With everything else you have to do to run a business or organization, flat roof maintenance on your South Florida property may not weigh heavily on your mind. Get a roof leak, however, and your neglected roof can come back to haunt you with a vengeance. Flat roof maintenance need not be time-consuming or expensive, if you follow these effective maintenance tips.

Know Your Roof

Before you can implement a flat roof maintenance program, you should know what covers your church’s or commercial property’s roof:

  • Modified Bitumen
  • Thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO)
  • Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Scrim
  • Liquid-applied membranes—Acrylic, urethane, or silicone, with reinforcing and reflective components

Safety First

Regular roof inspection will keep your flat roof in good condition. All roofs are inherently dangerous, though, so we do not advise you to climb up on your low-slope roof yourself. Engage a local, professional contractor such as PSI Roofing to conduct thorough, annual inspections.

General Maintenance

Upkeep on flat roofs, regardless of surface, focuses on these areas:

  • Drainage
  • Seams
  • Roof projections and piercings
  • Parapet walls
  • Roof tie-ins
  • Air conditioning and HVAC units

Modified Bitumen

Two modified bitumen systems are common: atactic polypropylene (APP) and styrene-butadiene-styrene (SBS). APP is only applied by torch; poor torch work leads to seam failure. TPP maintenance:

  • Check seams carefully
  • Repair seams with torch or heat

SBS typically has challenges with membrane shrinkage, degradation, and seam failure. Flat roof maintenance on an SBS surface means:

  • Careful seam inspection
  • Avoiding chemicals and oils on the surface
  • Reapplication of adhesive at seams


TPO maintenance depends on careful scrutiny of the surface for voids and sealant breakdown. TPO can be damaged by roofing cement. If needed, fresh sealant at coping joints, coping ends and around roof penetrations (skylights, vent stacks and chimneys) can preserve TPO.

PVC Scrim

PVC’s woven scrim is very strong, but it can be torn, punctured or worn down. Asphalt destroys PVC, so the two cannot be used together. Leave PVC scrim roofing to professionals, for maintenance or repair.

Liquid-Applied Membrane

This is by far the easiest roofing surface to maintain. Periodic oversprays of new liquid membrane are the only maintenance needed. These can be done in localized areas, such as near scuppers or around roof tie-ins, but can also be done over the entire roof surface.

To learn more about roof assets management and flat roof maintenance on your South Florida property, contact us at PSI Roofing.