Flat roofs are extremely popular for many commercial properties. They install quickly, require minimal maintenance, and are less expensive than steep-slope roofing. Just because flat roofs require minimal maintenance, it doesn’t mean that as a property manager you can just forget about them. There are still signs & symptoms that can indicate you should call a professional to get yours looked at. Here are three things to keep in mind when managing a flat roof so it can have the longest life.
Since a “flat roof” is actually low-slope, a possibility exists that objects (or people!) could roll off the roof. Your crew needs to respect the rooftop edge. One low-tech method of achieving this is to flag the roof perimeter. A better way is the installation of a rooftop monitoring system. This can alleviate any fears of workers misjudging an edge and falling.
A common flat roof maintenance concern is the awareness and treatment of ponding. This is often seen on older low-slope roofing with insulation that has never been replaced or was replaced many years earlier. The insulation gradually compacts from water weight and live loads. The depressed areas tend to accumulate water instead of shedding it. This creates ideal conditions for ponding.
Flat roof maintenance must include a patient, careful eye searching for evidence of ponding:
- Vegetative matter growing on the roof surface — This can include actual trees!
- Whitish, circular stains indicating the edges of an evaporated area of standing water
- Vegetative debris and soil building up in horizontal gutters
- Circles of sediment forming a “bull’s eye” target, where the water has evaporated and left the sediment behind
Another obvious sign of rooftop water retention? Leaks inside, or sagging ceilings.
One common concern among building owners and facilities managers is knowing the threshold between allowing your under-trained, in-house crew to handle flat roof maintenance and turning the job over to roofing professionals.
If your crew hesitates to take on a roofing task, realize they may know more about what they can and cannot do than you know. They are telling you, perhaps in a roundabout way, that you need skilled technicians, not a building maintenance staff, to perform the work.
To relieve your mind of common commercial roofing concerns, contact the trained professionals of PSI Roofing. Our crews can safely and expertly tackle flat roof maintenance on any size building in the Fort Lauderdale area. Let us show you what a professional touch can mean.