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Bergen County Roofing: Article About Water Damage With A Flat Roof

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The key to stopping extensive home water damage when your house has a flat roof is knowing what to look for before water can penetrate the various layers of roofing.

Faulty drainage is a common cause of damage to a flat roof. Water can collect on the roof from an accumulation of rain water or ice. When it gathers on the roof, it can cause the roof to leak or, in the worst-case scenario, cave in. To prevent this issue from occurring, tapered insulation systems can be used, or the roof substrate can be restructured to achieve proper drainage. The addition of drains on the roof is another option for some flat roof configurations. Adding some form of drainage on flat roof will help to extend the life of roof assemblies and therefore lessen the live load on the structure. If you suspect your roof is leaking, contact a professional Bergen County roofing company.

Skylights can often be the source of leaks on flat roofs. This occurs when wind-blown rain is forced into frames that may not have a proper membrane and metal flashing detail. Your flat roof should be inspected for any moisture between the panes of the acrylic domes or the glass on the skylight unit itself. If you notice either of these issues, you should contact an expert roofer before a leak causes extensive damage to your home.

There are also other signs that may indicate your flat roof is accumulating water. If the roof is composed of tar and gravel, when the gravel begins to separate from the asphalt, a sandy residue will be visible.

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It will appear on the surface and be dirt-like or muddy when scraped. You may also notice blisters on the surface or algae or moss growth on the roof. All of these are indications of water accumulation. Speak with a professional about these issues to determine if there may be a leak.

You should perform a site inspection. Take a walk around the roof, paying special attention to the metal flashing. A typical roof will have two layers of flashing. The inner layer, known as step flashing, covers the area of the roof where the wooden sheathing meets structural holes in the roof, such as a chimney or skylight. The counter layer, or outer layer, acts as protection in addition to the step

flashing. These two layers function together, expanding and contracting with the flat roof. When that does not happen, the flashing could allow water to leak under the coating of the roof. If you notice any faults with the flashing, contact a roofing expert. Any damage in the flashing creates an area where water could penetrate.

Walk around the roof of the house, looking for flaws that may be indicative of a place for water to leak. Using your fingers, pick at the edges of the seams to ensure that they have a tight seal. If the seal is not tight, there may be a problem.

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