Skip to content

How Often Should I Have My Flat Roof Inspected?


Having a flat roof can mean having more issues than a traditional pitched roof. However, if you are smart about it, you can work your way around these issues and avoid them altogether. If you put in the work and maintain your flat roof periodically by getting it inspected, you can keep all these problems at bay and make your roof last longer.

Unfortunately, many property owners neglect the maintenance and inspection of their roofs, which results in damage and wear and tear over time. Consequently, your roof gets damaged and lasts for much less time than it is supposed to. Before you know it, you will need a roof replacement which can cost you tens of thousands of dollars.

Roof Inspections

Ideally, you should get your flat roof inspected at least once a year. If there is a storm in your area or if there are trees on your property that may damage your roof, you should get it inspected even more. Getting your roof inspected regularly ensures that any underlying issues are resolved before they turn into a problem that is beyond repair.

Heavy rainfall may also damage your roof and result in mold growth. Mold occurs wherever there is moisture in your roof, and it spreads quickly. Not only does it completely damage the sturdiness of your roof, but it also results in health concerns.

If there has been heavy rainfall, you should call a roof inspection company and have your roof inspected. If you notice any of these signs, call a professional roofing contractor to have a look at your house.


Common Failures that Occur in a Flat Roof

Here are the problems that can surface on a flat roof:

1. Ponding and Watermarks

Ponding, as the name suggests, occurs when water accumulates in pools on your roof’s surface. Regardless of its location, stagnant water inevitably seeks an outlet, potentially penetrating your roof’s structure. This infiltration weakens the integrity of your roof, compromising its ability to withstand weather and other external pressures.

Once the water has breached your roof or evaporated following prolonged standing, it leaves behind conspicuous traces in the form of dark patches known as watermarks. These unsightly stains not only detract from the appearance of your roof but also serve as visible indicators of potential damage within. Left unaddressed, watermarks can signal underlying issues such as rot, mold, or structural deterioration, posing risks to the longevity and safety of your roof and home.

Therefore, it’s crucial to promptly address ponding issues and mitigate any resulting damage to safeguard the structural integrity and aesthetics of your roof. Regular inspections, proper drainage systems, and timely repairs are essential practices in maintaining a durable and resilient roofing system.

Learn how to protect your roof during monsoon season.

2. Mold Growth and Vegetation

When water lingers for extended periods on your roof’s surface, it creates a moist environment conducive to the proliferation of various unwanted organisms. Mold, moss, lichen, weeds, and fungus thrive in such damp conditions, taking root and spreading across your roof. These unwanted guests not only mar the appearance of your roof but also pose significant threats to its structural integrity.

Mold, in particular, is a common nuisance resulting from prolonged moisture exposure. Its spores can infiltrate the nooks and crannies of your roof, spreading rapidly and compromising the materials from within. As mold colonies multiply, they release enzymes that break down organic components of your roof, leading to decay and weakening of its structure over time.

Similarly, the growth of vegetation such as moss, lichen, and weeds further exacerbates the problem. These organisms not only add weight to your roof, increasing the strain on its supports, but also penetrate the surface, causing physical damage and accelerating deterioration. Their roots can infiltrate gaps and crevices in roofing materials, gradually prying them apart and compromising the roof’s ability to provide adequate protection.

Furthermore, the presence of fungus on your roof can contribute to its degradation. Fungal growths, like mold, feed on organic matter present in roofing materials, gradually consuming and breaking down its components. As they spread, they create unsightly discoloration and weaken the structural integrity of your roof, making it more susceptible to leaks, cracks, and other forms of damage.

In essence, the accumulation of long-standing water on your roof not only fosters the growth of mold, moss, lichen, weeds, and fungus but also compromises its strength and functionality from within. To preserve the integrity of your roof and protect your home from potential harm, it’s essential to address ponding issues promptly and implement measures to prevent moisture buildup and the growth of these detrimental organisms. Regular maintenance, proper drainage systems, and timely repairs are key in safeguarding the longevity and performance of your roof.

3. Blisters

Blisters on your roof manifest as unmistakable bubbles of trapped water beneath the surface layers. These formations arise as a result of water infiltration into the roofing structure, typically due to various factors such as poor installation, age-related wear and tear, or damage from severe weather conditions.

When moisture penetrates the layers of your roof, it can become trapped between the membranes, creating pockets of trapped water. Over time, as the sun’s heat intensifies or fluctuations in temperature occur, the trapped moisture expands and contracts, exerting pressure on the surrounding materials. This constant cycle of expansion and contraction exacerbates the separation between the roofing layers, forming distinct blister-like protrusions on the surface.

