While leaks are a universal concern across all roofing systems, some are unique to flat roofs. In today’s post, local roofing company Dynamic Roofing Concepts, Inc. shares a look at some of these common roofing problems, and how they can be fixed.
Alligatoring happens when the top layer of a built-up roofing (BUR) system shrinks from long-term exposure to extreme temperature changes. Since BUR (and certain types of single-ply roofs) are adhered to the substrate, there is little room for thermal expansion and contraction. The top surface develops cracks on the surface, which resembles alligator skin. Alligatoring occurs when the roof is past its expected life span, which means you should take it as an indicator that you need to plan for reroofing soon.
Buckling membrane is not actually a roofing problem, but is caused by the house foundations. As the building shifts and settles, the roofing surface becomes uneven or would even split. This is not as noticeable on non-adhered single-ply roofing systems, but on BUR and other types of adhered roofing systems, the outer membrane would appear to be buckled. Building foundation issues are not to be ignored, and should be addressed by foundation specialists.
Flashing protects vulnerable parts of the roof from water infiltration. Flat roofs typically have flashing where the roof surface transitions into components like skylights, parapets, or walls. Objects that penetrate the roofing surface, such as vent pipes and HVAC ducts, also have flashing at the base. Flashing may get torn off by wind or impact from airborne debris, which can leave the roof vulnerable to moisture damage. Regular roof inspections helps you find problem areas, including missing flashing, and schedule roof repair before they can get worse.
Standard flat roofs are slightly sloped towards the drains to help ensure proper drainage. While water sometimes collects on the roofing surface, it should completely drain away and dry out after 48 hours. Improper construction methods or depressions on the roof—which may be caused by heavy objects or damage to the substrate—may cause ponding water. Ponding water can weaken roofing seams and promote algae growth, as well as promote leaks. Repairs will have to be done to the substrate to correct this problem.
Dynamic Roofing Concepts, Inc. is your leading provider of flat and metal roofing systems. Give us a call at (813) 657-7663. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve customers in Tampa, FL, and surrounding communities.