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How to maintain a flat roof

Flat roof maintenance: our guide to keeping your flat roof in good condition 

Flat roofs have developed a bad reputation in the past for being prone to developing faults, including leaking, sagging, ponding and plant growth. However, flat roofs, which are a cost effective option and easier to maintain compared to traditional pitched roofs, can last for up to 50 years when properly looked after. 

If you have a flat roof, then keeping it in a good state of repair is essential to ensuring its longevity and avoiding costly restoration in the future.

How often should I check my flat roof?

You should regularly check your flat roof for signs of wear and tear at least twice a year during spring and autumn. This will give you a chance to see any imperfections and make the necessary repairs before weather conditions change. It is also advisable to check for leaks and other damage following storms, strong winds or snow.

What should I look for when I am checking my flat roof?

When checking your flat roof you should look for signs of splitting, blistering, ponding (i.e. puddles forming on the surface) and movement. Most flat roofs are covered in felt so it is important to check for damage that could cause long term problems to the roof itself or damage to your property if left unattended. If you find a fault with your fault roof then it is vital you give it your full attention and make arrangements to carry out the necessary work as soon as possible.

How do I repair my flat roof?

Depending on the issue there are various things you will need to do to get your roof back to looking its best. Some tasks will be simple to carry out yourself while others will require the help of a roofing professional. 

What do I do if my flat roof is splitting?

Splitting occurs when the felt or asphalt material covering the flat roof cracks or tears. Without repairs a split roof will allow water to get into the cracks and cause damage, leaking and damp to your property.

Fortunately, repairing a split is generally quick and simple. To fix a split in your roof, remove the area of material that is damaged, clean underneath and, once dry, replace with a new section of material, such as Moditorch Glass Fibre Roof Felt, using adhesive. We recommend choosing an adhesive suitable for flat roof repairs like Black Jack Roofing Felt Adhesive.

What do I do if my flat roof is blistering?

Blistering on a flat roof is usually caused by excessive heat so it is most likely to occur during the warmer months. If you have noticed your flat roof has started to blister, you will need to replace the affected area in the same way you would if your roof has started to split. 

However, it is important to ensure the material is properly weatherproof to prevent the same problem from happening again. In this instance, it is a good idea to ask a professional to undertake the work on your behalf to make sure moisture doesn’t become trapped underneath and cause blisters in the future.

What do I do if my flat roof is ponding?

If your roof is building up puddles of water on the surface then it is most likely that the drainage system has a problem. Left unattended, ponding will cause deep indents in the roof. Stains and watermarks will also become visible inside the property. 

First check the drains and guttering on your roof for debris, removing anything you find, such as leaves. If this doesn’t solve the issue it may be that you need additional drains installed or your roof slope needs repairing or building up to allow water to drain off more efficiently.  

Whether you’re working on a construction project or making home improvements, we can help. For more information about our products, get in touch and our friendly team will be happy to assist you.