When a flat roof starts to leak, many people will simply think water is pooling on top of the building. But standing water is just one of many factors that can contribute to a leaky flat roof.
That being said, it is a good idea to check for leaks and pooling water on a flat roof after heavy rains. As a roof settles and changes shape over time, the chances of standing water increase. Standing water puts extra pressure on the roof and deteriorates the roofing materials.
Many issues may result from a settling and aging roof: flashing leaks, buckling, or alligatoring. Yes, alligatoring.
Flashing is the material used to seal off the area between any flat roof surface and any non-flat surface on the roof. Basically, it covers the gaps and cracks at the edges of things on your roof. Over time, a roof’s flashing may start to pull away, peel up, crack, or tear which can lead to leaks and moisture seeping into the building below.
Buckling relates to the asphalt membrane of the roof, and it’s another issue that arises due to excessive movement from a settling roof over time. As a roof gets older, the asphalt membrane may wrinkle or buckle. A buckled roof is not a healthy roof, and it’s a sign that your roof needs maintenance.
This happens when asphalt used on a roof wears out and starts to crack and bubble and take on an appearance that resembles the bumpy skin of an alligator. A roof alligator can’t bite you, but if you ignore the issue, it will certainly feel painful one way or another.
A professionally installed flat roof can last anywhere from 15 to 30 years. But there are obviously many factors that can impact the health of your roof. High amounts of rain, wind, ice, hail, and flying debris will eventually harm any roof.
The best approach to prevent leaks in a flat roof is to monitor the status of your roof. If you are concerned by something you see as a potential problem, have leaking issues, want to start a maintenance program, or just have some questions, feel free to contact us for a consultation.