Q: My flat roof has a standing pool of water. What is the reason for that and should I be concerned?
A: It’s very important for flat roofs to have proper pitch. This will allow the water to flow freely to the gutter or scupper(s). Standing water indicates that water draining devices like gutters and scuppers are located above the surface of the roof, or that the surface of the roof is uneven. The latter is usually a result of a faulty underlying structure. This could be caused by poor craftsmanship or, in case of older roofs, deteriorating underlying roof components. Standing water ages the roof quickly and often leads to interior damage.
Q: There’s a bouncy feeling when I walk on my roof. Is that a reason for concern?
A: Yes. A “bouncy” flat roof on an older building indicates that too much weight is being applied to the rafters. This could be because the number of layers of roofing exceeds structural limitations, or that the rafters supporting it are deteriorating, or both. This is a serious condition that may lead to costly structural damage.
Q: My flat roof is black. Should I consider reflective coating?
A: A black, bituminous cover has a much larger heat absorption capacity than a silver or white material, and it will age the roof faster. Black roofing also leads to higher energy costs. We recommend applying a reflective sealer to the surface of a flat roof periodically to prolong its lifespan.
Q: I am considering a new flat roof with a tear off. Currently the roofing is covering all of the parapet walls. Will my new roof be installed the same way?
A: Properly installed roof flashing should be attached to the parapet walls with a termination bar. This requires a waterproofed wall with sound masonry above the termination bar. Often, roofing material is installed over the entire parapet wall to conceal the condition of the masonry on the inside of the parapet wall. Faulty masonry makes the installation of a termination bar impossible, and to properly install a new roof, the parapet walls need to be structurally sound.
Q: How often should a flat roof be serviced to prevent leaks and damage. Will this promote a longer lifespan?
A: Yes. A flat roof should be inspected and serviced at least once a year.
Q: How many layers of shingles can be installed on a roof?
A: Most municipalities in Illinois allow a maximum 2 layers of shingles installed.
Q: What are the indicators that a shingle roof needs to be replaced?
A: Obvious signs are interior leakage and shingles that are missing from the roof. Shingles that are warped, buckled or cracked are good indicators as well.
Q: Are there additional costs that may be associated with a new roof installation, that are difficult to predict beforehand?
A: Yes, there may be additional repairs that are needed. These repairs are difficult to predict prior to the new installation commencing. For the most part these repairs involve replacing underlying plywood sheeting, and replacing or reinforcing deteriorated rafters. In incidents of water penetration, insulation must be replaced as needed.
Q: My front concrete steps are cracked. Can you repair them?
A: Every crack in a concrete structure, be it stairs, a foundation, a floor or sidewalk, indicates a problem with the underlying base or structure. There are products to seal cracked concrete but if structural concerns are not addressed, cracks will continue to appear.