Flat roofs offer plenty of advantages for homes. They are cost effective, easily accessible, and can also be energy-efficient depending on the material used. Additionally, flat roofs offer the opportunity to utilise this space for other functions such as solar panels. While those that are well-designed and waterproof should no cause problems, some can be quite problematic and suffer leaks.
Due to this, it is vital that you quickly and correctly identify any problems when they go wrong. Here, we outline some common flat roof issues and solutions to these problems.
Parapet and Capping Details
Many flat roofs have a parapet, a low protective wall along the edge of a roof, bridge, or balcony. They bring with them many benefits such as protecting the entire roof from wind-uplift, improving building aesthetics, and hiding roofing materials including vents and drains. However, there are also some common issues that come with parapet and capping details. These include:
1) Water Getting In Between Roof Membrane – This can cause mould, bubbling, and rotting resulting in damage to the roof structure, reduction in the thermal efficiency of the insulation, and create a damp atmosphere. To guarantee this doesn’t happen, you should ensure the membrane is fitted right over the parapet wall.
2) Staining Ruining the Building’s Façade – If water has nowhere to go, it will often run down the side of the building. This can result in the building looking run down. To resolve this, you should ensure that there is a slope on top of the parapet and that a drip edge has been used to ensure that all water runoff falls away from the building.
3) Leaks – These can quickly ruin a parapet wall and can end up ruining a whole building if it is left unfixed. To prevent this from happening, you should ensure that the membranes are dressed completely over the parapet walls. Additionally, there should be roof edge trim along the outside of the parapet.
Ultimately, to reduce the chances of issues with parapet and capping detailing, it is vital that you are careful during the installation, using quality fittings as well as ensuring everything is well maintained by the building owner.
In comparison to pitched roofs, flat roofs don’t drain well. Due to this, they commonly develop ponding water (a puddle on the roof for over 48 hours). When the water remains there for a prolonged time, it can create stress on membrane and begin wearing it down and allowing moisture into the roof structure. This can ultimately result in a leak.
The best solution to ponding water is to be proactive and ensure regular maintenance of the roof. You should ensure the gutters and drains are well maintained as well as clearing any blockages as quickly as possible. You should also perforating waterproofing membrane such as Kemperol Liquid Waterproofing is used as this will provide long-term protection.
Lack of Maintenance
Finally, those with flat roofs need to ensure that they are regularly maintaining the roof. It is important to ensure that checks take place on a regular basis and so, at Laydex, we schedule regular maintenance on our flat roofs. You must also ensure that it is kept clean as debris is more likely to gather on flat roofs, resulting in blockages and drainage issues.
At Laydex, we supply the most comprehensive range of waterproofing roof systems in Ireland for commercial, industrial and domestic projects. In addition to providing the roofing contractor with high quality waterproofing solutions, we also offer extensive technical support from on-site roofing surveys to project specific full build up specification. We also have an approved installer network so you can rest assured that we will source a high-quality roofing contractor.
Contact us today and find out more about our flat roofing products and services.