Why, in spite of the knowledge, many years of experience in the design and construction of flat roofs. And the use of increasingly sophisticated materials. The flat roofs still bring anxiety and worries to many property owners’ minds! The underlying reason is the three factors as Design, Operation, and Construction.
The most common flat roofing problems spring from poor maintenance or an absolute lack therefrom. Proper maintenance entails that the flat roof is regularly inspected for damage. Then repaired, cleaned, and inspected for the functionality of its insulation and waterproofing properties.
Design Errors – The cycling through hot and cold seasons deteriorates flat roofs throughout the Greater Toronto Area day in, day out. On the surface of a roof, temperatures tend to range from -30 to +80 ° C. Moreover, they are exposed to UV (ultraviolet) radiation and multiple cycles of freezing and thawing. Hence, the nature and properties of the materials with which the flat roofs will be constructed and insulated. Should assure functionality under these conditions for no less than the next 15-20 years.
Leaks, Roof Moisture, And Fungus – These are the most apparent outcomes of improper maintenance. Poor insulation compels heat from escaping through the layers of roofs resulting in leaks and flooding from melting ice and snow. This process becomes detrimental to the flat roof. So results in the deterioration and destruction of the membrane, flashings, gutters, downspouts. Not to mention melting or falling icicles that add to the danger in a workplace and/or residence.
Green Roof Problems – Roofs containing a layer of grass require a proper thickness of the substrate, at least 20cm. The growing grass call for regular mowing and watering on daily basis. Roofs having vegetation like shrubs and low trees, need proper attention as well. It is unwanted to hammer into a roof like wood or metal supports for trees. Without the knowledge and approval of the manufacturer or the contractor. Waterproofing layers tend to be damaged by this process resulting in a re-roof or flat roof replacement.
Thermal Insulation – Every type of roof calls for performing the calculations of temperature and moisture. The purpose of this is to not only select the accurate thickness of thermal insulation. But, also remove the likelihood of condensation between the layers of the roof. As well as rid of conditions that encourage the growth of mold on the ceiling and walls on the inside. Such calculations factor in the space around windows, skylights, roof hatchways, etc.
These are the venues wherein freezing frequently happens and are conducive conditions for mold growth. With improper ventilation, steam and moisture within the layers bring about a separation. Which would be seen visually on the ceiling and wall as streaks and peeling paint coating. These are sure shot indicators of weakness in the roof’s waterproof seal.
Waterproofing – This layer on all flat roofs, no matter its function is vital. The basic cause of leaks is errors by the contractors, inadequate knowledge of the technologies used. Also, the paucity of a trained team of employees. Dealing with the problem from the exterior appears to make the most sense to many people. It takes a massive amount of labour to shovel through the base of your foundation wall. Once excavated any areas in the roof decking or concrete foundation including walls that have been weakened. All these may be repaired with a new waterproofing membrane.
Substitution of Materials – A typical blunder is to make use of “just as good but cheaper” alternatives or materials. Leaving out those provided by the manufacturer or selected and mentioned in the project documentation. The savings gained for the difference in the price of the material are normally superficial and incommensurate to the cost of any subsequent repairs.
The Final Word
All of these common flat roofing problems can entirely be prevented with regular roof inspections and maintenance through professional roofers. Waterproofing in Toronto flat roofs and foundations and observing any flat roof problems early can help lengthen the service life of a flat roof. Maintenance and professional care can keep the flat roof in great condition for many years to come, and often times past its warranty. Overall, it is wise to do your homework before allowing any work to commence.