Because of a lack of excessive pitch, many homeowners take it upon themselves to do maintenance to their flat roof. If you have an asphalt flat roof on top of your home, and you live in an area prone to ice and snow, you will need to take special steps will need to be taken to ensure it is ready to handle the accumulation of moisture in the wintertime. Here are some general guidelines to follow when preparing a rooftop for inclement weather.
Evaluate The Rooftop
Walk the entire length and width of your rooftop while inspecting it for areas in need of repair. Any spots that feel mushy when stepped on can signify a water damage repair in the future. Blistering, puckering, or small areas of leaking in the roof would need to be repaired before winter precipitation falls. Check that caulk is not cracked around vents, chimneys or skylights and reapply if necessary.
Remove All Debris
Leaves, twigs, sticks, and other debris accumulate rather quickly on a flat top roof. It is extremely important to remove these items before wintertime precipitation begins. When debris is left on a flat roof, water will pool around the items, causing the rooftop to become saturated with excessive moisture. This in turn can cause deterioration of the roof and leaking within the home. Get up on your rooftop and do a thorough cleaning with a push broom to remove all debris. For caked-on grime, use a soft-bristled scrub brush to wipe away particles.
Trim Back Branches
Any overhanging branches can be detrimental to a flat rooftop. The weight from snow and ice will build up on these appendages, putting your flat roof at risk. The falling of a heavy branch along with the weight of frozen precipitation can cause breaks to occur to your roof. They can also cause leaking if left in place when a thaw occurs. Take time to cut any branches hanging over your rooftop. It is a good idea to clip them back a foot or two further to help keep snow from flying toward your roof when windy conditions are present.
Check The Drain Hub
Flat roofs have a drainage grates throughout, which can become full of debris as well. Remove the metal grates and remove any debris from inside by scooping it out with gloved hands. Afterwards, open the drain hub and insert a garden hose spigot into the opening. Wash any embedded debris from the piping to the drain spout. This removal will ensure snow and ice do not build up inside the drainage system, possibly causing a pooling of water on top of the roof.
For more tips on getting your flat roof ready for winter, contact a company like Bob Behrends Roofing & Gutters LLC.