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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Putilin

Why Are My Flat Roof Seams Failing?


Contractor inspecting flat roof seams for signs of damage or wear


As a business owner or property manager with a flat roof, you may have noticed that your roof is failing at the seams. This can be a frustrating and potentially costly problem, as leaks and other forms of water infiltration can lead to structural damage and increased energy costs.


Understanding why your flat roof is failing at the seams is crucial in order to address the issue properly. In this blog post, we will discuss what flat roof seams are, why they fail, and the signs of seam failure to look out for. We will also explore the importance of regular flat roof inspections and choosing the right commercial roof contractor to work with.


Before we dive in, it's important to note that Flat Roof Pros, Inc. is a commercial roof contractor based in Portland, Oregon that specializes in flat roof installation, repair, and maintenance. With over a decade of experience in the industry, we have seen firsthand the damage that can result from neglected flat roof seams. If you are experiencing issues with your flat roof seams, we encourage you to schedule a free inspection with us to identify the problem and develop a solution.




What are flat roof seams?

Before we dive into why flat roof seams fail, it's important to understand what they are. Flat roof seams are the areas where two or more sections of roofing material meet and are joined together. These seams can be made from a variety of materials, including asphalt, rubber, PVC, and TPO.


There are two main types of seams commonly found on flat roofs: overlapped seams and welded seams. Overlapped seams involve overlapping two pieces of roofing material and securing them together with adhesive or mechanical fasteners. Welded seams, on the other hand, involve heating the seams and fusing the two pieces of material together.


Regardless of the type of seam, proper installation and maintenance are crucial to ensure that they remain intact and prevent water infiltration.



Flat roof with visible seams indicating potential areas of failure


Reasons for seam failure

Now that we understand what flat roof seams are, let's explore why they fail. There are several reasons why flat roof seams may fail, including:


1. Aging and weathering: Over time, the materials used to create flat roof seams can degrade due to exposure to the elements. This can cause the seams to crack, shrink, or become brittle, leading to water infiltration.

2. Poor installation techniques: If flat roof seams are not installed properly, they are more likely to fail. This can include inadequate or incorrect use of adhesive or mechanical fasteners, improper overlap, or insufficient heating during the welding process.

3. Lack of maintenance: Flat roof seams require regular maintenance in order to remain in good condition. If they are not inspected and maintained regularly, issues can go unnoticed and lead to more significant problems down the line.

4. Foot traffic and other mechanical damage: Flat roofs with seams that are frequently walked on, such as those with HVAC units or other equipment, are more likely to experience seam damage. Additionally, weather events such as hail or fallen tree branches can cause damage to flat roof seams.


It's important to identify the root cause of seam failure in order to address the issue properly. A professional flat roof inspection can help to identify any underlying issues and provide recommendations for repair or maintenance.


If you suspect that your flat roof seams may be failing, we encourage you to schedule a free inspection with Flat Roof Pros, Inc. Our team of experts can identify the cause of any issues and provide solutions to address them.




Signs of seam failure

Now that we understand why flat roof seams may fail, let's take a closer look at the signs of seam failure. Some common signs of seam failure include:


1. Visual inspection: If you notice any cracks, tears, or separation in your flat roof seams, it may be a sign that they are failing.

2. Water infiltration: One of the most obvious signs of seam failure is water infiltration. If you notice water stains on your ceiling or walls, it's important to address the issue promptly to prevent further damage.

3. Increased energy costs: If your flat roof seams are failing, they may be allowing air to escape, causing your heating and cooling costs to increase.

4. Structural damage: Over time, water infiltration can cause structural damage to your building, including damage to walls, ceilings, and flooring.


If you notice any of these signs, it's important to address the issue promptly to prevent further damage.



Water stains on the ceiling below a flat roof indicating potential seam failure and water infiltration


Importance of regular flat roof inspections

Regular flat roof inspections are crucial to maintaining the health and longevity of your roof. During an inspection, a professional contractor can identify any issues with your flat roof seams and provide recommendations for repair or maintenance.


It's recommended that flat roof inspections are conducted at least twice a year, in the spring and fall. This allows contractors to identify any issues before they become more significant problems.


In addition to identifying issues with your flat roof seams, regular inspections can also help to identify issues with other components of your roof, such as drainage systems, flashing, and skylights.




Choosing the right commercial roof contractor

When it comes to maintaining and repairing your flat roof seams, it's important to work with a reputable commercial roof contractor. Here are some tips for selecting the right contractor:


1. Look for experience: Choose a contractor with experience working on flat roofs and flat roof seams. Ask for references and examples of past work.

2. Check for proper licensing and insurance: Ensure that the contractor you choose is licensed and insured to work in your state and has proper liability and worker's compensation insurance.

3. Ask about their maintenance and repair process: A reputable contractor should be able to explain their process for inspecting, maintaining, and repairing flat roof seams.

4. Get multiple quotes: It's always a good idea to get multiple quotes from different contractors to ensure you are getting a fair price for the work.


At Flat Roof Pros, Inc., we pride ourselves on our experience and expertise in flat roof installation, repair, and maintenance. We are licensed, insured, and dedicated to providing our clients with the highest level of service.


If you're looking for a reliable commercial roof contractor to work on your flat roof seams, look no further than Flat Roof Pros, Inc. Contact us today to schedule a free inspection and discuss your needs with our team of experts.



Contractor using a heat gun to weld flat roof seams together for proper installation and maintenance


Conclusion

In conclusion, flat roof seams are a crucial component of your flat roof and require proper installation, maintenance, and regular inspections to ensure they remain in good condition. If you notice any signs of seam failure, it's important to address the issue promptly to prevent further damage to your roof and building.


At Flat Roof Pros, Inc., we specialize in flat roof installation, repair, and maintenance, and are dedicated to providing our clients with the highest level of service. If you are experiencing issues with your flat roof seams, we encourage you to schedule a free inspection with us to identify the problem and develop a solution.


Remember, regular flat roof inspections and choosing the right commercial roof contractor are key to maintaining the health and longevity of your flat roof. Don't hesitate to reach out to Flat Roof Pros, Inc. for all of your flat roof needs.

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