7 tips for maintaining your flat roof

July 28, 2015

If you have a flat roof, it won't shed water as quickly. This is why it's extra important to protect from leaks. Follow these seven tips to protect your flat roof.

7 tips for maintaining your flat roof

1. Inspect regularly

  • Every few months, inspect your flat roof. Depending on the architectural style of your home, you may be able to inspect your flat roof by looking out a second-story window.
  • In other cases, you'll have to access your roof by climbing a ladder.
  • Look for holes, tears, blisters, and loose seams on an asphalt-roll roof or for rust and pitting on a metal roof. Make repairs or add patches to prevent leaks.
  • Also check the edges of the flashing to make sure water can't seep under it.

2. Use protective paint

  • To protect an asphalt-roll roof against damage from the sun's ultraviolet rays, paint it with reflective asphalt aluminum paint. The paint will also lubricate the roofing and reseal the surface against water.

3. Reviving the surface of the roof

  • After a while, many asphalt roofs become a patchwork of repairs. If this is true of yours, revive the surface by simply brushing on asphalt roof coating.
  • If the roof has any slope at all, start at the highest part and work your way down.

4. Fixing a leak

  • If your old-fashioned felt-and-tar roof springs a leak, scrape the area clean of gravel and apply fresh roof tar. Be sure to replace the gravel before the tar hardens.
  • If you can't pinpoint the source of a leak, cover the entire suspected area with tar.

5. Fixing blisters

  • If you find a blister on your asphalt roll roofing, the culprit is usually trapped moisture.
  • Slit the blister down the middle with a utility knife to release the moisture. Let the blister dry, then fill its cavity by squeezing in roofing cement from a caulking gun. Drive a row of roofing nails on each side of the split, then apply more roofing cement to the slit and the nail heads.
  • Cut a patch of similar roofing material a couple of inches longer and wider than the damaged area. Nail the patch over the repaired area and seal the patch's edges and the nail heads with roofing cement.

6. Leaks in an aluminum roof

  • It's easy to fix a leak in an aluminum roof with fibreglass mesh. Cut two pieces of mesh, each large enough to generously cover the damaged area. Clean the area with a wire brush and coat it with roofing cement using a flexible putty knife.
  • Apply one fibreglass piece over the fresh cement and cover it with more cement. Then position the second piece over the cement, and cover that piece with the final coat of cement.

7. Use reflective roofing

  • When it does come time to re-roof a flat roof, consider using a reflective roof product — especially if you live in a warm climate such as the Okanagan Valley.
  • Products like these can reduce roof surface temperatures by as much as 38°C (100°F), in turn lowering your cooling bills by up to 50 per cent.
The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
Close menu