Tag Archive for: flat roofing

Learn how to maintain your flat roof effectively with our comprehensive guide. We address common issues like leaks and water damage, offering practical tips for prevention. Regular inspections and proper drainage are key to safeguarding your roof. Consider PVC roofing for enhanced durability. Schedule professional inspections every six months for added reassurance. Trust Prestige Roofing in Las Vegas for all your flat roofing needs.

Here are some Topics we cover:

flat roof in sunny weather with skylights and hydro insulation membranes.

Flat roof with skylight and hydro insulation membranes

Flat roofs are found on commercial roofs as well as on some residential homes and apartment buildings. They are popular for their ability to provide easy roof access to employees and service providers for such things as HVAC, communications equipment, and solar panels. They are also popular for their relative affordability. Like all roofs, flat roofs can develop issues over time. Due to their constant exposure to the elements, flat roofs have less ability than sloped roofs to shed water and debris. This extra exposure can lead to issues with the roofing material, including those within flat roofing systems, that should be addressed. Here are some of the problems that can occur over time with a flat roof.

Watch for these Flat Roof Issues

flat roof being restored by working plasterer.

A working plasterer on the roof.
Reconstruction of the building

Protecting Your Flat Roof from the Elements

Unlike a sloped roof that may not receive direct sunlight for parts or all of the day, a flat roof can’t avoid the elements. Hot sun, rain, hail, ice, and snow all beat down on a flat roof, making it vulnerable to wear and tear, and even water damage over time. Flat roofs are less able to shed precipitation, putting more strain on the roof system. While the materials on your flat roof are made to stand up to the elements, over time, especially if the roof does not receive regular maintenance, the roof will develop problems. Many problems can be fixed if caught early by your professional roofer. UV damage, for example, can be avoided by using UV-resistant flat roofing materials, such as PVC roofing, or treated by adding a reflective coating that acts as a barrier against the hot rays of the sun. This also helps to reduce the amount of heat entering the building.

Dealing with Leaks on Flat Roofs

Roof leaks are a common problem with flat roofs because drainage is more difficult on the flat surface. Water seeps into the roofing material, breaking it down and allowing water intrusion into the structure below. Your roofer will determine if the leak is locally repairable and, if so, patch it to stop further damage. He may also install better drainage systems where possible to guide water off your roof.

Pooling Water: Understanding and Managing the Risks

Pooling water, like leaks, is a product of the nature of the flat roof and the lack of easy drainage. Pooling water may cause water damage to the roof and the structure below and create issues, such as mold in the building’s attic, ceilings, and walls. It’s a good idea to regularly inspect your roof after a storm to remove pooling water. If the problem is persistent, your roofer may be able to offer solutions for improved drainage systems or other ways to manage the issue.

Preventing Algae and Other Growths on Flat Roofs

algae and water damage to flat roof on commercial building

damage caused by damp and moisture on a wall and flat roof

Standing water, rotting debris, and moisture that are not removed from roofing materials or the underlying membrane may develop growth of algae, mold, and even plants. This can be minimized with regular cleaning of the roof to reduce the possibility of biological growth taking hold. Regular roof inspections and maintenance by your roofer will help identify and correct problem spots before algae can grow and damage the roof.

Structural Movement: Maintaining Stability in Flat Roofing

Your flat roof naturally expands and contracts with changes in temperature that occur both outside and inside the building, with the heating and cooling of the interior. Over time, this movement can cause the roof membrane to buckle, crack, or split at the seams and around flashing. This opens up the roof to leaks and other issues. This natural process is addressed with proper maintenance to minimize damage, and replacing a worn-out roof when damage cannot be fixed due to age.

Dealing with Cracks and Blistering in Flat Roofs

Cracks in a flat roof can develop from structural movement and from pressure on the roof. This may be from people walking on the roof, the weight of heavy equipment that sits on it, accumulated debris, snow, and ice, or other causes. Cracks lead to leaks into the membrane below and should be sealed by your roofer. If cracking is extensive, a roof replacement may be needed.

Blistering

Blistering can occur when air or moisture get trapped under the membrane that lies across the roof under the roofing material. Blisters can be repaired by your roofer during maintenance to prevent them from bursting or expanding with temperature changes.

