With their sleek design and modern aesthetic, flat roofs are a popular choice for both commercial and residential properties. They’re visually appealing, offer efficient use of space and typically cost less than pitched roofs during the initial construction phase. But those architectural advantages come with a unique set of challenges when it comes to maintenance and repair.
Ensuring the longevity of your flat roof requires a keen understanding of their specific demands. At Standard Roofing & Restoration of Wauwatosa, we understand flat roofs, and we want to help you understand them, too.
So let’s dive into the topic of flat roof repairs and the factors you should consider when it comes time to call a roofing company for help.
The Necessity of Flat Roof Repair
Every roof requires repair at some point – whether because of sudden damage from a storm or chronic problems signaling the end of its lifespan.
Flat roofs, of course, are no exception. But they’re a different beast than their pitched roof counterparts. With no slope to naturally guide water away, flat roofs are prone to water pooling. Over time, this can lead to leaks, which will eventually damage your roof membrane and deteriorate the structure underneath. This is a common cause for flat roof repair.
The materials used for flat roofs are also distinct, with single-ply membranes, modified bitumen, and built-up roofs being popular options. In contrast, pitched roofs typically use shingles, tiles, or metal sheets.
Thus, the repair processes differ significantly, with flat roof repair often requiring specialized knowledge and experience.
Considerations for Flat Roof Repair
There are numerous factors you should keep in mind when considering flat roof repair. First, it’s essential to understand the type of flat roof you have. Different materials like PVC, EPDM, or built-up roofs all require unique repair methods. Second, consider the extent of the damage. Minor issues might only need patching, while more severe cases could warrant a complete roof replacement. Finally, keep the age of your roof in mind. If your roof is nearing its expected lifespan, investing in a new one could be more cost-effective than continual repairs.
Here’s a breakdown of the most common types of flat roofs and the most common problems – and solutions – for each one of them:
Built-up roofs consist of alternating layers of bitumen (asphalt or coal tar) and reinforcing fabrics, creating a finished membrane. Over time, these types of roofs can develop cracks, blisters, and splits. The gravel surfacing, if used, can be eroded, and seams may become weak. Common repairs include patching cracks and splits with bitumen and reinforcing fabric. Regularly applying a waterproof coating can also extend its life.
Modified bitumen is a single-ply rolled roof similar to built-up roofs but impregnated with a mineral-based wear surface. Common problems include wrinkles or air bubbles that form because of improper installation. Additionally, the seams can weaken over time. These issues can be repaired with heat welding or using adhesive for patches.
EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) is a durable rubber material that’s sometimes simply referred to as rubber roofing. EPDM is a great material but is sometimes susceptible to punctures, shrinking of the material, and seam defects. Patches can be used to repair small punctures. Seam defects might require EPDM seam tape. If shrinking occurs, the affected area should be replaced.
PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) roofing is a single-ply roofing solution used on commercial or industrial roofs. Over time, though, it might shrink, and seams can come apart. Additionally, it can become brittle, especially if it’s exposed to lots of UV radiation. Hot air welding can often reseal seams, and patches can be applied to areas that have become brittle or cracked.
TPO (Thermoplastic Olefin or Polyolefin) roofs combine the benefits of EPDM and PVC. As such, TPO roofs are more durable and resistant to UV rays and heat. Being a relatively new roofing material, earlier TPO roofs had issues with shrinking, cracking, and seam failures. Just like with PVC, hot air welding can reseal seams. For cracking, a TPO-specific patch or membrane can be applied.
Spray-on roofs are seamless applications made from materials like polyurethane foam. Over time, the material might develop cracks or blisters. UV exposure can also degrade the foam.
Patching with a sealant can address small cracks or blisters. An additional UV-resistant coating might also be needed for extended protection.
In all cases, it’s essential to address any problems as soon as they’re spotted to maintain the integrity of the flat roof and ensure its longevity.
Choosing A Roofing Company for Flat Roof Repair
It’s imperative to select a roofing company that has substantial experience with flat roofs. Look for companies that demonstrate a clear understanding of flat roof systems, employ certified technicians, and offer comprehensive warranties. Additionally, check their reputation by looking at reviews and testimonials for all types of services, including flat roof repair.
Cost of Flat Roof Repair
Flat roof repair costs can vary significantly based on the materials used, the extent of the damage, labor costs, and your location. Generally, you can expect to pay between $300 to $600 for minor repairs. More extensive repairs, or in cases where the roof requires replacement, costs can rise into the thousands. It’s important to get several quotes to make sure you’re getting a fair price. At Standard Roofing & Restoration, we’re committed to providing competitive pricing without compromising on quality.
Take The First Step Toward Flat Roof Repair
Here at Standard Roofing & Restoration, we’re proud to provide high-quality flat roof repair services that have stood the test of time. Founded in 1901, we are the metro Milwaukee area’s oldest roofing company and are happy to help you with your flat roof repair project. Reach out to us today for a free estimate or to learn more about our services. We’re here to answer your questions, provide guidance, and deliver top-notch flat roof repair services that guarantee peace of mind for years to come.