Why Flat Roof Drainage Problems Can Lead To Leaks

flat roof drainage problems Premier Roofing responds to numerous service calls regarding flat roof leaks in the DC area and its surprising that with majority of them, there’s nothing seriously wrong. The issue is that no one has cleaned their gutters or flat roof drains in a long time and debris has collected over the years. Clogged drains on a flat roof will allow water to sit for a longer period of time, giving it more opportunities to seep into your home or commercial building.

A flat roof is not entirely flat, or atleast shouldn’t be. The roof should be slightly sloped towards the draining points. If flat roof drains are clogged with debris, stormwater will start to pond and over time will create divots in the roof material. Causing sagging that will continue to allow water to accumulate. This could potentially create enough pressure to where the roof will cave in and collapse if there’s not enough support. It’s at this point where the damages may be too extreme for a repair and a flat roof replacement may have to be done.

Flat Roof Repair vs Replacement

The course of action you take with your flat roof problems pivots directly with why it’s leaking. If your flat roofing is less than 15 years old and is leaking because of a puncture in the membrane. Then a flat roof repair may be all your home needs. Now, if a flat roof is over 15 years old and water is leaking throughout the home or building. An immediate repair is necessary but you will want to get ready to replace it. When in need of any and all roofing services be sure to hire a professional roof contractor. Now keep in mind that the average cost to replace a flat roof is going to be significantly more expensive than a repair. But the last thing you as a homeowner will want to do is get stuck in paying for a constant loop of repairs. The cost of a roof replacement will be a better long term solution for your wallet and home. 

Top 4 Reasons Why Flat Roofs Leak

Flat Roof Drainage Problems

  1. Roofing Penetrations – including chimneys, vents, air conditioning units are the most common leaky areas. If you a roof that is less than 15 years old, re-sealing or flashing around the penetrations may cure the leaks.
  2. Ponding Water – When water starts to pool on your flat roofing system, it can be caused by one of two things. Either over time the roof has settled in a way where the membrane has sunk-in. Or the drainage system is not efficiently designed shed water off the roofing system. Roofs are not bathtubs, they are not 100% waterproof. If water stands on the roof long enough it will seep into the structure. If debris is blocking the gutters, downspouts and drains, water will back up on the roof and enter the structure as well. Whatever the case may be, you will need to contact a flat roofing specialist ASAP. Sometimes repairing a roof may be as easy as cleaning your drains.
  3. Damaged Membrane – If the flat roof on your home is made of a single-ply membrane, it is vulnerable to damage that is caused by either heavy foot traffic, standing water, weather and age related wear and tear. A damaged membrane will allow water to enter through the insulation, causing a more serious leak.
  4. Poor Structural Design of The Roof – If the framing in a flat roof system is not properly designed, the roof will start to sag and collapse in areas where there’s not enough support. Often times this will lead to standing and ponding water. Roof grading problems will require hiring an engineer and are very complicated and expensive to fix. If a roof has grading issues neither roof repair or replacement will correct the problem. A roof that does not drain properly will always leak.


How To Find A Qualified Flat Roofer

Qualified Flat Roofer In The DC Metro AreaWhen trying to find a qualified roofer for a job, be sure to do your research. There are 10 different kinds of flat roofs commonly found on homes in the DC Metro Area. The advantages of TPO make it the most popular flat roof installation in the Washington DC area. Repairing an existing flat roof requires that the roofer can recognize the material on top of your roof and they know how to successfully repair it. The average exterior contractor will take on the job of repairing or replacing any flat roof because they want to get paid and don’t care what the outcome is. With the most popular roof in the DC Metro Area being asphalt shingle installations, majority of roofing companies are not experienced far beyond that. Premier Roofing Solutions has different crews specialized for all roofing systems. Our slate roof replacement and repair team will never touch a flat roofing system. And vice versa. Installing a quality and efficient flat roofing system is not going to be cheap. So if you’re window shopping and looking for the cheapest price, you’ll end up hiring an inexperienced general contractor. Which they will have a great sales pitch and the finished job will look great to the untrained eye. But 5 years down the road you will start to experience issues. 

Flat Roof Leaks Can Be Difficult To Find

Let’s hope if your flat roof is leaking, that it can repaired. Flat roof repair cost are always less expensive than replacement. When it comes to a roof that is flat, sometimes the most difficult part of repairing the roof is actually locating the source. Because flat roofs have a slow slope, water is able to travel a long distance under the membrane before finally making its way into your home or commercial building. With a correct and proper installation, flat roof can last approximately 20 years, but after 15 years, repair costs can mushroom.

Premier Roofing Solutions Specializes in Flat Roof Repairs and Replacements   

At Premier Roofing, we know how stressful it can be when your experiencing problems with your flat roof. Contact us regarding any flat roof issues you may be having. Our specialized flat roof team will identify exactly where and what the issue is and make sure you dont not have to worry about anymore roofing problems in the foreseeable future.