Ensuring Proper Flashing Installation and Maintenance

Structural movement, also known as thermal movement, will cause the lining of the roof to shift over time. This may expose the edges of metal flashing such as vents or even cause them to pull away from the roof, leaving gaps for leaks to occur. Regular inspections will catch these situations early. However, once a roof is too old, the damage to the underlying roof materials will be too severe to be able to correct the issues with flashing and a new roof is in order.

Managing Contaminants and Debris on Flat Roofs

Some commercial buildings, such as restaurants, may emit contaminants like cooking oils that settle on the roof and cause damage over time. Similarly, debris, such as tree limbs, leaves, dirt, and other materials, can cause physical damage from impact or through decay over time. The debris may harbor moisture that leads to damage to the membrane, creating leaks, mold, and other problems. Damage can be mitigated with regular cleaning of the flat roof surface.

Prevention and Repair: Strategies for Long-Term Flat Roof Maintenance

flat commercial roof seen during maintenance.

SAMSUNG

Whether you have a maintenance staff or rely on your professional roofer to maintain your roof, it is important to keep in mind some Tips for Flat Roof Maintenance. Carry out regular roof inspections and a maintenance schedule. The greatest benefit of flat roofing is that it is easily accessible and safe, making it simple for you to carry out regular cleanup to remove water and debris that accumulate, and to do a visual inspection for any of the above problems.

If you find any problems, call your roofer to carry out repairs. Prompt action to patch or seal the roofing material where there are problems, such as leaks, blistering, or punctures, will extend the life of your flat roof. This will also save you money from more extensive repairs down the road should the problem expand and cause damage to the building structure itself.

Whether or not your roof appears damaged, it’s recommended that you have a professional roof inspection every six months. Your roofer is trained to spot early and emerging issues and will care for your roof so that you can have peace of mind that you are getting the most from your investment in your flat roof.

Flat Roofing Installation and Maintenance in Las Vegas

commercial roof installation, worker on ladder

Prestige Roofing in Las Vegas has been installing, repairing, and maintaining flat roofs for business, government, and residential customers for over 25 years. We specialize in high quality, durable flat roofing using PVC, TPO, or KEE single-ply roofing membranes, which provide for energy efficiency, durability, and reliability, even in our hot Las Vegas sun.

We can help you keep your home or business flat roof problem-free and doing its job. Give Prestige Roofing a call for more information at 702-656-7536.

Custom copper roofing design elevated over luxury las vegas home

We’re all familiar with flat roofs, which are found on all types of buildings. But, is a flat roof the right choice for your building? Flat roofs are different from the more decorative sloped roofs found on homes and small buildings, but they have a lot of advantages in particular situations and may be the right solution for a new building. When a flat roof is the right choice, or when replacing an old flat roof, there are different types of flat roofing materials available to meet the needs of building owners and managers.

Why Flat Roofs?

Flat roof with skylight and hydro insulation membranes

Flat roofs have a number of advantages that make them the best choice for specific types of buildings.  Larger buildings and ones that need to have regular activity on the rooftop are ideal for flat roofs that are lighter, generally less costly to install and provide easy access.

One important factor to understand is that flat roofs are not completely flat. They are usually slightly sloped to allow for precipitation to drain off. Still, with drainage slower than on a higher slope roof, most flat roofs have to be regularly maintained in order to be sure that the roof material is kept watertight and sealed to prevent leaks and damage to the building below. Flat roofs should have a thorough annual inspection to look for problems and reseal surfaces damaged by UV rays or moisture.

Commercial Flat Roofs

Flat roofs are familiar to most of us on commercial buildings where convenience, accessibility, safety and cost are factors in choosing a flat roof solution. Most flat roof materials are lighter and less expensive than the materials used on more decorative sloped roofs. For large buildings, flat roofing is a much more practical solution, avoiding excessive weight on the building’s frame, and also lowering construction costs. Industrial, warehouse, retail, hotels and similar commercial buildings often have multiple HVAC and other systems installed on the roof where maintenance personnel must have quick access, day or night. Having a flat roof makes it much easier to access these roof elements for maintenance and repairs.  Air conditioners and other systems may be placed on the roof, saving valuable space within the building. And, for roofers and other workers accessing the roof, a flat roof means less chance of worker injury from a slip on a sloped roof.

