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Roof Repair

Flat Roof Repair: The Best Roofing Materials To Use

Flat roof repair can be tricky when there are a lot of factors to consider and roofing materials to choose from. Read the detailed guide below to help you.

There’s a lot of reasons why you should have a flat roof installed on your home. They’re perfect for home extensions, in areas where people may have to access them. They’re often cheaper too, perfect if you’re trying to control costs. Plus, they have a much more contemporary look. If you have a flat roof though, you will need to watch out for some common problems.

Here’s how to repair your flat roof, and see which materials are best for repairing damage.

Flat Roofing Materials

Even before you have your flat roof installed, you should think about the materials used in making it. This will affect the longevity of your roof, and how you go about repairing it.

Here are the most common materials used in creating these roofs.

EPDM: EPDM stands for Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer, and is a popular roofing choice. This roofing material can be installed in one piece without the need for joins, depending on the size of the roof. Plus, it’s highly lightweight and elastic. These can last up to 50 years if installed properly.

GRP: GRP roofing, or Glass Reinforced Polyester roofing, is another popular choice. This is an option that works well for complex shapes, as it’s easily cut to the right shape for your roof. It’s also designed to be installed at varying temperatures, so you’ll get the best result when you have it installed. Again, this should last for at least 50 years.

Bitumen Felt: This is the classic roofing material for flat roofs, and is still a good choice for many home owners. This is installed in a ‘pour and roll’ method, where the bitumen is heated up in a boiler and poured onto the substrate. Layers of membrane are also placed between layers of bitumen, to create the perfect roofing material.

Modified Bitumen: This is also known as ‘torch on’ felt. It comes in a roll format, and is laid out over the roof. Then, a torch is used to heat it to the correct temperature and affix it to your roof.

Single Ply Membranes: These are a variety of materials, such as PVC, TPO and TPE. They’re lightweight and flexible, making them perfect for slopes and large areas. They’re also highly fire resistant, something that you’ll be looking for in a roofing material.

Green roofs: Something that’s becoming more popular is the green roof, where a layer of vegetation is placed on the roof. It looks amazing, and is fantastic for the environment. They also help reduce noise pollution in your home, and create habitats for insects and butterflies.

Which should you choose? It’s very much up to you as the home owner. You’ll have to take into consideration the size and shape of your roof, the cost of the materials, and the longevity of the roofing material.

For example, if you want to save some cash and are happy to have a roof that last around 20 years, then a torch on roof will be perfect for you. But, if you want to get a roof that lasts longer, and will be resistant to leaks and growth, then the EPDM roofing material will be better for you.

How to Repair Your Flat Roof

No matter how well your flat roof was installed, there may be some problems that you have to deal with.

Here’s how to repair common issues and keep your roof in good condition.

Leaks and Water Damage: These are by far the most common issues you’ll have with a flat roof. While most flat roofs aren’t actually totally flat and allow for drainage, some do fall victim to ‘ponding’. This is when when water stands on the flat roof. That’s a problem, as the water will escape at some point, and that’s going to be into the roof structure. This leads to wood rot and damage, and water stains on your ceilings and walls.

To repair the leak, you will need to find where it’s originating from. You can get on the roof and look for a tear or hole in the material, as that will usually be where the water is coming in. Once you’ve found it, you can seal it up or use a roof patching kit to seal up the hole. If the damage is too great, consider having the roof replaced.

Debris Damage: If debris makes its way onto your roof, it can cause all kinds of damage. For example, a falling branch can punch a hole in the roof. Fallen leaves will collect in gutters, allowing water to back up and again lead to ponding. You want to avoid these issues if at all possible.

Trim back trees, so they don’t pose a danger to the roof. Clear your gutters regularly, or install a gutter guard so water can still flow freely away from the roof. If you inspect your roofing regularly, you can avoid these problems before they even happen.

Rusted or Missing Nails: Some roofing types will require nails to hold them onto the roof. Over time, they can become rusty or come out of the roof, leaving entry holes for water. Again, inspections are the best way to tackle this. Get up and take a look at the roof. If you see any nails that are rusty or missing, replace them so water can’t get into the roof.

Vegetation on the Roof: Growing vegetation is a problem on any roof type, but it often happens on flat roofs. Mildew and moss are commonly found growing if the roof is often wet, so this is what you’ll need to tackle if you find it on your roof. Check your drainage, and ensure that the roof has enough of an angle to drain properly.

Conclusion

With these tips, you’ll be able to pick the best roofing material for your flat roof, and fix any issues you have with them. If you’re ever unsure, talk to a roofing professional so you know exactly what needs to be done.


