So, Your Flat Roof Is Leaking – But Why?

While they are designed to protect you from the elements, flat roofs and pitched roofs are very different. Pitched roofs can be seen on both residential and commercial buildings; however, flat roofs are typically reserved for commercial and industrial buildings. While homeowners tend to be familiar with maintenance needs of pitched roofs, the same cannot be said of building owners of flat roof buildings. Usually, commercial flat roofs do their jobs. However, there are some instances when they can leak.

Sealant for Chimney and Exhaust Pipes

Commercial buildings need chimneys for the release of gases that are produced by the HVAC system. Exhaust pipes are also required to allows gases to be released that are produced by the building’s plumbing system. At each point on the roof where the pipes stick out, there can be weak areas that can result in leaks.

There are sealant options available that help to strengthen these areas. For example, there is a boot that offers a direct seal. On average, it lasts for 25 years. However, it will eventually need to be replaced – and a leak may just be the sign of that. In addition, the boot is secured with a tar sealant. This tar sealant needs to be inspected on a yearly basis since it can require replacement much sooner.

Maintenance and Repairs

As a general rule, flat roofs can last a lifetime. However, this is only if the property owner takes proper care of the roof. Without proper maintenance and repairs when needed, problems are going to arise, such as leaks.

One example of a maintenance task that needs to be performed on an annual basis is the spreading of gravel. This is because winds, rain, snow and ice will cause the gravel to become displaced. This gravel is meant to protect the roofing material, which is designed to last as long as the building when properly maintained.

When these maintenance tasks are not kept up with, your roof is unable to protect the building and it leads to leaks and other issues.

Physical Damage

There are instances when a limb from a nearby tree can fall on the roof puncturing a hole in the roof and allowing water to seep inside the building or when the roof can sustain significant hail damage from a severe thunderstorm. Usually, this type of damage is covered under your property insurance. Regardless, the roof will require a replacement.

If you have a flat roof on your commercial building, it is important that you know how to properly take care of it or at least enlist the help of a professional roofing company who can take care of routine maintenance and bigger problems when necessary for you. Contact Magnolia Group GC to talk about your commercial roofing needs today.