Top 8 Flat Roofing Questions in August


1.      What is the best flat roof?

There’s no such thing as the best flat roof, each option has it’s own strengths and weaknesses, to help answer this question we have put together a list of key benefits and limitations for some of the most popular flat roofing systems.

EPDM Rubber Roofing

This is typically best for ease of installation and usually comes with a long guarantee, it is low maintenance and long-lasting and can be purchased in one sheet from some flat roofing companies. The downside to EPDM roofing though is that it is not suitable for foot traffic and due to the thickness of the membrane, can be easily punctured.

GRP Fiberglass Roofing

This type of roofing is tough with an impact-resistant finish, it is give’s the job a clean look and is also suitable for foot traffic, sound good? Not always, it is not the easiest material to install and is usually prone to cracking over time, turning the stunning roof into something a bit less easy on the eye.

Cold-Liquid Repair Solutions

Most likely to need a good few coats before being completely waterproof, this is instant waterproof protection, can be applied onto most flat roof surfaces even in damp conditions, unless installed by a professional team though this option tends to be a short term fix only.

2.      How do flat roofs drain?

Flat roofs are usually flat, if built correctly flat-roof looks horizontal but should have a slope of at least ¼ inch per foot. This allows water to drain in a certain direction to where you will usually find a strategically placed drain pipe.

3.      Should water sit on a flat roof?

This links back to question 2, short-term the answer can be yes but over a long period it’s not suitable for the water to sit on a flat roof for long periods, this is because it can usually cause a build-up of silt, this can be damaging to the membrane if it freezes during those winter months, however, you should expect to see smaller pools of water that will come and go depending on the weather, you will normally see pools of water on EPDM roofing due to the natural bubbles that can form after being glued to the roof.

4.      How do you stop a flat roof from leaking?

Depending on the type of waterproofing the flat roofing has, there are a few ways of stopping the leak, firstly you need to find out where it is coming from, below are some of the most common places to look:

·      Cracks and splits

·      Joints and overlaps

·      Around vents/roof lights

· Screw/bolt holes

·      Lead Flashings

·      Change in angles

·      Parapet walls

For smaller domestic leaks, the use of a flexible waterproof coating is usually enough to fix the leak, however, anything bigger and the best advice is to contact a professional flat roofing company. Do not forget you might not need to regudo anything, make sure you dig out your warranty to see if you are already covered for leaks.

5.      Are flat roofs bad?

Flat roofs have their place just as much as a pitched roof, and if installed correctly should give you many a trouble-free year. Saying that though, flat roof generally requires more maintenance over the years usually if the surface is being constantly disturbed and damaged by people walking over it. For those roofs that go untouched for many a year though, a flat roof should give you no issues whatsoever.

6.      How long do flat roofs last?

If installed correctly and by professional roofers then a flat roof should last for at least 20 years, and that is usually the minimum guarantee you will get. However, a roof covered in EPDM for example can last up to 50 years.

7.      What are the advantages of a flat roof?

Installation of flat roofing is usually quicker and easier with fewer damage and repair costs over the lifespan of the roof, a flat roof can also increase your outdoor useable space, and with green roofing becoming ever more popular, your roof can soon become your relaxing go-to area

8.      How often should you replace a flat roof?

Depending on the material that is currently being used on the roof, the need to replace a flat roof can be non-existent, with a guarantee from materials such as Prelasti EPDM and Protan PVC usually at least 20 years, you can rest easy knowing that although we age year after year, your roof will still look as good as the first year it was laid. Flat roofs with older materials though such as felt, will need to be monitored regularly and if the time comes that it stops performing as it should, it may be time to start thinking about that roof replacement.