A Guide to Low Slope Roof Maintenance and Care

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low slope roofing

Just like any other type of roof, low-slope roofing requires ongoing care and maintenance. It is best to invest in professional roof inspection twice per year – one time in the spring and again in the fall.

While an inspector will look for your roof issues, you must also know the signs of a potential issue. By knowing the main issues that may arise, you can ensure your low slope roof performs at its best throughout the year.

Keep reading to learn some of the top ways you can take care of your roof throughout the year.

What Is a Low Slope Roof?

Before diving into low slope roof maintenance, it is important to know what type of roofing structure this is.

A low slope roof is one that refers to a roof that is slightly pitched or nearly flat. This is not a flat roof, as this would be called a flat roof.

There are three components of a low slope roof: weatherproofing layers, reinforcement, and surfacing.

The layers of weatherproofing materials are considered the most important because this is what keeps water out. The reinforcement layer, as the name implies, adds strength to the roof’s structure. It will help the roof retain the natural shape and stand up to weather, time, and other adverse conditions.

The surfacing layer is what provides protection for the reinforcement and weatherproofing. It is a barrier against weather and sunlight.

There are some surfacing materials used today that offer additional benefits, too, such as increased solar reflectivity and fire resistance.

Limit Traffic on Your Roof

Even if you have chosen the best roofing materials for low pitch roof, damage can occur if it becomes a high-traffic area.

It would help if you considered your roof a “no traffic” zone. The only time someone should be on the roof is if repairs are needed.

Watch for Ponding or Pooling Water

Water is “ponding” or “pooling” if it does not disappear or evaporate after 48 hours of appearing. If the water remains on your roof, it can deteriorate the materials faster than what would happen in normal circumstances.

The degradation occurs because of accelerated heat aging, algae presence, or magnified UV ray exposure. If you notice this problem on your roof, be sure to call a professional right away.

Watch for Signs of Blistering

As you examine the materials used on your low slope roof, make sure to look for signs of blisters. Blistering is something that happens when liquid is trapped.

Usually, the moisture gets stuck between the membrane piles. This causes the vapor to expand as the temperature goes up, all while causing the membrane to be pushed and raised.

If you do not address the blisters on your roof, it can seriously impact any flat roofing system’s structure and integrity. By handling blistering as soon as they are found, you can make sure that water does not seep into the roofing system.

This will help you prevent any further degradation from occurring.

Signs of Cracking

Did you know several factors may cause your roofing system to crack? Some materials are more susceptible to damage caused by UV rays than others.

The UV rays will break down the materials used for the low slope roofing membrane. When this happens, crazing or cracking will begin to appear.

However, that is not the only cause of cracking.

This may also be caused by subpar workmanship. Surface stress that results from too much weight on the roofing system is an all-too-common cause of cracking.

No matter what has caused the cracks, a more serious problem may occur if they are not repaired. Make sure to address any cracking right away.

Handle Snow Accumulation

While this is a situation that is limited to cooler climates, snow build-up should never be ignored. This is especially true if you have a low slope roof.

When you have a low slope roof, the snow can’t slide off, like it would with a steep or moderately sloped roof. Too much snow can cause the roofing system to be overloaded, and eventually, it may collapse.

However, this is not the only issue that may occur. For example, if the snow begins to melt and the roof is not draining the right way, you may be dealing with a ponding scenario (discussed above).

Make sure you hire a professional for snow removal, if necessary. This is particularly important if the snow is more than one foot deep.

Each year, serious injuries are reported because of homeowners who try to remove snow from their roofs. Don’t let this happen; just call someone for help.

Signs of Loose Fasteners

If the fasteners used for your low slope roofing system are loose, this can cause serious problems. If the fasteners get to lose, they will no longer hold the roofing system to the building like they should.

This will result in your roof is much more likely to experience wind damage and may even face tear-off damage.

Your roofer will know the right type of fasteners to use for your roofing system. If the wrong ones are used, it can cause several serious issues down the road.

Care and Maintenance Needs for Low Slope Roofing

When it comes to caring for and maintaining low slope roofing, the process may be similar to other roofing materials. While this is true, there are some special considerations to keep in mind, too.

Making sure the roof remains in good repair will protect your home or building.

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