Fixing that Leaky Flat Roof With A Low Sloped Roofing System

Flat Roof Repair

Owning a home or building with a flat roof can be very problematic for many real-estate investors. Locating a roof leak on a flat roof can be a big challenge because the water can stream underneath the roofing membrane a long ways before finding an area to enter the structure.

Water Can Pool On A Flat Roof


flat Roof Top (Photo credit: xcode)

Because of the prospect of pooling water on a flat roof, can wear that flat roof so much faster than steep sloped roof. Most asphalt low sloped applications require some kind of reflective UV protection to preserve the asphalt and keep it from deteriorating. An aluminum coating maintenance system is necessary for all smooth surface asphalt applications with no gravel. Membrane systems such as smooth surface roll roofing, smooth torch down and hot tar BUR systems with no gravel require a heavy coat of aluminum every three to five years. If an aluminum coating maintenance plan is not conducted on these types of roof systems it will deteriorate much faster from the sun and they will be compromised prematurely.

Applying Asphalt On A Flat Roof

Also many asphalt application are installed using a ballast gravel system. The gravel helps reflect the harmful UV rays from the sun and helps anchor down the membrane. Many EPDM and TPO roofs are also applied using a ballast system. Using a ballast rock system will make the job less expensive in most cases because the labor is done much faster and it saves on adhesive products and other chemicals. Adhesives like TPO glue can cost up to one hundred and fifty dollars per five gallon bucket. You only get about three hundred square feet of coverage out of each five gallon bucket.

A fully chemically adhered low sloped roofing system is the best application standard but it also is the most expensive. A fully adhered roofing system can withstand extreme high wind gusts from any storm if installed properly. A fully adhered roof system also is a very light weight roofing system which is better for the roof structure.

Proper drainage is also essential for a low sloped roof because water can puddle causing a roof to collapse. Also ponding water is bad for the roof membrane and can cause algae growth and mold to form. If the water accumulates too high it can flood a home or building because it can overflow overtop of flashing curbs or wall flashing. Just about every popular roof system in the industry is not designed to have large amounts of ponding water. All drains and scuppers should be inspected and cleaned on a regular basis. Snow and Ice removal maybe require each winter on low sloped roofs in some northern areas.
There are various flat roof products. Most asphalt systems are an old school product and they soon will be out dated. The best long lasting low sloped roof system is TPO or EPDM. With these two types of roofs you get more bang for your buck. A TPO or EPDM roof can last up to fifty years when installed properly. A low sloped roof is much different than a steep sloped roof. It requires a different kind of roofer and an option of many different types of flat roof systems and materials.


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