Common Flat Roof Problems & Tips On How To Solve Them

Flat roofs have a reputation for being problematic and prone to leaks. However the common problems with leaky flat roofs are usually as a result of one of these things:

  • Poor workmanship installing the roof membrane
  • Poor maintenance by the building owner
  • Standing water from blocked drainage outlets
  • Blistering from trapped moisture
  • Thermal movement, from exposure to heat and cold over the years
  • Or as a result of age (usually the most common issue)

In essence - a well designed, maintained and waterproofed flat roof shouldn’t be causing you problems or leak unless it’s old and needs replacing.

Is a flat roof really actually flat? Interestingly, no, they aren’t. Flat roofs actually have a very slight slope to allow rainwater to drain off the roof, but they do appear to be flat.

Why are flat roofs so popular? Really the truth is it all comes down to cost and energy efficiency. Flat roofs are very economical to construct. They also reduce the volume of the building thereby reducing energy and heating costs. They can also allow for the roof to be used for other activities like a patio or simply as a green roof.

How long are waterproofing membranes supposed to last for? Membranes used to cover and waterproof flat roofs usually last around 20 to 30 years. This is less than a traditionally built tiled roof. Building owners should plan to replace the membrane on their flat roof every 20 years or so.

What should I do to look after my flat roof? It’s a good idea to check over your flat roof every now and again to make sure the rainwater outlets aren’t blocked with debris or old leaves. Flat roofs are a lot less forgiving than steeply sloped ones so make sure you keep an eye to prevent any problems developing. Leaf guards can only cope with a small build up of leaves, so whilst it’s worth installing them, you can’t rely on them not becoming overwhelmed by the large amount of leaves blowing around in autumn.

Some top tips for designing and maintaining flat roofs

  • Employ the right professional to build your roof, ensure they have the credentials experience, skills and insurance to carry out the work properly. References should be checked and an engineer, or architect, engaged to specify, detail and inspect the work.
  • Hire a professional to safely remove dirt, leaves and debris that builds up yearly from your roof, gutters and drains.
  • If you decide to clean the roof yourself, where possible use a leaf blower, as uless the roof has been designed to stand on it is likely to be fragile.
  • Ensure that all overhanging tree limbs are regularly cut back, allowing 1 metre clearance to avoid blockage and damage due to fallen leaves and branches as well as removing any unwanted vegetation or growth on the roof itself. Be aware that vegetation and moss can indicate that water is being held in sufficient quantity to allow growth which will ultimately lead to internal leakage.

If you need help or advice with your flat roof call us today at 01491 579 659 or get in touch to schedule a visit.

Contact Us Today

We use your email address to respond to your query. By submitting this registration form/completing this application, you indicate your consent to receiving marketing messages from us. If you do not wish to receive such messages, you have the option to opt out; however please note that this means we may not be able to respond to your query/registration by email, therefore please provide a valid telephone number in the application form. Further details about how we use your personal information can be found in our Privacy Policy. To opt out click .