Flat roofs are bound to need repairs regardless of the type of material used. Asphalt shingles, tar paper with gravel, and every other material you choose for your flat roof will begin to disintegrate with time, forcing you to replace or repair them.
All the roofing materials have different longevities, but most of them last up to 20 years before needing replacement. However, they will need repairs and proper maintenance to ensure they last that long.
It is also important for homeowners to know the correct signs for repairs and the processes involved. The information below is mainly for tar roof repairs, but you can also get some pointers for other flat roofing materials.
Roof Repair Basics
Locating problems with tar roofs is never easy, yet it is the first step in the repair process. Most people never notice there is a problem until it manifests itself and causes too much damage. Being proactive can prevent this and help you avoid many other issues, regardless of the roofing material you have. Hire a reputable roofing contractor to conduct inspections regularly. Make sure they have the right qualifications and can be relied on to conduct a thorough inspection of every section of the roof.
Without proper inspections, you will end up with leaks on the pipes, edges, vents, and every other place that has high chances of disengaging, getting damages or degrading. Most of these issues are usually seen with vent flashing, plastic roof boots, and loose counter flashing.
General exposure can also cause these problems when the gravel is disturbed and exposes the roof membrane underneath. Only a roofing expert can spot these problems before they get worse.
7 signals which tell you to repair your flat roof
1. Organic growth
Growing organic matter like moss, algae, and fungi usually signifies that your roof needs attention and can also cause a threat to your health. They typically grow in places where there is excess water, which means their presence should be taken very seriously.
In most cases, moss doesn’t pose a great threat like the other matter, but their root cause should still be checked out, even if fungi haven’t started showing yet. You may end up replacing the entire roof if you ignore this sign for too long. The damage may even extend to the interior sections, with mould growing on walls and ceiling.
2. Looks Bad
Most roofing services that are done by non-professionals usually end up being worse than they were before the repairs. Apart from hiring a contractor whose qualifications you’re sure of, you should also check the repaired area after they are done.
If possible, have a professional inspector check the area if it is larger. Knowing the repairs needed, processes involved, and the outcome can also help you determine whether the results you get from the contractor are good enough.
If the repaired area still looks bad, you will be forced to pay another repair contractor before it gets worse. Make sure you work with a roofer that will make the roof functional as well as visually pleasant.
3. Pools of water
Although they don’t have steep slopes, flat roofs are designed to drain water from their surfaces. Therefore, pooling water long after it stopped raining can be a problematic sign. The longer the water remains on the roof, the more it applies pressure on the roof structure, especially the membranes.
The water can also sweep off the top gravel, leaving the membrane layer exposed and vulnerable to leaks. Soon you will have extensive leaks that reach the ceiling or inside walls.
A common solution for pooling water on a flat roof is improving drainage. It is essential that you only let a qualified roofer handle the drainage installation to avoid a recurrence of such problems in future.
4. Water Leaks
Most water leaks are usually noticeable when it rains or soon after the rain stops. It is also common not to see the actual leaks, but notice the related signs like staining on the roof edges of walls.
The more you leave a leak unattended, the more you will end up with more problems, including fungi and bacterial growth. You will not just be jeopardizing the roof; you will be putting the house structure and the health of your loved ones at risk.
Get it repaired quickly and effectively to reduce the repair costs and increase the lifespan of the roof. For best and permanent results, schedule regular inspections and maintenance with your roofing contractor.
5. Recurring Problems
One of the reasons you should never attempt roof repair as a DIY project is to avoid repeating the same issue. Unless you have training and experience with roof repair, call a professional to do the job.
You should also work with respectable roofers that will take time to find out the root cause of the problem before proposing a solution. Surface repairs usually lead to the repetition of the same problem.
Have a different roofer solve the problem even if it occurs in a different section of the roof. It means the previous contractor did not address the root cause, and if not catered to immediately, the entire roof may be affected.
6. More Roof Damage
Solving the wrong problem can also cause more damages, which results in more expensive repairs. That is why we insist on proper diagnosis and repair procedures. It’s rare to have experienced roofers commit such mistakes, which is why you should always hire one.
Other than the proper diagnosis, using the right materials and correct procedures is also crucial. Some materials may be ineffective for certain roof damages, while others may be extreme for the section in question. A roofer that knows how to differentiate the applicable solutions for each problem can help you avoid such damages by giving tailored and safer solutions instead of generic ones.
7. Other Damages
Get someone that understands the roles of each part of the roof. For instance, they need to know why you have the membrane layers or tar gravel instead of any other material. They should also differentiate the advantages and disadvantages of those roofing components, together with what it takes to protect them. Such information can help prevent accidental damages to other sections of the roof when another one is being repaired. A cautious approach during repairs can also help prevent such roofing problems.
If you fix one part and another part starts showing signs of a problem, have another service provider inspect and repair it.
How to Prevent Flat Roof Repair Problems?
The best way to prevent roof repair problems is by having the right person for the job. Most professionals take pride in their work and will not want recurrent problems at the site they have worked on. The experienced and knowledgeable roofer also seldom makes roofing mistakes, making them a better option than someone that uses a trial-and-error technique. They also have expansive knowledge about how each part and component of the roof should be handled during repairs to guarantee optimal results. Trades by Jack can get you more information about roof maintenance and repairs. Call us!
We have a qualified team that is passionate about helping property owners get the best roofing solutions to different kinds of roof styles. Don’t hold back or shy off if you think you have a roofing problem. Reach out to our friendly team, and we will begin the process of getting your roof back to its original state. Our services are available for commercial and domestic properties. We can help you with maintenance to catch problems before they cause too much damage.
You should always encourage your employees to report signs of damage they spot on the roof. They can help prevent the nightmare that tar roofs can become.