So what can you do to prevent flat roof leaks and other problems before winter arrives?
Clean Debris Off the Roof
Leaves, branches, and twigs can prevent proper flat roof drainage by inhibiting access to roof downspouts. They also encourage water to pool on your roof, which increases the chances of that water finding its way into your home. To combat this problem, sweep your roof clear of debris, while being very careful not to apply pressure. Pressure can damage the membrane of your roof or damage the protective coating.
Clean Out Drains and Pipes
You should remove debris from flat roof drains by hand. Flat roof drains can also be cleaned by removing the drain hub and using a garden hose to spray the downspout clean. This will eliminate minor buildups, and plumber’s snakes can usually take care of more difficult clogs. Keep water from collecting on your roof during heavy rains or snow melts.
Trim Overhanging Limbs and Branches
That overhanging tree may not seem to pose much of a threat in the warm seasons, but broken branches and even twigs can cause damage to your roof’s water protection. These problems only get worse when snow and ice start to weigh down branches in winter. Cutting back branches will also reduce the amount of debris you have to clean.
Give Your Flat Roof a Thorough Inspection
Different flat roof options will present different challenges, but there are still several basic things to look for. Look inside your home for any signs of previous water damage. Check your roof’s caulking for any cracks, look for unusual puddling that could indicate week areas, and keep an eye out for cracked or bumpy surfaces. You should also look for blisters, the mushy water pockets that form between roofing layers, and get them repaired before winter hits.
If you’re not sure what to look for, contact a roofing repair contractor for assistance.