A flat roof can be as water-resistant as its pitched counterpart. However, ensuring proper drainage is a critical component of fending off the sequence of freezing and melting ice that can damage any roof, according to Flat Roofers. Gutter heaters (also called de-icing cables) can be installed to melt the surrounding snow to facilitate drainage, and are especially useful near a roof’s edges to defend against ice dams, notes Showalter Roofing Service, Inc. The buildup of snow and ice is especially problematic for already weakened areas of the roof and its seams.
Drains and the drain hub need to be freed of muck and debris using a hose with a pressure attachment or a plumber’s snake. In some instances you can scoop it out by hand. Gutters, ideally outfitted with gutter guards, and downspouts must be cleared of blockages. Sweep to get rid of sticks, debris, and leaves, and stay cognizant of the condition of nearby trees; fallen branches are a potential hazard. Be wary of snow drifts coming from neighboring buildings too, and any detritus or equipment sitting on the roof’s surface should be treated as a potential hazard.
The roof’s waterproof membrane is an important line of defense, and must be maintained regularly. Be on the lookout for punctures caused by falling objects, unruly weather, and even by contractors. A breach in this protective sheet is serious and may lead to water ponding underneath it. The membrane’s seams are especially vulnerable.