Flat roofs are very common in commercial buildings. While there are advantages to flat rooftops, maintaining flat roofs in winter can be difficult. Flat rooftops aren't designed to drain water or handle heavy loads of snow. During the winter when snow and rain is common, flat roofs can easily develop leaks, leading to costly roofing repair. These tips will help you maintain your flat roof this winter, so you can avoid leaks and water damage.
Clear Away Heavy Snowfall
Heavy snowfall—especially wet snow—can be very weighty. This puts a lot of pressure on rooftops, and this is especially true of flat roofs. In some cases, large loads of heavy wet snow can even cause rooftops to collapse. Clearing away heavy, wet snow is a part of maintaining a flat roof. Unfortunately, snow-covered rooftops can be slippery, and snow can be difficult to lift and transport. Snow clearing is a dangerous and difficult job that is best left to professionals. To have the snow removed from your flat roof, contact snow removal specialists in your area.
Keep the Roof and Drains Cleared of Leaves
In late fall and early winter, leaves from nearby trees can gather on your roof and clog the drains. These drainage pipes are meant to clear melting snow and rain, preventing leaks from occurring. When drainage pipes get clogged, rain water and melting snow can pool on your roof. To maintain the drains and prevent clogs, clear the leaves on a regular basis.
Start by raking up the leaves and clearing them from the drainage cover. Gather the leaves and put them in a garbage bag.
If there is standing water around the drainage opening, this means that there is a clog inside the pipe. Remove the cover and use a hand auger to puncture the clog. Once the clog is cleared, flush the pipe with a jet of water before replacing the cover.
Inspect the Caulking and Flashing
The caulking and flashing will generally be the weakest, most vulnerable places on your roof. Inspect the caulking and flashing at the same time that you check the drainage pipes for clogs. Rusty and degrading flashing will need to be replaced. If you find damaged flashing, contact a roofing repair professional as soon as possible.
Deteriorating caulking can be fixed with a fresh coat of caulking. Use a scraper to clear away the old caulking, then apply a new bead of caulking in the same places.
These steps should be performed on a regular basis throughout the winter. Performing this regular maintenance will help you keep your roof in good shape, free from leaks.