The three most common roofing systems in South Florida are tile, shingle and flat roofs. Of the three, generally the most problematic are flat roofs. When installing a flat roof it is good to remember that it will usually not remain flat. Spans of this kind of roof allow for sections to develop what is known as the ponding effect after a few seasons. As pools of water collect, the weight begins to pull apart the seams and allow the roof to begin to leak. Repair techniques vary depending on the available budget and the roofing contractor brought in to fix the problem.
When flat roofing repairs begin the entire surface must be cleaned of any dirt and debris that is present. If there are several layers of repair material, this must be stripped to the decking. A good examination of the roofing may reveal that it is in poor condition and must be removed as well.
It is important to hire a professional roofing contractor, schooled in flat roof repair to bring the integrity of the structure back to code. At this time they should also add bracing that will help prevent ponding again. Once a solid deck is obtained suitable roofing material must be selected that is compatible with the structure and complies with any development covenants that may exist.
At this point, a #75 lb felt is mechanically fastened to the roof deck. On top of that two plies of fiberglass are then hot mopped to the roof. Lastly, a mineral surface cap sheet is hot mopped on top of the fiberglass to complete the Miami roofing system.
If this procedure is not an option, a spray on roll out acrylic membrane might do the trick. Latex roofing materials do require a flat deck and the ponding must be eliminated, or at least kept to a minimum. Automatic roof siphons may be needed to prevent the accumulation of water. Adding a pitch during the decking portion of the project will help with this as well.
Another option for a permanent fix to a flat roofing problem, which is much lighter and quicker to apply, would be a torch down rubberized asphalt membrane. This procedure, however, must be done exclusively by bonded and insured roofing contractors, due to the seriousness of the installation.