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How to prevent your flat roof from leaking

Updated: Aug 14, 2023

Leaking flat roofs can become problematic if they are not correctly maintained. The majority of modern flat roofs are low maintenance and can be maintained in excellent condition with minimal effort.

When Leeds & District Roofing Ltd is contacted about a leaking flat roof, we inspect the outlet first. Blocking the outlet with leaves and debris can cause water to back up and leak into your home. All of our customers are advised to clean the outlets at least once a year.

What can cause my flat roof to leak

  1. Blocked outlets

  2. Damage to the flashings

  3. Poorly installed flat roof

  4. The age of the flat roof

  5. Storm damage to the flat roof

  6. Plants and moss

  7. Ponding Water

  8. Punctures/Splits/Tears

  9. Exposure

  10. Lack of maintenance

  11. Structural Movement

  12. Shrinkage

My Flat roof is leaking from the outlet

If there is a leak coming from the outlet, fixing it should not be a difficult task even if there is a leak. In order to resolve this issue, a roofer will need to unblock the outlet in order to restart the flow of water from the roof. On certain flat roofs, the outlet could be on the tiny side; if this is the case, replacing it with a larger outlet that is less likely to get clogged is something that should be considered. Regular maintenance on the outlet will assist maintain it clean and prevent it from being clogged up with debris and other substances.


My flat roof is leaking because the flashings are damaged

One of the most common factors that contribute to leaky flat roofs is the use of lead flashing. At the points of connection between the brick wall and the flat roof or other roofing components, the lead flashing is fixed so as to guarantee that the areas in question are maintained waterproof. This is done in order to ensure that the regions in question are kept watertight. Despite this, it is one of the most frequent causes of leaks in the building. There is a multitude of elements that, when combined, render the roofing structure susceptible to damage from precipitation and moisture, which eventually leads to a breach. This vulnerability ultimately leads to a leaking roof.


My flat roof was poorly installed

When the installation of a flat roof has been done incorrectly, the best course of action is to replace it. When leaking is still present after repairs have been made to a badly fitted flat roof, the majority of the time it is because the repairs were not done properly.


My roof is leaking because of storm damage

If you find a leak in the roof during heavy rain, the problem may rapidly become urgent and need immediate treatment. Leaks in the flat roof may be an annoyance regardless of the weather, but if you discover a leak during a storm, the problem may quickly become urgent. Because it is more probable that you will discover a leak in the roof of your house while it is raining outside, you should check the roof of your house during this time of year. Roofing contractors will be swamped with calls and emails from worried homeowners in the days that follow the storms.

The wind is one of the variables that may lead to significant roof damage, and it is often prevalent during high winds. Wind damage can be caused by a number of different sources. The possibility that roofing components, such as flat roofs, may get dislodged and fall off the roof during a storm is the most significant risk that is offered by the wind. In spite of the fact that this will not be nearly as expensive in the long term as other repercussions of rain damage, it is very important to stay inside during a heavy storm since debris provide a substantial danger to one's safety. Even though the damage to your roof or property that other forms of wind create is not as evident, it is still possible for these sorts of winds to pose substantial difficulties. Be on the watch for any debris that may have fallen, such as branches that may have broken off of trees or even roof tiles that may have come loose from nearby homes. Always keep a watchful eye out for anything that could have fallen to the ground. It is quite probable that these items crashed through your roof, causing the damage that they did. You should make it a habit to examine your flat roofs after every storm to check that nothing has been broken and that the outlets are clear of any debris that may have accumulated. Even though it's a good idea to call a roofing company, they won't be able to assist you as long as the storm is still raging and rain is still getting into your house till the weather clears up.


I have plants and moss growing on my flat roof

If left to continue growing unchecked, moss has the potential to cause harm to many different types of roofing materials. It is also possible for it to roll into gutters, which may lead to the gutter system being clogged. It is for this reason that the removal of moss from flat roofs is of the utmost importance. In addition, the passage of time may cause the surface of many different types of roofing materials to take on a look that is pitted, ridged, or otherwise uneven. If moss is allowed to grow slowly in some areas of the surface, the natural expansion and contraction of the surface that occurs in reaction to changes in the weather would highlight any minute surface imperfections. As a direct consequence of this, residents in the region will have access to water. Due to the inherent danger that they provide, moss and lichens should under no circumstances be permitted to grow on roofs. This is an absolute must.


My flat roof is holding water

If your roof was constructed with the appropriate materials and has been adequately supplied with a suitable drainage system, then ponding is not an urgent issue that needs to be dealt with immediately. The good news is that this is the case. If this is the case, ponding is not an issue that has to be handled since it is not a problem. Ponding that drains away or evaporates within forty-eight hours is fine and is not something that should cause worry; nevertheless, the recurrence of ponding on a continual basis should still be addressed. ponding that drains away or evaporates within forty-eight hours is fine and is not something that should cause concern. A pond that drains away or evaporates within forty-eight hours is OK, and there is no need to be concerned about the existence of such a pond. If the ponding continues to exist after 48 hours, you should seek the assistance of a professional roofer since this indicates that the roof drainage is not operating efficiently or that there is an issue with the roof slope, the roofing material, or the roof deck. If this is the case, the ponding indicates that there is a problem with the roof drainage system. The ponding will persist even if you do not have a roofer with expert experience to help you.

My flat roof has Punctures/Splits/Tears in it

If your roof was built with the appropriate materials and fitted with an acceptable drainage system, the good news is that ponding is not an urgent concern that has to be addressed. However, if your roof was not created with the appropriate materials and did not have an adequate drainage system, I would look to phone a roofer to fix these issues immediately. Ponding that drains or evaporates within forty-eight hours is OK and should not be a cause for concern, however, the recurrence of ponding on a regular basis should be looked at as a potential problem. It is usual for there to be ponding that drains or evaporates within forty-eight hours, and this should not be cause for alarm.

If the ponding continues for more than forty-eight hours, you should get in touch with a professional roofer since this suggests that the roof drainage is inefficient or that there is an issue with the roof's slope, roofing material, or roof deck. If you do not hire a roofer with experience, the ponding will continue to occur on your property.


My flat roofing is leaking because of shrinkage

Flat roofs that are created from synthetic membranes like GRP, which is a common material used for flat roofs, are prone to shrinkage because of the material's synthetic nature. It brings about delamination and the separation of fractures, both of which, over the course of time, make it possible for the surface of the roof to develop teeny small holes.

Although fiberglass-reinforced plastic, more often known as GRP, is a frequent choice for the construction of flat roofs due to its durability, GRP roofs will all degrade over the course of time. Errors that occur during the manufacturing or installation of the roof membrane may have the unexpected effect of hastening the process of natural contraction. This was probably not the result that was meant to occur.

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