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Categories
Maintenance Tips

Roof Damage To Look Out For This Fall

It’s scary to think the roof over your head may be deteriorating due to the changing weather conditions. This fall, take a moment to look out for roof damage. Here’s a guide to help.

Fall is here, and that means many things for homeowners. There are cozy fireplaces to curl up in front of, leaves to rake up from the lawn, and steaming mugs of cocoa to drink.

However, have you thought about how the fall weather will affect your roof? It may not be obvious, but there are a few things you will need to look out for. This guide will help you spot issues before they arise, put in preventative measures, and help you keep your roof sturdy through the season.

Roof Damage That Can Happen in the Fall

The change in weather can mean a few different issues for your roof. Here are a few of the problems that can occur once the weather starts getting cooler:

  • Mold and mildew: Once the weather starts turning, you can see a lot more rain in the forecast. If your roof isn’t entirely watertight, this spells mold and mildew issues for your roof. These can cause your roof timbers to rot, damaging the structure of the roof.
  • Leaves and other debris: Once the leaves start falling from the trees, they can start ending up on your roof and in your gutters. When this happens, they will trap in moisture, leading to mold as mentioned above.
  • Damage to the roof: If there are storms or bad weather, there can be damage to your roof. This can happen if tiles are pulled loose thanks to high winds, or tree limbs falling onto the building.

These are all issues that can easily be avoided, but can cause a lot of damage if you leave them too long.

Take Care of Your Flat Roofs

Flat roofs are a great look on many homes, but in the fall they can be susceptible to damage. The biggest issue can be the ‘ponding’ of water after a storm. This is when water collects on the roof, and sits. When this happens, the water can cause splitting in the membrane, and cause the edges of the membrane to start peeling away. As this happens, you’ll see that more damage to the roof’s internal structure will happen.

Maintaining Your Roof During the Fall Season

These issues sound worrying, but in fact they’re simple to correct if you take some preventative measures. Here’s what you can do to keep your roof in good condition during the fall:

  • Clear your roof and gutters: Debris will fall on your roof no matter what you do, but keeping it clear will stop any damage happening. The basic rule is that you should clear your roof and gutters twice a year, but if you’re suffering storms or other bad weather, it’s a good idea to get up there as needed and clear the debris.
  • Protect your gutters: Overflowing gutters can lead to water damage to your roof, but this is very easy to maintain. Buy a guttering protector from your local hardware store, and install it. This can look like a mesh to sit over the top of it, or a brush that sits in the gutter. Neither of these will stop rain water washing down, but they will block out leaves and other debris.
  • Trim surrounding trees: If there are trees near your home, the leaves on them can drop directly onto your roof and into your gutters. As well as this, loose branches can fall off and cause damage too. The best way to avoid this happening is to trim these trees back as you move into the fall. The further away the branches are, the less damage they can do.
  • Watch out for animals: As the weather starts getting colder, animals can start looking to nest in your warm roof space. If they get in, they can cause a serious amount of damage. If you find they have made their way in, have them evicted and then block up the holes they were getting in and out with.
  • Check the roof tiles: The state of your roof tiles can tell you a lot about the state of your roof. Take a look at them, and see what condition they’re in. For example, are they cupping, flaking, or even missing? Now can be a good time to replace them, and avoid water from getting in underneath them and causing more damage.
  • Maintain flat roofs: If you have a flat roof, it’ll be harder for water to roll off as it would with a sloped one. Get up regularly and brush water off the roof, to avoid it pooling and causing damage to the membranes. This is especially important after storms, as the water or snow can do a lot of damage if it’s left on the roof.

Repairing or Replacing Your Roof

If there is already damage to your existing roof, then now could be the perfect time to repair or replace it. The conditions during fall are perfect for this, as the temperature is optimal and it’s likelier to be drier. Many people decide to get their roofs mended in the spring or summer, but wet weather can put a stop to it. Also, many roofers often move onto other jobs in this season, or go on vacation.

Getting your roof mended or replaced in the fall is also a good idea as it’s the perfect time to tune up your roof for the winter. You can solve any problems before the real cold weather sets in and causes you problems later on. When you have the roofing in order, you’ll find it much easier to keep the heat in your home when the weather gets colder. It’ll help you lower your heating bills, too.

Final Thought

As you can see, if your roof is left unattended, a lot of damage can happen thanks to the fall weather. If you are careful though, and keep on top of the maintenance needed, you can keep your roof in top condition well into the winter. Make sure you pay attention to your roof, and give it the TLC it needs.