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Flat roofing common defects; Issues associated with poor maintenance.

flat roofing defects dvc commercial roofing

During the warmer months, it’s easy to overlook the potential problems lurking within flat roofs. The bright sunshine and pleasant weather can often mask issues caused by poor maintenance. However, to ensure your flat roof’s longevity and optimal performance, it’s crucial to be aware of the common defects that can arise. By identifying these issues, you can proactively address them and prevent more extensive damage. In this blog, we will explore some of the most prevalent defects that can affect flat roofs and provide insights on tackling them effectively.

Lack of Maintenance: Poor or insufficient maintenance significantly contributes to the deterioration of flat roofs. Regular cleaning, removal of debris, and inspection of roof flashings, seals, and drainage systems are essential to keep the roof in optimal condition. Neglecting maintenance can lead to the accumulation of debris, blocked drains, and the accelerated deterioration of roofing materials.

Ponding Water: One of the most common issues in flat roofing is ponding water, which occurs when water accumulates and does not drain properly. Ponding water can lead to problems, including roof membrane deterioration, leaks, and additional loads, which increase the risk of structural defects. Regular inspection and maintenance can help identify areas prone to ponding and ensure proper drainage through repairs or installing additional drainage systems.

Roof Leaks: Flat roofs are susceptible to leaks due to their design and lack of natural slope for water runoff. Leaks can result from damaged or deteriorated roofing materials, improper installation, or age-related wear and tear. It is essential to conduct regular inspections to detect any signs of leakage, such as water stains on ceilings, mould growth, or damp spots. Prompt repairs or roof membrane replacement can prevent further water infiltration and potential interior damage.

Blistering and Cracking: Blistering and cracking are common defects due to exposure to heat, UV degradation, and weathering. Blisters – raised areas on the roof surface can form when moisture becomes trapped beneath the roofing materials. Conversely, cracks can develop from thermal expansion and contraction or the roof membrane’s aging. These defects compromise the roof’s integrity and can lead to leaks if not addressed. Regular inspections and timely repairs are crucial to prevent further damage and ensure the roof’s longevity.

Inadequate Insulation: Flat roofs without proper insulation can result in poor energy efficiency, increased heat transfer, and higher heating or cooling costs. Upgrading insulation or adding additional insulation layers can improve energy efficiency, enhance comfort levels, and extend the roof’s lifespan.

UV Degradation: Over time, the surface protection of some products will wear down and expose the material to UV radiation. This, in turn, will increase the degradation process, which can significantly reduce the life span of the waterproofing.

While the warmer months may temporarily relieve visible defects, it is essential not to overlook the potential issues that can arise with flat roofs. Regular inspections, maintenance, and prompt repairs are crucial to addressing common defects and ensuring your flat roof’s longevity and optimal performance. You can mitigate potential problems by staying proactive and ensuring your building has a reliable and watertight flat roofing system for years.


DVC has worked with flat roofing solutions for over 20 years; whether you require an inspection/survey of a new flat roof or a repair of an existing flat roof, our experienced flat roofing team offers a range of solutions to suit you and your project. – DVC’s Flat Roofing Solutions

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