Understand your Flat Roof

Four essential ideas about your commercial property’s flat roof can help you to spend less on flat roof repair, enjoy your roof longer, and go a day or two without worrying about your roof.

First, It’s Not Flat

So-called “flat roofs” in need of “flat roof repair” are not actually flat, though their gentle slope does often allow water to accumulate. Any roof must slope at least one inch in four feet, or a quarter-inch per foot, says the International Code Council.

With such a low slope, water can pond due to insulation compression, foot traffic, or minor imperfections in the roof deck beneath the roof itself. Clogged scuppers can quickly lead to a leak.

To prevent costly flat roof repair, think about scheduling your facilities crew to perform a careful sweep-off after heavy showers or thunderstorms, if the low-slope roof is safe for them to walk on.


Second, It Needs Sunscreen

Especially in the near-tropical latitudes of Fort Lauderdale, flat roofs are susceptible to sun damage. They do not tan, so slathering on SPF 30 will do no good, but they do bake.

Built-up roofing (BUR) and modified bitumen roofing need frequent flat roof repair because the sun cooks their vital chemicals out of the layers. Single-ply roofing is damaged by constant ultraviolet radiation.

The sunscreen solution to ward off flat roof repair: sprayed or brushed-on coatings that reflect heat and ultraviolet light.


Third, Give it TLC

No matter your roof’s composition and material, it will last longer and give good years of service with regular maintenance. Do more than just the annual or semi-annual inspection; reduce the number of flat roof repair calls by having your facilities crew inspect the roof after every major storm, if the roof is safe for them to walk on.

What to look for:

  • High winds can cause uplift or open seams
  • Heavy rains can clog internal drains or scuppers
  • Wind-blown debris can damage the roof surface
  • Ponding can lead to water infiltration

A little post-storm TLC will go a long way.


Fourth, It is Designed for Long Life

With careful, regular inspection and routine maintenance, your roof can last up to 30 years (single-ply or metal). Even BUR or modified bitumen should last two decades. Prompt flat roof repair can minimize deterioration.

Contact us at PSI Roofing today to learn what we can do to extend the life of your low-slope roof.