Maintaining a flat roof in Denver CO is something that must be done naturally by every property owner. Because it’s a big investment, it makes sense to preserve its integrity. Proper roofing care allows you to maximize its function for years and get the best ROI if you own a business.
Ropa Roofing wrote this post to give commercial property owners practical tips to care for flat roof materials – regardless of what these roofs are made of. Today, we’ll discuss the following:
- Common flat roof materials
- 6 practical flat roof maintenance tips
Commercial Flat Roof Materials Used in Denver CO
Before you learn how to care for materials for flat roofs, you should familiarize yourself with some common options. Here you go:
1. EPDM (ethylene propylene diene terpolymer)
Whether you live in Colorado or another part of the United States, you would agree that rubber is a widely utilized material for flat roof materials. EPDM is a rubber roof and is characterized by its black color. But today, you’ll find more EPDM roofs in white. You’ll appreciate the fact that EPDM is resilient, economical, and energy-saving. You might want to check out our EPDM installation service.
2. PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)
Another flat roof that we would recommend is PVC. If you didn’t know, the first PVC roof was installed in 1966. This tells us that PVC is one of the oldest systems in the commercial roofing industry. PVC roofs have no seams which mean that they are unlikely to develop leaks. The top layer of a PVC roof is capable of resisting the harmful UV rays of the sun.
3. TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin)
What about a TPO flat roof? This is a new entrant in the roofing industry but has gained the trust of users. TPO comes in various thicknesses. We would recommend commercial property owners to choose a thicker membrane for maximum durability. Also, a fully adhered system offers the most advantages. Ropa Roofing installs TPO from GAF. The best part is that GAF’s EverGuard® TPO comes in different pre-formulated colors.
How to Care for Flat Roof Materials
It’s not enough to know what flat roof materials are available in the market. Any material will not serve you long enough if you don’t maintain it. That said, we offer these seven tips.
1. Keep your flat roof clean.
When was the last time you cleaned your flat roof? If you never cleaned it since the day it was installed, you have a good reason to suspect some issues. Not only is a clean roof good-looking, but it also prevents the buildup of moisture.
A DIY roof cleaning method entails sweeping, applying detergent, and washing with a hose. If you don’t have time for cleaning, better hire a professional roofing contractor to do the work.
2. Inspect it regularly.
Preventive care is the ultimate strategy to preserve flat roof materials. Detecting problems in their early phase extend roofing service life. You can carry a roof inspection checklist that lists all the signs of damage to look for. Items that can be found on the checklist include leaks, blisters, cracking, and ponding.
Ideally, a flat roof should be inspected twice a year by a qualified roofing contractor. But also pay special attention to the roof when a storm has passed.
3. Inspect and repair flat roof flashing.
Flashing is an important part of your roofing membrane and should be inspected from time to time. The reason why one should pay attention to flashing is that over time, it may loosen and come off entirely. When this happens, the areas that have been exposed will serve as entry points for water.
Leaks can be prevented right from the start if you have a professional roofing contractor inspect flashing. Faulty flashing materials should also be fixed back or replaced immediately.
4. Minimize foot traffic.
Will your roof fail if people frequently walk on it? Yes, it’s possible. Foot traffic is unavoidable especially if your roof has HVAC, solar panels, or another piece of equipment. Personnel needs to maintain and do repairs from time to time.
If not controlled, foot traffic leads to premature flat roof damage. A practical solution would be to limit roof access to reduce foot traffic. Keep a log for all the people who go up the roof. Also, don’t just allow anyone to go up the roof without a good reason. For example, employees who want to have a chit-chat. Limit access to contractors.
Since roof traffic can also result in a punctured membrane, make sure that you tell contractors to keep sharp tools away from the membrane. Some buildings have walkways to protect the flat roof. During roofing installation, you may also want to install a thicker membrane that withstands excessive foot traffic.
5. Apply reflective acrylic elastomeric coatings.
A less-known flat roof maintenance tip is the application of reflective coatings. When your roof has aged (but can still be saved), it would benefit from reflective coatings. These coatings extend the lifespan of your roof by decreasing solar heat gain and acting as a waterproofing layer.
Roofing professionals usually apply reflective coatings during a roof restoration process. And the good news is that these coatings can be applied to nearly all flat roof materials – EPDM, PVC, and TPO.
The process starts with a complete inspection. If a roofer determines that the roof material qualifies for a restoration, they proceed with cleaning, repairs, and the application of the coatings.
6. Trim back heavy tree limbs and branches.
Trees are good for the environment. If they surround your building, the good thing about it is that you get shade, feel cooler on warm days, and breathe cleaner air. But it’s not all sunshine and roses. Trees can be detrimental to the roof if not maintained.
On windy days and during stormy weather in Denver CO, tree branches will rub against the flat roof membrane. This phenomenon creates punctures and scratches that make the membrane susceptible to leaks. Heavy limbs can also break and land on the roof. Avoid structural damage and an early roof replacement by trimming trees. Hire a qualified tree trimming company for this task.
Do Not Neglect Your Flat Roof! Invest in Maintenance Today.
Finally, we’ve come to the end of this guide. Flat roof materials, regardless of the type, deserve to be cared for. You may have the best roof from a recognized manufacturer but a lack of maintenance will still result in premature failure. Nobody wants that!
Today, Ropa Roofing offers you the chance to maintain your roof. We provide flat roof services like inspections and repairs. And if you ever need to replace your roof, we’ll be there for you. Check out our projects so far! If you’re ready, Get in touch with us and receive a FREE QUOTE.