flat roof
flat roof

Over the years, people have started to opt for flat roofs. The reason for this transition from sloped roofs to flat roofs is the many advantages that the latter provides. These roofs are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and easily accessible. If you have a flat roof, you can use it for placing the air conditioning units on it or even install solar panels.

Even though flat roofs are always mentioned for their benefits, they are far from perfect. There are so many problems that your flat roof may face and that, if left unattended, may cause result in heavy financial loss. Here are some of the common flat roof problems to which you must pay serious attention.

1. Debris

Unlike sloped roofs, flat roofs don’t have a slope that can let leaves and other debris to fall off of the roof. As a result, this debris starts piling up on the roof. Most of the times, they block drainage, leaving puddles of standing rainwater on the surface of the roof. In addition, the pile of unattended debris which normally includes leaves holds in moisture that, during winter, can freeze, thaw, and refreeze. This cycle of freezing and refreezing can play havoc with the roof underneath the pile.

2. Alligatoring

Before this scares you, let us tell you that alligatoring is not caused by the real alligators. [Phew!] Have you seen the skin of an alligator? Sometimes, your flat roof begins to crack and bubble and start resembling the alligator’s skin – hence, the name. This problem is mainly caused by continuous exposure to the sun and there is literally nothing you can do to block the sun. If you don’t pay serious attention to this problem, it will end up creating additional cracks and leaks.

3. Buckling

Almost all houses shift over time. So does the roofing membrane between the roofing material and a house. But the roofing membrane is one continuous sheet and this shifting causes it to buckle. In addition to this, a poorly installed flat roof can also cause the roof to buckle. This problem can lead to an even greater problem that may require you to replace the roof on an urgent basis.

4. Ponding Water

Even though the flat roof has proper drainage system, errors can happen at any time. Besides this, if the flat roof is damaged or has cracks, etc., there is a chance that the water accumulated on the roof will not be drained properly. Small ponds are the main reason for the outbreak of algae on your roof. In addition, these ponds also lead to systemic leaks inside the house and additional damage to the roofing system.

5. Leaks

Factors such as ponding water, buckling, and alligatoring contribute to a leaking roof. Leaks can also develop in the absence of these factors.


Flat roofs are indeed a good option to go with, but you must know that these roofs do have their own set of problems. It is important to get your roof regularly inspected so that in case of any problem, you can get it repaired immediately.