maintain it during the cooler months. In this article, we’re going to give you 5 tips to prepare your flat roof before and during winter.
Be sure roof & gutters are debris-free
The first thing you want to do is make sure that there is no debris (such as trash, leaves, and fallen tree branches) on your flat roof or in the gutters. By doing this, you can avoid ponding on your roof during the winter thaws. If you have cleaned out your gutters and they are still not flowing freely, there is likely a blockage inside. You’ll want to rent a snake or hire a contractor to break up anything that is inside of the pipes.
Check roof membrane and caulking for holes
As a general rule, roofing membranes are tough. However, over time damage can occur, such as tears, rips, and holes, especially along seams where two rolls meet. As you are clearing the debris off your roof, check for damage that could result in leaks and make sure the caulking around the edges and chimney stacks is intact. If you do find damage, contact a professional to repair it.
Here are a few common things to look for:
This is when air becomes trapped under the surface of your flat roof and creates pockets of air, happily only older types of flat roof membranes can be susceptible to this which is why we believe upgrading to an EPDM roof is the smart choice as you’re highly unlikely to get this type of potentially very damaging blisters to your flat roof.
As we mentioned, pay attention to the surface of your roof for ponding, or pooling water. If water is pooling and doesn’t clear up 2 days or more after a rain, it’s a sign that your roof is not effectively shedding water. This can cause stress to your roof’s membrane. This is worsened if your gutters are blocked/damaged. If you have one or both of these issues, they need to be addressed right away to avoid a major expense in the future.
On older types of roof membranes your roof can suffer from something called alligatoring, this is where water, debris, UV rays, or impact damage have caused cracks on the surface of your roof’s membrane, and these cracks look like alligators skin, hence the name. This doesn’t happen on an EDPM roof indeed the only damage you may have is an accidental tear within your EPDM Rubber Flat Roof, if the area is small you should consider one of our repair kits to fix it. We offer a 6-inch (for damage up to 30 mm) and a 9-inch (for damage up to 50 mm). If the area is larger than that, contact us and we can guide you to the right solution.
While it’s true that flat roofs do offer an array of benefits, they do require maintenance, especially during the cooler months. However, by taking these steps, you can ensure that your roof will remain watertight and secure throughout the winter months. If you need your roof repaired or replaced, consider our 1.2 mm thickness roofing membrane with a 20-year warranty or our 1.5 mm thickness roofing membrane with a 30-year warranty. Be sure to contact us today to find out how we can help you with your flat roof.