High Rise Buildings

built up high rise flat roof with garden and tiled walkways
sky garden on rooftop of condominium with blue sky

Of course, flat roofs are also commonly used for high rise residential and office buildings in urban settings, where service access is also important. And, from a design and space optimization point of view, urban building roof space is cherished as outdoor space where occupants and guests enjoy access to sunlight and fresh air. High rise apartments, condos and hotels may even build out their roofs to include rooftop gardens, adding attractive lighting, eating areas and even areas for sports activities or a swimming pool. With a flat roof, design options are only limited by the imagination.

Flat roofs are also found in single family homes and other small buildings where climate, style, design and budget make them the right option. They tend to be most practical in areas like the dry southwest where there will be little rain and no snow load for the roof to handle. Flat roofs may be part of a green energy efficient home solution, with accommodation for solar panels or a green roof covered in living plants.

Top 4 Flat Roof Materials

Now that we know where a flat roof makes sense, let’s examine the differences between the four types of flat roofs that are commonly used.

PVC Membrane

PVC flat roof installation with roofer in hard hat cutting the PVC waterproofing material
Waterproofing and insulation at construction site waterproofing membrane preventing water penetration. Exterior vapor barrier for foundations and basements.

Both flexible and easily-customizable, a PVC membrane flat roof is constructed from what is known as a scrim, which is basically a flexible, heavy duty, non-woven polyester fabric that creates a bonded seal and is also fire retardant. The scrim is laminated in a UV-resistant PVC thermoplastic.

Lightweight in nature, a PVC roof will not add weight to the existing structure. As a result, PVC can be installed directly over an existing system. This means there is less material that needs to be dumped into a landfill.

PVC roofing is durable and highly reliable. It has the ability to resist high temperatures, dirt and strong winds.

Built-Up Roof (BUR)

Tar and grvel built up flat roof with skylights and HVAC systems
Flat Roof With Gravel and Skylight Windoows

The Built-up Roof, or (BUR) is a roof made essentially of hot tar and gravel. Layers of hot tar are applied between at least 3 layers of waterproof ply sheets. On top of this, a layer of smooth river stones or gravel are applied.

Ideal for commercial buildings, the biggest advantage of a BUR roof is that it is very affordable. Another plus is that a BUR roof is able to meet higher fire ratings than other roofing materials, as gravel is naturally fire-retardant.

Unfortunately, there are drawbacks to a BUR flat roof. The first is the telltale smell of asphalt, which many find undesirable. Messy to install, a BUR roof is also very difficult to remove. Tar and gravel make this type of roof very heavy in nature, which will put extra stress on the structure of a building.

Rubber Membrane

Historically popular, a rubber membrane, also known as EPDM, flat roof is both durable and lightweight. However, it should be noted that EPDM tends to be less puncture resistant than PVC. With that being said, the recyclability of both options is about the same.

One disadvantage of using a rubber membrane roof in a warmer climate is that it is naturally dark in color, making this choice more prone to absorbing heat.

TPO Roof

TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefinis) is a blend of two different types of rubber. It is white in color, giving it an energy saving advantage as it reflects sunlight. This translates into dollars saved in cooling costs.

Very easy to install, a TPO roof can either be fully adhered or mechanically-attached to the deck of a roof. Extremely flexible, TPO’s versatility surpasses other roofing materials, without it losing its durability.

Low Slope Metal Roofing

gallery-copper-roof-16

For beauty, quality and design, none of these choices can approach metal roofing, a durable and decorative alternative to traditional flat roof materials. Metal roofing is highly durable and needs little maintenance. The beauty of copper, zinc and aluminum roofs is undeniable, and they all are highly weather resistant. They are also energy efficient, reflecting the rays of the sun for a cooler interior, and of course they are recyclable. Metal roofs are popular on homes and business looking to increase the beauty and value of the property. Metal can be formed into shapes to create unique, custom and beautiful roofs, roofing or standalone fixtures, overhangs, gutters and other elements that make your home stand out from the crowd.

Prestige Offers Flat Roofing in Las Vegas

No matter which type of flat or other roof you are considering, don’t trust just anyone to do the work for you. Find a reliable and trained professional roofer to help make sure your new roof is the right one for your building, and that it is installed correctly using the right materials to avoid costly damage down the road. For the best residential and commercial roofing services in Las Vegas, contact Prestige Roofing today for a free estimate.