5 Tips for Maintaining a Flat or Low-Sloped Roof

Posted on October 28th, 2016 by

tips for maintaining a flat roofA flat roof can give your home a modern aesthetic and boost its curb appeal, but it also comes with its own unique set of maintenance requirements. Knowing when to assess your roof (and what to look for) is the ideal way to ensure it will be able to stand up against harsh weather and be safe for you and your family for years to come.

Keep reading to learn how you can keep your flat or low-sloped roof looking and performing its best:

1. Inspect Your Roof Regularly

A good rule of thumb is to inspect your flat or low-sloped roof once every season.

Potential problems to watch out for include:

  • Evidence of ponding.
  • Obvious holes, blistering, tearing, cracking, or rusting.
  • Weak spots appearing at the edges of flashing.

These are all signs that it’s time to have your roof inspected and possibly replaced.

2. Prune Trees to Prevent Branches from Falling on Your Roof

Keeping branches back about six feet will stop them from falling onto your roof. Larger branches can cause immediate structural damage, while smaller twigs can obstruct your drains and encourage water to collect and pool.

3. Clear Drainage Systems

Clogged drains are typically an easy problem to spot. During the next downpour, grab your raincoat and head out to take a walk around your home. Are your eavestroughs overflowing? That’s a sure sign you might have something blocking your downspouts.

After identifying where the obstruction is coming from, you can clear it by:

  • Disassembling your downspout to remove debris more effectively if it’s in a hard-to-reach area (like elbows).
  • Using a tool like a stick or plumbing snake if you can get to the problem easily.
  • Turning on your garden hose to force water up, putting pressure on whatever is causing the clog.

4. Remove Debris to Keep Your Roof Clear

This can be especially important during a season like fall, when leaves and branches have a bad habit of gathering around drainage systems. If they aren’t removed, they can cause water to backup.

5.  Pay Attention to Snow and Ice Buildups

Winter can be hard on flat and low-sloped roofs. Not only is snow heavy, but it can also wreak havoc on drainage systems (especially during milder winters).

If Southern Ontario experiences one or more mid-winter warming spells causing snow to thaw, it’s possible that not all of it will melt – especially if your roof isn’t properly insulated. Snow in the centre can liquefy faster than what’s around the perimeter, causing it to pool and re-freeze when the weather turns cold again. This can lead to blocked drainage systems if the problem isn’t addressed.

The most important thing is to be vigilant. Neglecting your flat or low-sloped roof will cause it to deteriorate more quickly, resulting in bigger bills down the road for repairs and replacements.


Flat or low-sloped roofs require specialized knowledge to repair or replace. At Herb Lodde and Sons, our expert roofers will install the right products, with the right techniques, to make sure your roof remains strong and watertight for many years. Contact us today to schedule your free in-home estimate!

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About Dave Lodde

Dave Lodde is the President and Owner of Lodde & Sons Roofing. With over 25 years of hands-on experience in roofing and siding, Dave leads the company with a thorough knowledge of the ins-and-outs of the industry.

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