Charlotte’s roofers explain common sources of potential leaks on your flat roof

Charlotte’s roofers help homeowners establish the source of their leaking roof

Charlotte’s roofers insist that flat roofs are more vulnerable to leaks than steep-sloped roofs. Flat roofs are not designed with paths for water to run off quickly, allowing moisture to collect on the surface. On this vulnerable surface, certain parts are more prone than others. These include rooftop HVAC units, plumbing stacks, and other penetrations.

Vulnerable areas of low-sloped roofs

There are various signs of leaking roofs, including discolored spots on the ceiling, bubbling in the wall paint, and mold growth. Detecting early is always best through the common warning signs of leaking flat roofs below:

  1. Open or damaged flashing

Flashing is a roofing material that runs vertically. Various structures penetrate through the rooftop surface and must be ‘flashed’ with suitable roofing products. These structures include plumbing vents, pipes, ductwork, gas lines, HVAC units, and other building components. Any section with roof penetrations is highly susceptible to leaks. While flashings are kept sealed, they may fail and open up over time. That’s why flashings should be checked at least twice per year by a qualified roofer.

  1. Roofing membranes

There are three types of roofing membranes in the US, that is, EPDM rubber, modified bitumen, and thermoplastics like TPO or PVC. Unfortunately, these membranes can become damaged over time. They can crack, split, and blister. Water usually accumulates beneath the membrane due to damage. This leads to the waterlogging of the roof insulation, which makes identification of the leak difficult. Organizing regular inspections of the roof membrane helps prevent leaks.

  1. Skylights

The seals of skylights often wear out causing leakages. Additionally, the skylight lens is susceptible to damage from debris. They are also often installed without saddles up-slope from their curb. A saddle’s function is to divert water around a protrusion like a skylight. That said, skylights should be checked regularly and replaced once the frame is damaged or the seals are visibly worn.

  1. Ponding

Any roof area that exhibits ponding should be examined closely. Ponding on a flat roof can be expected. But when rainwater remains on the roof for over 48 hours after precipitation yet drying conditions are reasonable, this type of ponding calls for close monitoring. More leaks are likely to appear if the water stays for longer. An aging flat roof is particularly susceptible to ponding.

  1. Debris

A piece of debris can harm your roof membrane. Be sure to examine near mechanical units and under trees. For instance, when you spot a broken tree branch on the roof, clear the debris and check the rooftop areas for any gouged surface.

  1. Blisters in the roof membrane

Flat roofs are prone to blistering. Blisters resemble bubbles forming under the roof membrane. The adhesive lets go over time and the expansion and contraction of the membrane lead to a bubble or wrinkle formation. It is a sign of the membrane reaching the end of its useful life. Blisters can lead to cracking in the membrane.

Work with Charlotte’s best roofers

Keeping up with roof maintenance and handling repairs as soon as possible can make a significant difference. Most importantly, working with Charlotte’s best roofers is important for high-quality roofing services that will preserve your investment for a long time. Advanced Roofing and Exteriors offers commercial roofing and residential roofing services to Charlotte, NC, and surrounding areas.