Author Archives: Gutter & Roof Solutions NW

How to keep flat roof from leaking

Flat roofs are cost-effective but can have problems like leaking.

What are the problems with flat roofs?

For low-sloped roofing systems, a flat roof proves to be cost-effective, economical choice. They are durable, easy to maintain and leave you with enough space left over for your heating and cooling system or even storage.

Just so you know, flat roofs aren’t 100 percent flat. They just look flat compared to most sloped roofs. But flat roofs do have a very slight slope so rain can drain off.

While these roofs are great, they do have their problems. They can be prone to leaks and are vulnerable to wind damage. They can also collect debris and have issues with cracks and buckling.

For expert repairs to flat roofing in Auburn,WA, you can trust  Gutter & Roof Solutions NW to get the job done right. We specialize in repairing modified bitumen, built up and single-ply roofing. We will inspect your roof and give you a free estimate.

Of course, many of the problems flat roofs experience can be prevented by regular maintenance and inspections. A yearly inspection will help keep your roof flat and healthy.

Do flat roofs leak more?

In general, it’s myth flat roofs leak more than other roofing systems. Many think they are prone to leaks because they are flat and don’t readily shed water. Flat roofs actually have slight slopes so water can drain.

Reasons a flat roof leaks:

  • Poor construction: If corners have been cut in roof construction, a roof of any kind may be prone to leaking. Regular inspections will help determine any damage a roof might have.
  • Heavy rainfall: Flat roofs are usually best for arid regions or areas of low to moderate rainfall. However, even the driest regions experience heavy rainfall, which can cause issues like standing water.
  • Standing water: Rain of any sort may cause water to pond on a roof long after the rain has passed. Ponding may occur especially with older roofs or roofs with blocked drainage systems like gutters. Most flat roof water damage is caused by ponding.
  • Cracks: Flat roofs are susceptible to more pressure than other sloped roofs. Excessive pressure causes cracks. Cracks can cause further structural damage if not repaired.

Remember, all roofs can develop leaks, but leak repair is always possible.

Modified bitumen roofing is applied with a blow torch.

What is the best material for a flat roof?

Generally, you have three options when it comes to building flat roofs, single-ply or single layer membrane, built-up or modified bitumen. Each type of roof has its benefits and the best fit will depend on your needs.

Single-ply roofs come in different varieties including neoprene, ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM), chlorinated and chlorosulfonated polyethylene sheet and polymer-modified bitumen. These types of rubber or polymer roofs are popular for commercial roofing because they are flexible and handle impact damage and temperature changes well.

Modified bitumen is another form of single-ply roofing noted because it’s usually applied with high heat torches. Because the seams are melted together, they are less prone to leaking and the stronger polymers make them less vulnerable to cracking.

Built-up or BUR is the most traditional flat roof material. It utilizes several layers of bitumen-soaked roofing felt and asphalt tar that’s covered by crushed stone granules to protect the roof, making it especially fire retardant. This makes for a very durable roof.

What is the life expectancy of a flat roof?

Depending on the material used and maintenance, flat roofs will last for 10 to 25 years. Added life can be had through restoration by applying silicone or acrylic coatings.

Are flat roofs good?

Flat roofs are generally some of the most cost-effective to install, largely because the surface area is usually smaller than other roofing systems. They are also considered the most energy-efficient roofs.

They are generally durable but can be prone to leaking if not well-built or well-maintained. Flat roofs tend to be best in warmer, drier climates. Areas with heavy rainfall or snow and ice can leave roofs vulnerable to pooling or ice jams that need to be cleared within 48 hours. Leaks can result if standing water or ice jams aren’t cleared.

Can hail damage a flat roof?

All roofs are susceptible to hail damage, but the damage is often hard to detect in flat roofs. You might spot obvious damage like holes, splits or cracks, but hail can also damage the roof’s structure.

After a hail storm it’s recommended you have a roofer come and inspect your roof for underlying damage. Gutter & Roof Solutions NW specializes in flat roof repairs and will inspect your roof and provide free estimates.

Flat roof damage insurance claim

Because of their reputation for leaking, some insurance companies will deny claims when the flat roof is damaged. Before submitting a claim, it’s preferable to have the roof inspected by professionals. They can detect damage that’s not obvious and some will be able to help you with your claim to make sure you get the best settlement possible.

Flat roof damage repair

Whatever kind of flat roof you have in Auburn, WA, if it’s been damaged and in need of repair, the professionals at Gutter & Roof Solutions NW are ready to help. Give us a call today at (253) 218-3225. We can inspect your roof and give you a free estimate.

Are Gutter Guards Worth It?

An Up Close Picture of a Green Leaf On a Gutter Guard

Gutter Guards Are Worth the Money, As They Prevent Clogs and Extend the Life of Your Gutter System.

