Common Flat Roof Maintenance Issues

Posted on: 5 November 2015

Flat roofs are not always the ideal roof shape, particularly for those living in the cold and snowy Canadian winters. Heavy snow or a lot of rain can make your flat roof more vulnerable to substantial damage like tearing or buckling. If your home has a flat roof, it is imperative that you keep it properly maintained and inspect it regularly for potential damage. Here are some things to be on the lookout for if you have a flat roof.  


Ponding is common with flat roofs, and it happens when rainwater sits in pools on top of the roof. Heavy rains or snow can cause excess water to accumulate, which then ponds on the roof as it sits still. Since the water has nowhere to go, it remains stagnant or ponds on top of the roof. If left alone, it can eventually cause leaking and can also create serious issues with the roof's structure. Too much weight from ponding stillwater can actually cause the roof to collapse if left unnoticed.

Material Cracks or Splits

Take a look at the material on top of your roof and keep an eye out for any visible splits or tears. You may be able to see the joints of the roof underneath, which indicates a very serious problem. Cracking and splitting can be caused by a number of different factors including poor workmanship upon installation, stress on the surface, or wear and tear due to the fluctuations of weather such as freezing and thawing.


As you inspect your roof, look for blistering. This will appear as bubbles, and is caused as air gets trapped inside the felt layers in the substrate. Over time, the felt layers begin to separate and cause them to lift up or bubble. Bubbling and blistering make the roof's material weaker and more vulnerable to wear. 

Heavy Snow

Most areas of Canada experience periods of heavy snow at some point during the year. If you have a flat roof, this is certainly a cause for concern. Regularly remove any snow that accumulates on top of your roof. You can do this by going up top and sweeping it off with a broom or using a shovel to remove it. Just be very careful since snow and ice are slippery and there could be a risk of falling. The weight of heavy snow on a flat roof can put it in serious danger of collapse. If you're uncertain about removing the snow yourself, call a professional (such as one from Cozifoam spray foam roofing) who can come out and remove the snow from your roof.