Splitting can be caused by freeze thawing, stress or pressure, water ponding or simply poor workmanship. It can be that the surface has not been cared for appropriately and solar-reflective paint or stones have not been maintained, or the surface has been damaged by walking on it.
Ponding will show as areas of standing water that don’t drain away or in dry conditions you may notice a water mark surrounding it. If ponding occurs on the edge of your roof it is possible to install hoppers to collect the excess water, or an automatic pump can be implemented for problem areas in the middle of the roof. You could investigate fitting drains or ideally having the lower areas built up to stop the ponding altogether. Regular flat roof maintenance can help to prevent any damage that may cause ponding issues.
Blistering happens when air is trapped between the layers of felt or the under structure. When the air heats it causes air pockets which can lead to puncture when the blister breaks particularly if it is a large blister on a join. If this happens water can pass through the roof. To resolve this problem the area should be cleaned and repaired professionally to ensure a waterproof seal is maintained.
Regularly checking your roof will help you to avoid major problems. Regular preventative maintenance is the best way to avoid flat roof problems, which will be much more cost effective in the long run. Hire a professional to safely remove dirt, leaves and debris from your roof, gutters and drains on a regular basis. Use a leaf blower to remove leaves as standing of the roof can cause damage. Standing on a flat roof can damage the pitch of the roof which is important to allow for rain run-off as well as cause punctures in the surface. After heavy rain, check your roof for damage and ponding and clear away any leaves and debris. Snowfall can also cause significant damage and should be removed from the roof carefully to prevent this. Freeze thaw will split the surface so it is important to check for this which can be caused by expanding ice. Internally you should regularly check your ceiling for any stains caused by water damage and leaking to ensure that you take action as soon as possible in order to minimise any damage.
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