How often should a flat roof be coated?
Even more so than other roofs, flat roofs require maintenance in order to last. This maintenance typically comes in the form of coating the flat roof. A lifespan of an un-coated flat roof is around 10 years but coating it every five years or so can extend this enormously. Coating a flat roof can also save money on costly repairs down the line. How often you need to coat your roof, and which coating is the best, depends on a few factors.
How Can You Tell Your Flat Roof Needs Coating?
Flat roofs are not usually actually flat, but instead have a very slight slope. Because of this, the main issue which affects flat roofs is drainage issues. It’s far better to coat the roof as a pre-emptive measure rather than wait for drainage issues such as ponding or leaks and then attempt to correct them. Ponding can also lead to fine cracks in PVC called crazing. Any signs of structural damage are a sure sign your roof needs coating. However, even if you do not have signs of damage and it has been five or more years since your roof was last coated, it’s still worth coating your flat roof.
How to coat your flat roof
The first step towards coating your roof is to thoroughly clean it. There is no way to ensure a coating properly adheres unless your roof is thoroughly clean.
It can also be a good idea to use a primer on your roof before painting. Primers will help coating thoroughly adhere. Conversely to what you may think, coatings tend to adhere better to rougher surfaces. Check with your coating manufacturer for primer recommendations.
You can paint on your silver coat roof seal yourself. However, if there are underlying issues such a leaks or ponding, it may be better to use a contractor for a more thorough job. If you do undertake the task, remember to take adequate safety precautions. Make sure your ladders are stable and in good condition, and never work in adverse weather conditions.
The Lifespan of a Flat Roof
A flat roof left unmaintained will typically last about 10 years. It’s a good idea to plan for a new coating every five years to ensure its integrity and continued performance. If your flat roof is less than five years old but you’ve noticed the presence of cracks or pooling water, then you’ll want to go ahead and have it coated. Those cracks and pooling water can lead to more extensive damage, the repairs of which may cost far more than a new coating. And, if your flat roof is more than a decade old, even if there are no cracks or pooling water, do your house or commercial building a favor and have it coated.
How to Find Out if Flat Roof Needs Coating
It is important to know that a flat roof is not flat. The term is common due to the slight slope in the roof structure. This is one reason why flat roofs soften face drainage issues. That is why many roofing experts advise coating your roofs as a preventive measure to keep drainage problems such as leaks at bay instead of correcting them.
Know that severe leaks may lead to cracks in the roof, commonly called crazing. If your roof shows structural damages, it is an indication that it needs coating. Even if your roof does not show signs of physical damage but has been more than six years since its last coating, it is worth coating it.
When to Coat a Flat Roof
The main reason to recoat a flat roof is for water protection. If ponding does occur, the roof can leak and cause more damage inside. It’s worth resealing the roof every five years or so to avoid water damage. However, the following factors may often influence the frequency of roof coating:
For flat roofs, regular roof sealing is absolutely crucial since they are at high risk of ponding. So, the surface has to be perfectly waterproof to prevent leakage of water into your building. Even the smallest of leaks should be dealt with promptly to prevent any water damage. Typically, a flat roof left unsealed can have its lifespan reduced by up to 50 percent. Sloped roofs, on the other hand, do not need sealing as often since water can run off more efficiently and is less likely to pool.