Flat roofs have many advantages, but leak protection isn't one of them. Flat roofs are likely to have leak problems if they're exposed to a lot of rainwater. Their flatness encourages water pool on them rather than sliding off; this can lead to a greater amount of leakage when there is a crack in the roof. These roofs are also vulnerable to the stress of snow and rainwater, since the weight can collect on the roof and cause it to buckle.

Thankfully, the flatness of these roofs also makes them a bit easier to repair, since you or a repairperson can stand confidently on the roof without worrying too much about fall protection. Here are some steps to evaluating your flat roof and correcting problems you find.

Step 1: Inspecting the Roof

Flat roofs often make it easy to climb the roof and inspect the surface yourself. The first thing that you should look for is the evenness of the surface; if you see areas that sag or have visibly collected water, then these are the areas to address first in your repairs. You should also look for cracks in the roof; skylights are particularly vulnerable to cracking.

Step 2: Decide Whether a Repairperson is Needed

If you only find one or two minor cracks in your roof, a home repair can be a less expensive option. You can find an epoxy at your local hardware shop to seal small cracks and holes in the roof. If you notice that water still leaks after your treatment, seek a professional's help to fix the roof. If you also see a large crack wider than your palm, or you notice many different problems during your inspection, it's time to get a repairperson to do a thorough evaluation and overhaul.

Step 3: Prevent Future Problems

During your flat roof repair, it can be helpful to have a professional install some systems to prevent leaks in the future. For instance, a thorough waterproofing can prevent water from eroding your roof and leading to a crack. Especially with a flat roof, you'll need to have a system for water drainage and periodically make sure that drain holes and gutters are clear.

You may also have your repairperson, like those at RTN Roofing Systems, reseal the edges around your skylights and other roof fixtures, since any interruption in the roof's surface can be a potential weak point. Having a flat roof can be great for cost-effectiveness and space savings, but you'll need to make sure leaks are repaired right away to keep your property safe. 

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