The job of a gutter guard on your gutter system is to prevent clogs from forming. The reason why this is needed is that we tend to forget about cleaning out our gutters. Our gutters are a place where rainwater flows from the roof and onto the ground without issues, but issues can occur when the gutters are clogged. Gutters can easily become clogged with twigs, leaves, and other debris, which is why gutter cleaning is so important. When a gutter clog is too big, it can cause water to overflow onto the roof and on the side of the house, causing leaks, water damage, wood rot, and structural damage to various areas of your home. This is why so many people invest in gutter guards–to prevent damages from happening, but many people want to know “Are gutter guards worth the money?” Below we will discuss what a gutter guard is, why they should be installed, and if they are really worth the money.

What Do Gutter Guards Do?

The role of the gutter guard is simple, which is to prevent things like leaves, twigs, and debris from collecting in your gutter system. The way that gutter guards are able to do this is with their mesh screens. These screens are installed on top of the gutter system, so that leaves, twigs, and other debris have no way of getting in the gutter. While the mesh screen doesn’t allow debris in, the holes in the mesh can still let water in. Even when there is a ton of debris like leaves, twigs, and acorns on top of the mesh screen, water is still able to flow easily into the gutter, down the system, and out through the downspout.

Because there are a lot of pine trees in Washington state, many people want to know “Do gutter guards work with pine needles?” and the answer is that pine needles will go through the mesh screens. However, while pine needles can go through the screens, they don’t really cause clogs like twigs and leaves because they are smaller and can easily flow out with the water. However, you should be aware of pine needles collecting at the bottom of your gutter systems downspout; clean that area so that a clog doesn’t form there. 

Why Install Gutter Guards?

A Picture of a Stainless Steel Gutter Guard

There Are Many Benefits To Having a Gutter Guard Installed.

Because they are able to keep your gutter system clog free, gutter guards are becoming more and more popular. But what are some other benefits of gutter guards? Here are some of the benefits that come with installing gutter guards to your gutters.

  • Gutter Cleaning is Easier: Gutter cleaning can be a real pain, but it doesn’t have to be when you have a gutter guard. A gutter guard makes cleaning a gutter system easier because it doesn’t require you digging in your gutter system. All you have to do is scrape the leaves, twigs, and other debris that is left on the surface of the mesh screen.
  • Makes Cleaning Safer: When you clean your gutter system, you have to get on a ladder, put on gloves, goggles, a long-sleeve shirt, and more. Not only do you have to have a lot of equipment, but there is also the potential of hurting yourself by electrocuting yourself by a fallen wire or even cause damages to your gutters and other areas of your home. With gutter guards, it makes the task a lot faster so you don’t have to worry about hurting yourself.
  • Can Save You Money: Because a gutter guard is used to prevent gutter clogs, it can actually save you money down the road. This is because when there is a clog in the gutter, it can cause roof leaks, water damage, structural damage, and even wood rot. You can avoid all of these things from happening by getting a gutter guard system installed.
  •  Prevents Icicles and Ice Dams: Since the gutter guard keeps leaves, twigs, and other debris out of the gutter, water is able to flow freely through the gutter. This is very beneficial because in the winter water can freeze and cause ice dams and icicles when water overflows onto the roof, but with a gutter guard, it can prevent icicles and ice dams from forming.
  • Provides Home with Fire Protection: Things like twigs and leaves can make a fire spread a lot easier since these things can catch on fire with little effort. Because gutter guards keep leaves and twigs out of the gutters, it can prevent a fire from becoming worse.

While there are many benefits to gutter guards but do gutter guards cause problems? Some of the complaints are that you still have to clean the gutter system and that beehives can form underneath the gutter guard, but other than that they are very good systems that can protect your gutters and your home.

How Do You Clean Out the Gutter with Gutter Guards?

A Picture of an Asphalt Roof with a Gutter Guard

You Can Clean the Gutter Guard the Same Way You Would Clean a Gutter System.

Although gutter guards take out a lot of cleaning the gutters, you still have to clean off what on top of the mesh screen. Just like you would clean a gutter, you will need to use gloves and a bucket to remove the debris. If there aren’t a lot of leaves or twigs on your gutter guards, you can always use a leaf blower to remove the leaves on top of the gutter guard system. It is important that you check the downspout of your gutter just to make sure that there are no clogs. Spraying water up the downspout can remove clogs and clean out the gutter system without having to take the gutter guard off.

Do Gutter Guards Really Work?

So back to the original question, are gutter guards a waste of money? if you want to reduce clogs in your gutters, make cleaning easier, and extend the life of your gutters, then investing in gutter guards is not a waste of money. Homeowners who are interested in a gutter guard always want to know, “Do any gutter guards really work?” and the answer is yes. Valor Gutter Guards use micro mesh screens, so leaves, twigs, and debris cannot get into the gutter system. Not only that, Valor offers other types of gutter guards such as Melt Away and Moss Away that melt icicles and ice dams away, as well as keeping moss and algae from growing on your roof. If you would like to learn more or you want a gutter guard installation in Auburn, WA, please call Gutter & Roof Solutions NW at (253) 218-3225!