Flat roofs are a fairly common roofing choice for commercial constructions. Flat roofs are relatively inexpensive making them an ideal choice for building owners. On top of improving the aesthetic appeal of many building designs, flat roofs are actually quite durable and resistant to environmental factors that lead to roof damage such as hail and wind. Flat roofs also give ample space for solar panels, air conditioning units, and even rooftop gardens.
The one challenge for having a flat roof is drainage. Slanted roofs allow water to drain automatically but in the case of a flat roof, a built-in drainage system must be put in place to help with moisture and debris removal. Failure to ensure proper drainage in flat roofs may lead to leaks and even structural damage to the building.
Poor drainage on flat roofs leads to the following problems:
Below are drainage alternatives for flat roofs:
This type of drainage works in a similar manner as the drain in your shower or sink. The drains are installed in the roof where most water is collected. The water is led into a system of pipes installed below the roof. The liquid then travels through these pipes and is dispensed into a gutter or downspouts away from the side of the building.
Interior drains have the following advantages:
Interior drains have their disadvantages. They are a very expensive system to install and while they are not easily susceptible to damage, any damage that occurs will require you to call an expert.
This is a choice for many houses and commercial buildings. Gutters catch water as it rolls off the edge of the roof and diverts it into a downspout which in turn safely dispense it away from the building’s foundation.
Gutters are the most affordable drainage solution for flat roofs. Gutters direct runoff away from windows and doors. People approaching your building in bad weather will not be inundated by water coming from your roof.
Many builders will, however, avoid installing gutters due to several potential problems:
These are perhaps the most effective solution for flat roofs. This is a drainage system that involves large square openings along the edge of the roof. These shoot water away from the side of the building. It is common to install downspouts directly below these openings to collect the water and drain it away from the building.
Scuppers offer a budget-friendly option for roof drainage. Scuppers are also easy to maintain and rarely get clogged with debris. They may even enhance the aesthetic appeal of your home or building.
Scuppers have several disadvantages:
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Roofing is an essential aspect of any house, and it is a good idea to ensure it is in the best possible condition. Replacing and repairing the roof is more expensive compared to other things like flooring and plumbing. A good roof should be able to last for a long time, and the longer it lasts, the more money you save.
Having to replace your roofing within a few years will prove to be very expensive. You should be aware of a few ways you can ensure your roofing last long and saves you a lot in the process. Below are some great tips that will go a long way in helping you increase the life of your roof.
Often homeowners opt not to do an inspection and will only do something about their roofing when there is a problem. Of course, many roofing problems can be quickly repaired, but it can shorten the lifespan of the roof in the process. You should always do regular inspections to identify any problem with the roofing and have them fixed within the shortest time possible.
The process of inspecting the roofing is not complicated; you just need a ladder. If you don’t feel comfortable climbing a ladder or don’t find time to do it, consider hiring a roofing company to do it for you. Check for both interior and exterior damage, leaks, mold, wear, structural problems, and rot. When you find a problem, have it fixed because the longer you wait, the more expensive it will be to repair and also shorten the life of your roofing.
Poor attic ventilation has been shown to cause some problems with premature aging of a roof. In the summer months, the temperatures in attics that don’t have proper ventilation will reach 160 degrees. Air that is this hot can easily penetrate the insulation of the attic, and make it hard to keep the home cool. This can result in damage to your paint and wallpaper on the floor directly below. The hot air can also ‘’fry’’ the shingles and cause them to decay more rapidly, and the rafter that holds the roof can become weak by cracking and warping.
During the winter, many household appliances such as showers, bathtubs, and cooking vapors can easily cause the buildup of excess moisture. If the attic hasn’t been adequately ventilated, it will cause the moisture to build up and cling under the roofing. It will then condense and fall, which ends up soaking the insulation of the attic.
Asphalt shingle roofs that are consistently shaded from the sun can attract the growth of algae that will feed off the microscopic particles that are in limestone, used in the manufacturing of shingles. Roof cleaning should be done professionally. It will protect the shingles which in turns increase the life of the roof. Cleaning will also improve efficiency because the darker the roof the more heat it generates.
An average roof lasts about 25 years or more. Some can last for a century, but once a roof gets to the end of its useful life, a homeowner can see some signs of damage. This is ordinary wear and tear for an old roof, but for a roof that is still in its prime, there are three main types of damage that can either ruin it or leave you with a steep bill.
Most people work to keep leaks from happening in their plumbing but never forget about the roof. The roof is as susceptible to leaks as the plumbing is. Lost shingles can result in leaks occurring. If you see any, and you should inspect your roof a few times a year, you need to replace them quickly. If the problem is left to worsen, it can cause such extensive leaks that the repairs could be about $12000.
Visual inspections of the roof are all it takes to see if there are any missing shingles or tiles. When you are cleaning your gutters, this is an excellent time to look for missing shingles. Look for missing or damaged flashing, too. Flashing is plastic that wraps around the chimney and the roof’s surface. If it is damaged or missing, it can lead to massive leaks as well as substantial repair bills. Damages that are bad enough will warrant getting an entirely new roof, so always make it a point to take the time to inspect your roof at least a few times a year.
This type of damage is done when the wind blows material off the roof. This can happen if a roofing company failed to install the roof’s flashing correctly. It can also occur when the roof has been exposed to high winds or severe rain. If blown off shingles or flashing are left, they can cause more damage and that result in needing to replace the roof.
If you have experienced a severe storm, check your roof as soon as the storm is over. Check the wood panels in your attic to be sure there are no signs of mold or leaks. If you see bubbling paint on walls or stains on the ceiling, these indicate leaks. Get the problem fixed soon or the repair will be extremely costly.
Punctures are relatively hard to see from the ground or even when you are near the roof cleaning a gutter. These tiny holes are usually the result of damage during the installation process. The reason these small holes can end up being the huge problem is that they are relatively inexpensive and straightforward to fix.
These holes may even still be covered under your warranty. If you let them go, the problem can void your warranty. Get them fixed before they lead to leaks, too. Contact your roofing experts for a through inspection at least once a year, so your minor repairs do not end up becoming huge and expensive.