Flat Roof Problems

In the UK there are many properties that incorporate a flat roof in the form of garages, dormers, porches, balconies and extensions. Some buildings are even covered entirely with a flat roof.

Traditionally, flat roofs were covered in felt which, sooner or later, start to leak as they break down due to natural weathering.

Natural breakdown of felt

Over time, felt roofs will break down as a natural cause to weathering. In hot weather the felt will blister. In cold weather the felt will crack.

Damp and puddling

Flat roofs are not entirely ‘flat’ and to aid with water run off they are slightly slanted. After a few years of moss and lichen build up you will find that the felt is constantly damp because the water can’t drain away properly; especially if the roof is covered with stone chippings or ballast.

Cracking caused by freezing water

As a felt roof gradually breaks down, water will start to migrate through the layers and when the weather gets colder this water freezes and causes further cracking of the felt roof leading to serious leaks suddenly developing.

Felt is brittle in cold weather

Felt doesn’t have any resistance to cold weather. If you stand on it or perhaps the window cleaner does, it can crack; especially if there are any raised blisters in the felt.

Further structural damage due to damaged felt

Felt roofs can leak slowly and by the time you detect a problem, severe structural damage may have already occurred. Damage can include rotting deck and joists which reduce the structural integrity of the roof and makes it unsafe to walk on. In some cases, ceilings have been known to have come down. If a sudden leak occurs it can cause thousands of pounds worth of damage to walls, ceilings, furniture, carpets, electrical equipment etc.

Felt roofs cause insurance problems

Due to the above problems, insurance companies often refuse to cover flat roofs. They certainly will not pay for repairs if the roof is under 10 years old as it is seen as a warranty issue. Some companies will refuse cover for contents if they have been damaged by a leaking flat roof. A traditional felt roof is a ticking time bomb.

Firestone EPDM roofs will never let you down

Our EPDM rubber roofs will never leak and we are happy to guarantee it for a lifetime. Furthermore, the cost of our services are likely to be comparable to that of a good quality felt roof installation. Want to read more about the flat roof solution and the product we install?