While flat roofs are known for being stylish, modern and relatively inexpensive, they also have a reputation for being prone to leaks, cracks and collapse, especially in the winter months. Unlike pitched roofs, which have gravity working in their favour, flat roofs rely on an effective drainage system and building design to prevent leaks and water damage.
Winterizing Your Flat Roof
So, if you have a flat-roofed house, here are the best ways to winterize your flat roof to protect its integrity during the harsh Canadian winter.
One of the best ways to protect your flat roof is to have a roof inspection during fall so that there is still time for repairs before snowfall. Make sure the schedule an inspection early as the fall is usually a busy time for flat roofers. Most products used on a flat roofing system need a specific temperature range for application and curation. If the conditions are not correct, the sealants will not be set and won’t be effective in protecting your roofing system.
Minor Caulking And Sealant Repair
Continuous exposure to harsh weather and UV rays from the sun can erode caulking and sealant, causing expensive damages down the line. Repairing or adding these components is crucial to keeping water out of the roofing system.
Drain Clearing And Debris Removal
Debris build-up can often lead to clogged drains and standing water. If there are many large trees around the building, you should take care to clear any fallen leaves off the roof often. A clogged gutter can create ice dams and expensive damage to the roof in winter.
We suggest inspecting the water pipes in your ceiling regularly to ensure their structural integrity. Consistent heat is essential to keep the water in the lines stay in liquid form.
Proper insulation is essential to keeping warm air inside your home so that it does not escape and melt snow on the roof, which can refreeze on the edge of the roof and form an ice dam. This is especially prevalent in flat-roofed homes as they do not have any buffer from an unheated attic. We recommend consulting with a roofing professional to advise you on the right amount of insulation for your building. They may recommend either rigid foam insulation under the surface or an ice-and-water shield to protect your roof from ice and rain damage.