What Are Your Maintenance Options
Flat roofs are typical with commercial buildings and require a special type of roofing background. Even though it may be simpler to construct, it can demand more maintenance and inspection than a standard pitched roof.
When you hire a Denver commercial roofer to perform the work, you have to start by checking references. Knowing that they have the proper experience, skills and insurance to carry out the job will provide a level of confidence in the outcome.
An architect or engineer should also be employed to specify, detail and inspect the final work. The need for suitable design and construction in the joint between the flat roof and the parapet wall is essential because this is the location where a lot of issues tend to develop.
Not familiar with what a parapet wall is?
A parapet is a barrier which is an extension of the wall at the edge of a roof, terrace, balcony, walkway or other structure. Where extending above a roof, a parapet may simply be the portion of an exterior wall that continues above the line of the roof surface, or may be a continuation of a vertical feature beneath the roof such as a fire wall or party wall.
See the full definition here: Parapet – Wikipedia
Issues With Parapet Walls
This structure was originally used as fortification to defend the building from being attacked. At this point in time, it has become more of a safety rail to prevent someone from falling off the roof and protects the structure from wind uplift forces.
It’s also the point where leaks and lingering moisture can raise havoc if the roof isn’t sealed and drained correctly. Copings and parapet walls are the reason for a high percentage of the waterproofing issues in flat roof construction.
This roofer explains how problems with parapet walls and the coping stones are causing water to pool under the felt and leak into the ceiling below:
The coping cap protects the top of the external walls and can be made of anything from brick to concrete to metal. Its job is to prevent water from penetrating into the parapet wall.
What are the protective solutions for flat roofs? First of all, you obviously have to keep an eye on the drainage system because debris that builds up can be a disaster.
Fall Upkeep Of A Flat Roof
Fall season is a good time to sweep off leaves, twigs, and dirt to stop the drains from getting clogged. Also, remove any tree branches that are hanging over the top of the roof to keep them from breaking off and falling or scraping against your roof on windy days.
As far as parapet walls are concerned, because they are subjected to all types of weather and structural stress, assuring the proper slope of the coping, overhang, and the correct flashing detail is in place will go a long way to keeping water from finding its way to the inside of the structure.
The importance of correctly installed flashing on a flat roof is discussed here:
Typically, a base flashing and counter flashing are used. If the membrane is asphalt (built-up or modified bitumen), a cant strip is recommended. This wood or fiberboard triangular piece (typically 3 inches horizontal by 3 inches tall) is used to allow the membrane to make two 45° turns rather than one 90° turn to reduce the risk of the lap joints separating or opening at the upturn. The roof membrane typically extends onto the cant strip, but not up onto the vertical wall surface.
A base flashing may be one of several materials, but it is often the roof membrane material itself. Typically, it is provided with protection against sunlight. The base flashing extends onto the flat portion of the membrane and is sealed to it. The flashing extends over the cant strip and up the wall surface, approximately 8 to 14 inches above the roof.
See more here: Flat Roof-to-Wall Flashings
Consulting with a flat roof specialist in the Front Range area will offer peace of mind that you are going to get the best service to protect your asset.