Flat Roof Problems

How we can solve them


Finding the right solution for problem flat roofs

Flat roofs over the years have had very bad press. As with most things it takes five minutes to get a bad reputation and five years to get a good reputation.

Flat roofs certainly have improved but you do need to know what you are doing. For example one of the problems we are coming across more and more often is where a flat roof is too flat!

As you can see in the photographs below the warehouse roof has ponding as the roof does not have enough fall on it, which will lead to deterioration of the felt and subsequently leaks within the property.



Buying a house with flat roof issues can be problematic - find out how we can help You

Flat roofs are often present on houses with extensions as well as to areas such as dormer roofs. Flat roofs need to be regularly inspected for any deterioration and in due course will require maintenance and ultimately replacement in years to come. If flat roofs issues are not addressed then problems will occur such as dampness read more about the different types of flat roofs and how a Building Surveyor can help You save time and money with your flat roof.



Flat roof

Ponding occuring on flat roof

Flat roof to a dormer window where ponding may be unseen


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Flat roof problems?

A building survey will help identify the flat roof problem, advise of a solution and anticipated costs for work to be carried out.  Flat roof common problems are:-


Ponding to flat roofPonding on flat roofs is one of the main causes of dampness getting into the structure.  Rainwater will start to damage and deteriorate the flat roof covering if the rainwater does not drain away or evaporate within a short period. 

The cause of ponding is usually due to there being insufficient drainage and the flat roof being too flat.  Flat roofs, despite the name, should not be flat but should have a small slope, which will allow for effective drainage of rainwater.

Another problem with flat roofs in the winter months can be where snow has built up and ice which can block drains and gutters.

In our Building Surveys our Independent Building Surveyors always recommend regular inspections of flat roofs especially during the winter and spring periods.


Flat roofs can be susceptible to blistering which is where moisture is trapped resulting in the flat roof membrane coming away from the layer beneath giving the blistered appearance.

Blistering of flat roofs is a common flat roof problem. Blistering can become worse during the day due to being heated by the sun causing the trapped moisture to expand and blistering occurs.

In our full structural surveys flat roofs are inspected for blistering and will identify the source of the moisture.  A Building Survey is essential to help not only identify any property problems but to help to find the cause, note the effect and provide a solution and associated costs.

Flat roof problems? Free phone 0800 298 5424 today our Independent Building Surveyors will help You


Thermal movement

During our full structural surveys all our Building Surveyors use the latest surveying technology including thermal imaging cameras.  Thermal movement can occur with flat roofs due to recurrent sequences of heating and cooling the roof covering which expands and contracts. 

The roof covering material needs to be able to adapt to the thermal movements without cracking and thereby allowing rainwater into the structure.

Click on the link below to learn more about insulating flat roofs


Exposed flat roof areas

Flat roofs by their nature are exposed roofs, which are subject to British weather conditions as well as wear and tear by people accessing the roof.  Flat roofs therefore will deteriorate in time with the top protective layer deteriorating due to everyday wear and tear.

During a survey inspection of the flat roof our experienced Building Surveyors will advise of the condition of the flat roof and its anticipated life expectancy.

Worried about the lifespan of your flat roof? Get peace of mind with help from our friendly, experienced Building Surveyors 0800 298 5424

Poor quality flashings

Flashings on a flat roof help to prevent rainwater from penetrating at junctions such as where the flat roof joins the main roof.  It is essential that flashings are installed professionally and do not become damaged.

Vegetation and fungus growth can cause damage to flat roof flashings growing in the moisture areas and causing the flashings to lift away.


Problems with no insulation to a flat roof

Traditionally flat roofs consisted of ceiling joists onto which a decking is laid and then a roof finish of felt added in a varying number of layers. This type of flat roof has become what is known in more recent times as a cold deck flat roof as it does not have any insulation present or possibly does have some.

With a greater concern for thermal efficiency and energy saving in more recent times insulation is added to flat roofs between the roof joists.  By adding insulation to a flat roof heat no longer escapes to heat the garden or surrounding area instead keeping the room beneath warm.  Problems can occur with insulated flat roofs however where there is no ventilation present causing problems with condensation and dampness.

  Flat roof with no insulation or vapour barrier


Flat roof problems - a building survey will help You

Whatever flat roofing material is used and wherever the flat roof is located problems occur with flat roofs.  Having a building survey is essential if you are buying a property with a flat roof as our Building Surveyors will inspect this area and identify any problems.

If you are renting a property and have dampness issues associated with a flat roof then our Surveyors can help with a Specific Defect Report.

Free phone today for 100% impartial advice from experienced, highly qualified Chartered Building Surveyors

Free phone 0800 298 5424

If you would like to know more about flat roofs and their related problems, please free phone 0800 298 5424 to speak to a

Chartered Building Surveyor.


Surveying Articles relating to flat roof and building surveys

Over the years we have across many problems with flat roofs. All of these articles are written by Chartered Surveyors based upon their experiences whilst carrying out full structural surveys. To read more articles go to our website www.1stAssociated.co.uk.

If you have a flat roof problem please call us on Freephone 0800 298 5424 to speak to a Building Surveyor.



Asphalt Flat Roofs

Flat Roofs

Flat Roofs, Problems, Improvement and Insulation

Leaking Flat Roofs

The Rolls Royce of Roofing, Asphalt Flat Roofs


Meet your building surveyor

We recommend you meet with the Building Surveyor at the property during the survey on your property so that the Surveyor can answer any questions you may have and give helpful building advice if you are planning to extend or amend the property.


Why not have a look at some of our example Survey Reports

You can download one of our example survey reports from our website; www.1stAssociated.co.uk/media.asp or we can email you example surveys similar to your property.


Free phone us on 0800 298 5424




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