Preventative Maintenance for Flat Roofs


Flat roofs have longevity, but only if they are maintained properly. This article will give tips on types of preventative maintenance that you can do in order to stave off potentially expensive roof repairs.


To prevent damage from water, gutters should periodically be cleared. Their entire design is meant to work with gravity to flow water away from the roof to the ground. If this system is blocked with debris or damaged, the water can back up and cause harm to the roof.


Ponding is the term given to describe when water accumulates on a flat roof. To prevent future leaks, it’s vital to identify areas that may be currently ponding after rainfall or snow melting. While flat Roof Restoration are “flat,” they actually are built with a slight slope or pitch in order to direct water to gutter systems. But exposure to the elements can sometimes lead to ponding, so this should be monitored. If there is ponding, efforts should be made right away to disperse the water, and then professional repairmen need to be contacted to remedy the situation.


Flashings are generally made of metal, often copper, and are built around objects that protrude out of the top of the roof. Chimneys, turbines and other such structures require flashings to prevent water leakage where the structures connect to the roof. Flashings are built high enough that water would have to defy gravity in order to enter. However, flashings can become damaged, or fasteners may corrode, so ensuring these pieces of metal are in top shape will help protect the overall structure of the roof.

BUR Roofing

BUR or “Built-up Roofing” is the traditional tarpaper and gravel style roof. It is inexpensive and durable. When checking to make sure this type of roofing is in good condition, make sure the gravel is covering all of the roof and that the paper is not exposed. Wind and other weather conditions can break the gravel loose, so periodically inspecting the surface will help catch potential weak spots before they become leaks.

Thermal Imaging

Once a leak is discovered from the inside of the roof, it is likely to require major repair. Thermal imaging is done by professional commercial roof specialists. They use a device which records hot and cool spots at typically vulnerable parts of a ceiling such as the corners. The device sends a computer read out giving the roof specialists a non-invasive look at the condition of the ceiling. Having this inspected at least once a year, as well as after a major storm, can allow the weak places to be spot repaired before they grow and require major reconstruction.

Roof Sealing

Membrane roofs require a coat of sealant be applied every 10 years or so, depending on the brand of coating originally used. Due to weather exposure, the materials can chalk and become brittle. This can lead to seams splitting or cracks. Since you are having yearly inspections of the roof anyway, your roof specialist will be able to detect if it is time to add another coating.

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