Flat roofs aren’t unique when it comes to commercial buildings, but for homes, up until recently they’ve been somewhat rare. Flat roofs are becoming a popular choice for homeowners and developers building new homes with a more modern appeal. But, with flat roofs come different methods of care and repair. Here are some things to take into consideration before you tackle a repair on a flat roof.
Repairing a Flat Roof is Generally Not the Best Option
When you’ve got a roof leak, anyone’s first instinct would be to patch it. You think about the costs and how you can minimize them. But, once the full scope of the problem is revealed, a simple, inexpensive repair may be out of the question. When you have a flat roof and you discover a water stain in your ceiling, this is a sign that your roof has been leaking for quite a while as it is the last stage of a leak. This means that the water completely soaked the roof deck, rafters, and insulation before it became visible on the ceiling. If you decide to patch the roof to save money, a more serious problem will remain. All that moisture will be trapped under your roof where it will cause the structure to rot.
After a series of ineffective repairs, most homeowners get sick of throwing away money and get a new roof. They’ll likely choose a different type of flat roof, made with different materials from a different manufacturer. But, unless informed decisions are made, the roof’s inherent problems will be the same.
Here’s a hypothetical scenario for you:
A new EPDM rubber roof is installed, but a year later it’s leaking like gangbusters. Several repairs are made, including the removal of a skylight, to stop the leaks but they persist, mainly near a cylindrical air vent. Due to the shape of the roof, large pools of standing water form quite frequently, and because EPDM is not designed to withstand ponding water, it is slowly leaking through failing seams as well as failing flashing near the vent.
No matter how many times this roof is repaired, the leaks will continue because the material isn’t the right match.
In this case, we would install a new, single-ply membrane from IB Roof Systems. IB’s systems come with pre-made pipe flashings, which would eliminate the leak around the vent. It would also prevent ponding water, and the welded seams would keep the roof permanently watertight. Not only that, but the cool roof properties of an IB roof would also make the home more energy-efficient.
This choice really is a no-brainer for any homeowner, because IB also offers the best lifetime residential warranty you can find. You’ll be 100% covered for as long as you own the home.
If you’re considering flat roof repairs, contact Pacific West Roofing today to discuss your options! Call us today at 503-635-8706