How to maintain your flat roof

Just like any other part of your house, your flat roof must be maintained in order to prevent it from falling into disrepair. If you don’t look after it, you risk damaging your home and losing a lot of money in the process.

It’s not difficult to maintain your roof; by carrying out small tasks on a regular basis, you’ll ensure it lasts for years to come. Here are the problems to look out for and how you can prevent them:

What to look out for

Flat roofs are vulnerable to three problems in particular: splitting, blistering and flashing defects. It is paramount that you’re able to recognise these issues early on, so they can be solved as soon as possible. If you leave them to get worse, you may be left severely out of pocket. View all the problems on our roofing repair and maintenance page

Looking after your flat roof

Prevention is better than cure, so goes the saying, and this is true with flat roofing too. There are a number of things you can do to ensure your roof stays strong and in tip-top condition, and the majority of them you can do yourself. However, it is worth noting a professional is always recommended, as they will be able to identify any serious issues you may have and fix them for you.

Keep your roof clean - Dirt, leaves, fallen tree limbs and other debris can build up on your roof over time. Since flat roofs are, well, flat, it’s important to ensure your drains and pipes are always clear, otherwise water ponding can become a problem. The longer you leave any debris on your roof, the more likely it is to cause structural damage, so remove it as soon as you’re able.

To prevent tree limbs falling on your roof, trim the dead parts of any trees near your home. Try to avoid walking on your roof when clearing it, as you could damage the surface and cause it to slant. Use a leaf blower to remove any light debris instead.

Check for ponding - As previously mentioned, drainage can be a real problem if you don’t keep your flat roof clear of dirt and leaves. If you let puddles of water build up, and don’t do anything to remove them, the constant saturation will damage your roof and eventually, the water will penetrate the surface. Always check for water ponding after a storm or heavy rainfall. You may want to recruit a professional to build up low areas of the roof to reduce the likelihood of ponding occurring.

Always check for water ponding after a storm or heavy rainfall. You may want to recruit a professional to build up low areas of the roof to reduce the likelihood of ponding occurring.

Winter Maintenance - Heavy snow should always be shovelled off your roof as soon as possible, as the extra weight can cause some serious damage to the structure. During the winter months, freeze thaw can occur. To check for this, look at the seams for any splits caused by expanded ice.

Don't forget the interior It’s not just the outside of your roof you should be checking for issues – you need to look at the interior too. Make sure your roof hasn’t been water damaged; study its interior for any dark water stains. If you spot any, you need to call in a professional to fix the problem.

Remember to keep an eye on your flat roof and sort any issues you see as soon as possible. Things like blisters should be checked for annually; small ones aren’t usually a problem, but the bigger blisters must be looked at immediately.

It’s also vital that your flashing is repaired straight away; otherwise you’ll have water leaking through your roof. If you can’t fix something yourself, or don’t feel comfortable getting on the roof, don’t be afraid to hire a professional to carry out the repairs for you.

man working on a flat roof


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Tel:02380 455 722

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Andrian Hoole(builder)

Members of Collier Roofing company are trained by International Construction Bureau Ltd- the leading supplier of quality products to the construction industry.