Visually, these blisters resemble translucent or opaque bubbles visible within the roof’s inner membrane. Depending on their size and severity, they may appear as small, localized formations or larger, more widespread clusters. However, regardless of their size, blisters pose a significant risk as they are prone to rupture under pressure.

When blisters burst, they release the trapped water, causing it to seep into the underlying layers of your roof and potentially infiltrate your home’s interior. This can lead to water damage to ceilings, walls, and insulation, as well as fostering conditions conducive to mold and mildew growth.

Moreover, the repeated cycle of blister formation and rupture can exacerbate existing structural weaknesses within your roof, accelerating its deterioration and shortening its lifespan. Therefore, it’s crucial to address blistering issues promptly to prevent further damage and ensure the longevity and performance of your roofing system.

Regular inspections, timely repairs, and proactive maintenance are essential practices in identifying and remedying blistering problems before they escalate. By addressing underlying causes such as poor ventilation, inadequate drainage, or compromised roofing materials, you can mitigate the risk of blister formation and safeguard the integrity of your roof against water intrusion and structural damage.


4. Cracks

As your roof ages, its protective waterproof layers undergo natural wear and tear, gradually deteriorating over time. This degradation is particularly pronounced in roofing materials like EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) or rubber, which are susceptible to drying out and becoming brittle as they are exposed to the elements.

The prolonged exposure to sunlight, temperature fluctuations, and environmental pollutants gradually weaken the integrity of the waterproof layering, causing it to develop cracks and fissures. These openings provide pathways for water infiltration, allowing moisture to penetrate the roof’s structure and seep into its underlying layers.

Once water breaches the waterproof barrier, it can wreak havoc within your roof’s interior. Moisture accumulation can lead to a host of issues, including rot, mold growth, and structural damage. Over time, the continuous ingress of water exacerbates these problems, compromising the stability and performance of your roof.

If left unaddressed, the consequences of compromised waterproof layering can be severe and costly to rectify. Internal damage to insulation, decking, and support structures can escalate, posing safety risks and necessitating extensive repairs or even roof replacement.

Therefore, it’s imperative to proactively monitor the condition of your roof’s waterproofing and take timely action to restore its integrity when signs of deterioration emerge. Regular inspections by qualified professionals can help identify potential vulnerabilities and address them before they escalate into more significant issues.

Restoring the waterproof layering through repair or replacement, as necessary, ensures that your roof remains resilient and effective in protecting your home against water intrusion and its detrimental effects. By investing in proper maintenance and timely interventions, you can prolong the lifespan of your roof and preserve the structural integrity of your home for years to come.

5. Movement

While the movement of land occurs gradually over extended periods, it remains a potent force that can exert significant influence, particularly on flat roofs. Subsidence, a common form of land movement, can subtly alter the terrain beneath a building, causing shifts that reverberate through its structure. In the case of flat roofs, these movements can lead to subtle stretching and shifting, which, over time, may manifest as cracks in the waterproofing layer.

The impact of subsidence on a building’s structure is not to be underestimated. Even though the changes may occur imperceptibly to the naked eye, the cumulative effects can be substantial. As the ground beneath shifts, it can induce stress and strain on the building’s framework, including the roof. This can result in the gradual elongation or distortion of the roof’s surface, creating vulnerabilities in its protective layers.

One of the most critical layers in flat roof construction is the waterproof membrane, which serves as the primary barrier against moisture intrusion. When the structural integrity of the roof is compromised due to subsidence-induced movements, this membrane may be subjected to undue stress, leading to the formation of cracks and fissures. These openings provide pathways for water to seep into the roof assembly, posing risks of leaks, water damage, and deterioration of underlying materials.

Given the potential consequences of compromised waterproofing, it’s imperative for property owners to remain vigilant and proactive in safeguarding their roofs. Regular inspections by qualified professionals can help detect signs of subsidence-induced damage early on, allowing for timely interventions to mitigate risks and preserve the integrity of the roof system.

Ensuring the integrity of the waterproof membrane through timely repairs or replacements as needed is essential for maintaining the effectiveness of the roof in protecting the building against moisture intrusion. By prioritizing preventative maintenance and staying proactive in addressing potential vulnerabilities, property owners can minimize the impacts of land movement on their flat roofs and prolong their lifespan.


