Flat Roofs: Common Maintenance Tips For First-Time Flatters

Although flat roofs require a bit more attention than sloped roofs, they are much more accessible for routine inspections. Keeping an eye on the roof will help you keep it in good condition to prevent water leaks or surface deterioration.

Tend to the Landscaping

Walk around the exterior to look for bushes, vines, or trees that could touch or drop leaves onto your roof. Over time, the weight of the vegetation could build enough to harm the roof coating or the vegetation could start to compost.

The best way to prevent an accumulation of plant debris on the roof is to cut back any limbs that hang over the roof or are close to it. Make sure that vines growing on exterior wall don’t climb up and over onto the roof.



The weather takes its toll on flat roofs and it will need periodic recoating to maintain its energy efficiency and waterproofing. Unless you have some experience with coatings and their application, it’s normally a job left to roofing specialists. Recoating your roof insures continual

Clean the Scuppers

Most flat roofs have scuppers that sit around the periphery of the roof. The scuppers provide drainage for water. Check them periodically to make sure that they’re not blocked by plant debris or bird nests. If the scuppers are clogged, the water may puddle on the roof which could eventually cause cracks to the coating and lead to leaks.

Check for Cracks

A cloudy day gives you perfect conditions to inspect your roof for cracks. They may be caused by the expansion and contraction cycle caused by temperature swings, or simple oxidation caused by time. You may want to bring along knee pads to inspect around the flashings for your vent stacks, flues and chimneys.

The caulk used to prevent water infiltration dries out over time, forming cracks and gaps that water can enter. Chipping away the old caulk and applying new isn’t a difficult job, but if your time is money, a professional roofing contractor will complete the job with assurances that the flashings will be leak-free. The little time and money it costs you to keep the flashings waterproof saves considerable time and effort down the road in roofing repairs.

A flat roof will last for the decades as long as it’s cared for throughout the seasons. When you give it the periodic attention and light maintenance it needs, you can count on it to perform as well as any sloped roof.