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March 17 2018

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The Complexities of Flat Roof Installation

Installing flat commercial roofing Denver requires skill, the right equipment, and training. It is the most complex type of roof to install and not all roofing companies do it properly. Improper repairs and installations of flat roofs result in damage to the roof and the structure, as evidenced by many lawsuits. Take the time to ask how many flat roofs have been installed by the company, and request references as well.

Why So Difficult?

One of the main components of the roof installation that has to be precise is the drainage system. Because there is minimal to zero pitch water will puddle on the roof if the drainage is not well planned. Gutters are an inexpensive option, but are prone to freezing in the winter. Ice buildup can create dams that not only fail to drain water off the roof, but also cause the gutters to crack or dent.

Better Drainage Options

Since Denver roof systems have to withstand long and cold winters, gutters are not the best option for flat roof drainage. Inner drains do not freeze. These are near the center of the roof and attach to pipes which direct water off the roof. This solution can be higher in price than the other two options, but will likely last for the life of the roof and be virtually invisible for high curb appeal.

Scuppers are the third drainage option for flat roofs. These are openings in the outer walls or curbing of the roof. If completed properly, there should be no clogging and virtually no maintenance involved. The heat from the building keeps these holes from freezing in the winter.

Other Issues

Many flat roofs are poured or laid out in layers. There are waterproofing, insulation, and outer material layers that have to be installed. Failure to keep layers tight, not provide enough time for them to settle, or pouring materials at an incorrect thickness will lead to problems. Leaks, caps where moisture builds, and cracking of layers are some results.

Coatings are available for flat roofs to provide added protection. There are several available to accommodate different needs. Some are reflective to reduce the absorption of heat from the sun. Some increase waterproofing properties, and others provide texture to make walking on it easier and safer.

If the wrong coating is applied to the surface, it will not adhere properly. Application of coatings have to be exact to ensure maximum benefits. A company without the expertise or equipment to do the job right will end up costing building owners a substantial amount of money for repairs or restoration.
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