6. Poor Repairs

When transitioning into a new residence, it’s essential to acknowledge the uncertainty surrounding the maintenance history of the property, particularly regarding the roof. The previous occupants may have addressed roofing issues hastily, opting for quick fixes that provide only temporary solutions. As a result, there could be underlying problems lurking beneath the surface, masked by makeshift repairs or concealed with extra layers of sealant.

Given the potential pitfalls of inheriting a roof with unknown repair history, it’s imperative for new homeowners to prioritize a comprehensive roof inspection. This proactive measure serves as a crucial step in assessing the condition and integrity of the roof system, ensuring that any existing issues are identified and addressed promptly.

During the inspection process, qualified roofing professionals meticulously examine the roof’s components, scrutinizing for discrepancies that may indicate subpar repairs or concealed damage. One key aspect they assess is the consistency of materials used across the roof surface. Discrepancies in material types or qualities could signify patchwork repairs carried out with mismatched or inferior materials, compromising the roof’s overall durability and performance.

Additionally, inspectors pay close attention to the presence of excess sealant or caulking on the roof surface. While sealants play a vital role in weatherproofing and sealing joints, excessive application can be indicative of attempts to mask underlying issues or conceal shoddy repair work. Furthermore, an accumulation of sealant may hinder proper drainage and ventilation, exacerbating moisture-related problems and compromising the roof’s longevity.

By conducting a thorough roof inspection upon moving into a new home, homeowners can gain invaluable insights into the roof’s condition and maintenance history. Armed with this knowledge, they can make informed decisions regarding necessary repairs or maintenance tasks, ensuring the roof’s long-term performance and safeguarding their investment in the property.

Ultimately, investing in a professional roof inspection provides peace of mind, enabling new homeowners to start their journey in their new residence with confidence and assurance in the integrity of their roof system.

How Long Does a Well-Maintained Roof Last?

The longevity of a flat roof is heavily dependent on its material composition and the diligence with which it is maintained. While a well-constructed flat roof has the potential to endure for several decades, the specific lifespan varies according to the materials used in its construction.

Flat roofs crafted from durable materials such as modified bitumen, thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO), polyurethane foam, acrylic, or silicon coatings can typically last for up to two decades under optimal conditions. These materials offer robust protection against the elements and demonstrate commendable resilience over time.

However, for those seeking even greater longevity, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) stand out as premier options. Flat roofs constructed from these materials boast an impressive lifespan of approximately three decades, making them ideal choices for property owners seeking enduring performance and minimal maintenance requirements.

Nevertheless, it’s essential to emphasize that the projected lifespan of any flat roof is contingent upon regular maintenance and attentive care. Regardless of the material used, neglecting routine inspections and maintenance tasks can significantly diminish a roof’s longevity and compromise its performance.

To maximize the lifespan of your flat roof, it’s imperative to enlist the services of a reputable roofing company to conduct thorough inspections and perform necessary maintenance throughout the year. By proactively addressing potential issues and implementing preventive measures, you can mitigate the risk of premature deterioration and prolong the life of your roof.

Ultimately, investing in regular roof maintenance is a prudent decision that pays dividends in the long run. By prioritizing prevention over reactionary repairs or replacements, you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with a sturdy, dependable flat roof that withstands the test of time.

Call a Professional Roof Inspection Company Today!

At KY-KO Roofing, we pride ourselves on our extensive expertise in managing a wide range of roofing systems, catering to the diverse needs of our valued clients. Our seasoned roofers possess the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to deliver comprehensive roofing solutions tailored to your specific requirements.

From routine inspections and preventive maintenance to prompt repairs and seamless replacements, our all-inclusive roofing services encompass every aspect of roof care and maintenance. Whether you’re in need of a thorough assessment of your roof’s condition or require immediate attention to address signs of wear and tear or water damage, our team is here to assist you every step of the way.

As a licensed, bonded, and insured company, we uphold the highest standards of professionalism and accountability, ensuring that our clients receive top-quality service and peace of mind. With our Owner’s Pride Guarantee, you can trust in the superior craftsmanship and lasting durability of our workmanship, backed by our unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction.

If you suspect that your roof may be in need of inspection or have noticed any indications of deterioration or water infiltration, don’t hesitate to reach out to us today. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff are standing by to schedule a convenient appointment and provide you with the expert guidance and assistance you need to safeguard the integrity and longevity of your roof.

Contact KY-KO Roofing today to experience the difference that exceptional roofing services and unmatched customer care can make for your home or business. We’re here to ensure that your roof remains a reliable and protective asset for years to come.