Many people live in an area of the country that have a lot of homes with flat roofs and your needs are probably a little bit different than the needs of those people who have peaked or pitched roofs. Flat roofs can provide some extra problems when snow, ice, or water builds up on them, and when they start to leak it can be difficult to make them stop. However, you can repair them if you know what to look for and how to handle any problems that come up. One of the best ways to take care of your flat roof is to make sure that you inspect it often enough to stop most problems before they get started.
Ideally you should inspect your roof four times a year but most people do it twice, which is usually sufficient unless you notice problems developing. Flat roofs have asphalt building paper on them which is then criss-crossed and ‘hot mopped’ with a hot asphalt liquid that most people call roofing tar. Gravel or crushed stones are imbedded into this liquid to form a finished surface. Re-doing one of these kinds of roofs requires a professional because of the cost of the equipment involved. However, you can still make repairs to your roof on your own.
You should look around carefully for where the problem area might be. It could be around a vent or juncture in the roof, at a valley where water can collect, around drains, or around exposed nail heads. It can also come from damage to the roof, so it’s important to also look for discolored spots on the stones or gravel. This is usually caused by water collecting in that area, and that can cause a leak over time. Another thing to look for is a blister. This is an area where the roofing materials have pulled away from the decking that makes up the solid surface of the roof.
It’s usually caused by moisture, so that’s another prime example of where a leak might be. You can generally repair these kinds of areas with roofing tar or liquid asphalt. You’ll want to do this on a day when the roof is perfectly dry and there isn’t any rain in the forecast for the next couple of days. You can get tools to spread the asphalt on the roof and take care of any problem areas so that your roof will be leak-free and you won’t have the expense of calling in a professional to re-do your roof or repair water damage.