4 Common Problems With Commercial Flat Roofs

Posted on: 14 December 2017

While some homes are built with flat roofs, this type of roofing is much more popular for commercial buildings, such as warehouses, office buildings, and retail stores. While commercial flat roofs can last a long time, they do develop problems. If you own commercial property that has a flat roof, be diligent about watching for the following problems:


One of the most common issues with flat roofs is leaks. Unlike slanted roofs where water can run down, a leak in a flat roof can lead to water seeping into the building or dripping directly through the ceiling. In addition to water damage from the leaks, trapped moisture can also lead to the growth of mold and mildew. If you detect a leak in a flat roof, it is important to have it repaired promptly. In addition, it is a good idea to have your building's flat roof inspected regularly so problems can be identified and repaired before leaks start.

Pooling Water on the Roof

When a building is constructed, the flat roof is very level. But as the building settles over the years, it is possible for the roof to shift slightly which can lead to areas that may be a little bit lower than other parts of the roof. When this happens, it is possible for melting snow or rain water to begin to pool. Excessive exposure to water can damage the roofing materials, so if you have areas where water pools it is important to drain them in a timely manner. A commercial roofing contractor may be able to provide solutions to stop water from pooling in areas of a flat roof.


Due to their design, a flat roof has more pressure exerted on it than a slanted roof. As pressure and tension builds up on a flat roof, it can crack. A large crack in a flat roof is an emergency, so if you discover that your building's roof has cracked you need to contact a commercial roofing contractor immediately. In most cases, you will need to replace the building's roof if a crack develops.

Membrane Buckles

A flat roof is constructed by soaking a membrane in asphalt and then laying the entire piece across the top of a building. Over time, as the building shifts slightly and completely settles, it is possible for the membrane on the roof to buckle. A buckled membrane compromises the integrity of the roof and make it structurally unstable. A flat roof with a buckled membrane should be replaced as quickly as possible. 

Contact a company, like Kerry Roofing & Masonry, for more help.