Flat roofs take a particularly bad beating during the winter months. The weight of snow can put a lot of pressure on your flat roof, and snow that doesn't drain properly can cause the roofing material to rot over time. All this is not to mention the way that leaves from the fall tend to clog the roof drains. Now that the weather outside is tolerable and the snow has all melted, it's time to inspect and perform regular maintenance on your flat roof. 

Rake Up the Leaves

Rake the leaves off your roof and put them into a black garbage bag or a large garbage can. Do not throw the leaves over the side of your roof, even if you're sure that the area around your building is clear. 

Inspect and Clear the Drains

When you climb up onto your flat roof, look for any puddles of water collecting around the rooftop drains. Puddles of water around the drains are an indication of a clog inside the drain. If you do find signs that the drain is clogged, clear it with a plumber's auger by doing the following:

  1. Remove the drain cover.
  2. Insert the skewered tip of the plumber's auger into the drain.
  3. Turn the manual crank to push the auger cable farther into the drain until it reaches the clog. When the cable reaches the clog, it will skewer the clog and any water pooling at the top of the drain should start running out. 
  4. Reverse the course of the auger cable and pull out the clog. 
  5. Spray a strong jet of water down into the drain to totally clear out the pipe.
  6. Replace the drain cover.

Check and Refresh the Caulking

Check the line of caulking at the roof's perimeter and at the seams of the roofing material. Use a putty knife to remove any deteriorating caulking and replace it with fresh caulk. 

Look for Water Damage

Water damage may appear on the top of your flat roof, or on the underside. Once you've cleared the leaves, look for rotting roofing material, or moldy areas. Pay particular attention to the spots where the water was pooling around the clogged drain. If you find nothing on the top of the roof, inspect the underside of the roof. Look for brown stains or mold on the ceiling directly beneath the roof. 

If you find evidence of water damage, contact a professional roofing company immediately. Roof leaks can cost thousands of dollars in repairs over time, especially if the problem goes untreated for very long. For more information, speak with a professional roofer such as B & J Roofing