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How to Keep Your Flat Roof Maintained

It’s a fact: flat roofs last longer when properly maintained.

While you may assume that maintenance is not important if you have a warranty, that’s no reason to skip out on routine inspections and maintenance. Most roofing specialists will void a warranty if proper maintenance is not performed.

If you’re looking for ways to extend the life of your roof, here’s what you should know about flat roof maintenance.


Flat roofs are exposed to the elements day after day. Sun, rain, ice, and more. Over time the roofing materials wear out, and eventually begin to cause problems. For flat roofs, finding and addressing problems before they become an issue is ideal. Once a flat roof begins to leak, the problems can rapidly escalate. For this reason, inspections are important, since they will enable you to catch the problem before it becomes worse.

You should inspect your roof at least twice per year, ideally in the spring and autumn. During the winter, it’s also a good idea to inspect the roof after harsh weather. This is especially important if you live in a climate with extreme temperatures.

The roof should be thoroughly inspected to ensure it is free from excessive wear and tear, and that there are no leaks or problem areas.

  • Coating
    You should also be sure to check over the coating and make sure that it is all still intact. Over time, this coating can break down.
  • Drainage
    Be sure to inspect the drainage system to ensure that there is nothing clogging or restricting the gutters or downspouts. Since flat roofs don’t have a lot of extra options when it comes to drainage, if the drains are clogged, the water often has nowhere to go and will pool up, leading to additional damage
  • Joints
    If your flat roof has expansion joints, you should include them in your inspection as well. Check over the rubber for cuts, cracks, or other damage.
  • Debris Removal
    Debris removal is an important part of keeping your flat roof in great shape. It’s best to hire a professional to use a leaf blower to remove the debris, since standing on the roof can weaken it. During heavy snow, the flat roof may need to be carefully shoveled.
  • Check the Ceiling
    Inside the building, routinely check the ceiling for stains caused by leaking water.

When to Call a Professional

While many routine maintenance tasks and inspections can be done yourself, it’s a good idea to have a professional inspect the roof periodically. Professionals are trained to spot damage and problem areas. A professional can also perform a formal moisture survey periodically to ensure that no additional moisture is present.

Follow Up

While inspections are important, they are of little value if the necessary repairs are not followed up on.

The most important part of maintenance for your flat roof is follow up. Regardless of if you hire a professional, or inspect the roof yourself –following up on the areas that have been noted, and doing the repairs as they arise is the best way to prolong the life of your flat roof. In the end, maintenance and repairs will help you to save.

Have you had your flat roof inspected this year?

At Essential Flat Roofing, we provide installation, maintenance, and repairs for Oakville, Ontario and the surrounding GTA including Burlington, Hamilton, Mississauga, and Toronto.

For more information on a flat roof for your commercial building, or to learn more about professional roof inspections, contact Essential Flat Roofing, Oakville Ontario’s flat roof installation professionals.

Image: Dome Poon