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  • 6 Maintenance Tips for Commercial Flat Roofs Owners

    Commercial Flat Roofs

     

    Step 1- Take a Core Sample

     

    Core sampling a commercial flat roof involves physically removing a portion of the roof membrane and insulation layers to learn about the composition and condition of roofing system components.

     

    Core samples may be square or round and range from a couple of inches in diameter to several square feet in size. The core samples provide the elements of the roof system and their condition, to be diagnosed.

     

    This allows a professional to analyze the different layers on your flat roof system and determine if any issues are taking place at this time.

     

    Step 2- Interior and Exterior Inspection

     

    A good roof inspection will most likely include a full survey of the building’s interior and exterior, including walls and drainage systems. Inspectors look for cracks on exterior walls, stained or displaced flashing.

     

    The interior walls should be checked for stains or discoloration which can be signs of roof failure. The roof surface will be evaluated for obvious signs of issues such as cracks or gaps in the membrane which can lead water leakage and structural damage.

     

    Step 3- Making sure the scupper and downspouts are clear of debris

     

    Gutter and roof drainage systems are an important part of all roofing systems, but they are often overlooked when it comes to proper maintenance and care. Their key role is to effectively remove water and debris from the rooftop to prevent water from infiltrating the building.

     

    Debris may be the culprit for many types of damage if they are not properly maintained. Inspect and clean the roof drainage system at least twice a year, during the spring and fall. If there is a history of clogs from tree leaves, inspections should be conducted more frequently.

     

    Check for long-term standing water in gutters. If there are no blockages but standing water is still occurring, this is a sign the gutter is not properly sloped to the downspout to remove the water away from the building.

     

    Step 4- Ensuring Proper Flashing

     

    Making sure there is adequate flashing so that there is an acceptable barrier between the roofing system and water. Flashing is used to protect against seepage of rainwater gaining access to the underneath portions of the roof which are susceptible to rot and decay. The area of the roof where flashing will be installed is also the factor into what type of flashing material is used.  It can be any place that requires additional protection, such as around vents, chimneys, skylights, and roof valleys.

     

    Step 5- Seal All the Roof Penetrations

     

    Sealing all roof penetrations such as heating and A/C units, utility pips, signs, machinery screens and/or safety railings that create holes in the roofing system. These holes and penetrations leave your rooftop vulnerable to leaks unless sealed properly with the correct sealant for each situation.

     

    Creating a strong and effective waterproof seal on these roof penetrations is an important step in maintaining the integrity of a flat roof and often the most overlooked cause.

     

    Step 6- Repair Nail Pops & Seams

     

    Repair nail pops, seam separations, tears or punctures with appropriate product and installation methods is important. In fact, nail pops are one of the most common causes of roof leaks.

     

    A nail pushing through means a broken piece of roofing, and the more nail pops, the greater the chances of a leaking roof. These holes will always lead to water leaking into your building and causing larger issues.

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