You should replace your flat roof when repairing it ends up costing more than it is worth to replace it entirely. While it may seem tempting to keep repairing the roof when it gets damaged, in the long run it's going to be more cost-effective to bite the bullet and have it replaced. This is particularly the case for flat roofs made from materials that are difficult to repair, such as built up felt or rubber roofs. These types of roofs are problematic. Even when they get repaired, they often have faults left over that got missed because they were too difficult to see. Simply repairing these roofs when they start causing problems is more often than not completely futile and will only drain your wallet.
There are several ways to waterproof a flat roof. Which method you choose to employ should be specific to your house and circumstances.
Things to consider are:
Are there any environmental factors to consider?
What type of building are you waterproofing? Some methods work better for residential buildings, while others are more applicable to commercial ones.
What's your budget? Different methods will cost varying amounts depending on how large your flat roof is, for example.
Once you have considered these things, you can make an educated decision on what method to use. Three methods are most commonly used. These are:
Reinforced bitumen membranes (felt)
Each of these methods & systems comes with its own benefits and costs, and are best used selectively according to your buildings' characteristics and preferences
If you have leaks in your flat roof and want them to stop, then other than having the roof repaired, there are some things you can do. Regular cleaning of the roof to remove debris is one way to prevent your drains from getting blocked or clogged. You could also inspect or install new lead flashing.
If your roof continues to cause problems painting over your flat roof with a liquid waterproofing system often works to stop the leak for a few months.
The most common causes of flat roof leaks are:
Pooling. This is where the water ends up not draining off the roof properly and forms pools. If not fixed, these pools will cause leaks and eventually destroy the roof.
Membrane damage. A damaged membrane will cause water to get trapped in your roof's insulation and result in leaks.
Any structures you have on your roof. These can obstruct water flow and are more vulnerable to leaks.
GRP Flat Roof Systems
Glass Reinforced Plastic. More commonly, GRP is known as Fibreglass.
GRP has all the properties that you could want in a roof. It's light, durable, easy to maintain, and has a very long life expectancy because it is all but immune to the effects of weathering. GRP is a far more modern and effective option compared to most other roof materials. Other flat roofing systems require higher maintenance and are prone to regular repairs.
Yes, GRP is highly resistant to ultraviolet light.
A GRP roof can theoretically last for up to 50 years so long as you have them installed properly and make sure to perform their simple maintenance regularly. Even if they aren't fitted and maintained perfectly, most warranties will still cover you for 25 years or so.
Yes, that is why yachts and boats are built with fibreglass (GRP)
You can, though some GRP roofs may be slippery if they are wet. If you wanted a GRP roof iinstalled that you or other people frequently walk, we can install a textured finish into the GRP topcoat. The surface is then far safer for foot traffic because of the slip-resistant finish.
GRP is a high quality material which means it can be a little more expensive, if it is installed correctly it will last far longer than felt. That does not mean that felt is inherently worse, however, as both are waterproof. At the end of the day, it is simply a matter of what you need versus what is within your means. If you are on a tight budget, then GRP for the main roofing with felt for smaller, less important areas will suit your needs, but it is completely up to you.
Other than being strong enough to hold your weight, GRP roofing is strong enough to hold a large number of other objects such as air conditioning units, chairs, tables, and even a whole garden if you would like.
Yes, GRP roofs are susceptible to cracking during the summer if they are not fitted properly. Although in the 34 years that we have been installing fibreglass flat roofing we have had no reports of this with our work.
GRP is an extremely versatile material, and it is in large part due to its exceptional durability. Not only is it plenty durable enough for roofing, but it is used extensively for things like boats, yachts, railways & construction yards. The royal navy even used it for the constuction of minesweepers.
Find out more about our flat roofing services in Monmouth and Chepstow.