If you're living in a house that has a flat roof, you may not realize at first that you'll need to do things a bit differently than you're used to. In the winter, for example, it is vital that you pay attention to ice or snow accumulation; too much weight on a flat roof can cause problem for you inside the house. That's why it's vital that you use these maintenance tips.
Keep Gutters Clear
While you may have gotten some experience clearing out gutters when you had a sloped roof, it is even more essential that your gutters are clear when you've got a flat roof. In the winter, dead leaves and branches will interfere with proper drainage, which could cause a buildup of water and ice as the temperature gets lower and lower. If this happens, your shingles and roof structure could be compromised. As a result, you might start to having leaking inside the house.
You might want to use a plumbing auger or snake and see whether you can pass it successfully through the gutters. If not, you may need professional help to melt any ice in the gutters and remove debris.
Use Commercial Heating Cables
One of the best things you can do to prevent accumulation of ice and wet snow is to not allow accumulation to happen in the first place. You are unlikely to want to get up on top of your roof to shovel snow during and after a snowstorm; not only that, but it could be dangerous. You could risk your own safety while you're up there in wet, slippery conditions. In addition, even simple plastic shovels might poke small holes in your roof as you attempt to dig in and lift snow.
A better solution is to use commercial heating cables to keep the roof warm and to melt falling snow or rain. These cables are installed by a professional, and when snow starts to fall, they will prevent accumulation. Some of these cables automatically turn on when the weather hits a certain temperature so you don't even have to think about them much.
Complete Periodic Inspections
Looking at the roof every now and again can help you locate problem areas. For instance, if you touch a spot on your roof that feels mushy in the way a small blister might, water may have infiltrated the area. If so, the roof needs to be taken up and sealed again. Inspect the roof only on dry days to lower your risk of falling or slipping.
Using the advice here will keep your roof intact and provide you with some relief in the winter. Talk with a contractor who has some experience with flat roofs for more pointers.