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Flat Roofs And The Monsoons. . . Maintenance Is Key To Preventing Leaks

Jul 28

filed under: Real Estate, Yada Yada

This post is probably on the late side since we are already in the middle of our monsoon season. Hopefully you have done some of  things I am going to bring to your attention and have not experienced any leaks since our monsoon season began. I know at the writing of this post that we are expecting the return of our monsoon storms for the next few days and let’s hope our flat roofs in Fountain Hills and other areas of the Valley are all in good shape.

If you have not already done so, you or a licensed roofer should be doing  a visual inspection a couple of times a year and also after every big storm. I know what a pain in the neck that is. By the way if you are going to inspect your roof yourself beware of doing it in the early morning hours if there is any dew on the roof, it can get very slippery. In no way do I want to be responsible for you falling on your tush or worse yet breaking any of your extremities.

The two most common types of  flat roofs in Arizona are a foam roof or a built-up/asphalt roof and you will look for the same things for either one.  By the way the information I am giving you was taken from Rosie On The House, a well know Arizona contractor with an equally good reputation. Here’s Rosie’s advice.

  • Look for every roof penetration, around the chimney, vents, skylights, walls, flashing, air conditioning elbows and stands, antennas and support wires and satellite dishes.
  • Remove any build-up of dirt, leaves or pine needles around drains, scuppers or crickets that would cause pooling and keep water from draining off the roof.
  • Trim tree branches away from your roof.
  • Check for damage or holes in the areas where your flat roof joins a tiled or shingled roof.
  • Inspect the outside edges of the roof for loose roofing material or drip cap flashing.
  • Look for cracks along the seams of rolled roofing.
  • Search for holes pecked by birds in foam roofing.
  • On a territorial-style home with stucco parapets, judge how well the stucco on the top and backside of all the parapets is holding up. Cracked stucco or a poor flashing job between stucco and roof material are common problems that can lead to leaks.

If any of these items exist and are not repaired or cleaned up either by yourself or a licensed roofer you are leaving yourself open for a probable roof leak, if not now, then in the foreseeable future. I can tell you those are not a lot of fun.

Written by Howard Harris