What You Need to Know about Flat Roof Leaks...and How to Stop Them

Knowing how low-slope (flat) roofs leak is key to knowing how to get the problem fixed by your trusted, local commercial roofer.

Where Leaks Develop

In a so-called flat roof (it’s really a low slope roof), several areas are constantly at risk of developing water leaks:

  • Around roof penetrations (vents, plumbing stacks) where the rubber boots age, become brittle and crack
  • Depressed areas where insulation has compressed
  • Around HVAC curbs and other rooftop additions
  • At parapets where membrane no longer properly laps up the vertical side and is protected by flashing

Age Matters

Accelerated aging is a problem with low-slope roofs in Florida. The harsh sun and heavy precipitation wears out membranes and reduces water resistance in built-up roofing. Sufficiently strong winds can move ballast or open up seams. Wind-borne debris in hurricanes can scour, gouge or tear your roof, too.

The entire field area (the flat, open space of your roof) loses chemical volatility to ultraviolet radiation, making it more brittle, less resilient, and likely to crack or craze. Every crack is a potential water leak.

An aging roof can be saved by prompt, professional attention. This can mean seam repair, waterproof coatings, or patching.

Stopping Low-Slope Roof Leaks

Your facilities crew can help prevent leaks by inspecting the roof monthly, to chart the progress of deterioration in key areas. They can keep the roof clear of debris and avoid storing materials on the roof’s surface. Keeping internal drains and parapet scuppers clear allows water to run off instead of ponding.

Regulating and recording who walks on the roof is another great way to prevent water leaks. Regular roof maintenance from your local roofing partner can also keep water from infiltrating your building.  

Fast Action

For all your crew can do, they cannot turn back the clock. Avoid wasting time hemming and hawing over timing, costs, or schedules. One quick contact to your local commercial roofer can get fast results, saving your roof and limiting damage.

A highly trained crew can replace an entire roof’s rubber boots around roof projections in less time than you may take to debate, decide, and budget for the repair.

PSI Roofing is your south Florida expert in commercial roofing. Contact us today to learn how we can help you deal with roof leaks on low-slope or flat roofs. Better, our roof maintenance programs can help prevent leaks from developing.