December 5, 2023

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Common Sources of Potential Leaks on a Flat Roof

Flat roofs, commonly found in commercial, multifamily, and industrial buildings, require regular maintenance to ensure they remain watertight. Unlike steeply sloped roofs, flat roofs lack a natural drainage system, making them more susceptible to leaks and water accumulation. In this article, we will discuss some of the most vulnerable areas on a flat roof and signs of damage to look out for. By understanding these areas and conducting regular roof inspections, you can address minor issues before they escalate into major problems.

Roof Membranes

Flat roofs typically have three main types of membranes: modified bitumen, EPDM rubber, and thermoplastics like TPO or PVC. Over time, these membranes can experience wear and tear, leading to cracks, blisters, or splitting. Water can accumulate beneath damaged membranes, making it challenging to identify the source of the leak. Regular inspections of the roof membrane are crucial for early detection and prevention of leaks.

Damaged or Open Flashings

Flashings are roof materials that run vertically and are used to seal penetrations in the roof, such as plumbing vents, gas lines, ductwork, and HVAC systems. Flashings can become damaged or open over time, causing leaks. Checking flashings at least twice a year and ensuring they are properly sealed is essential for maintaining a watertight roof.


Skylights are potential areas for leaks, as their seals can wear out over time. Skylight lenses are also prone to damage from debris. Additionally, if skylights are installed without proper saddles to divert water around them, leaks may occur. Regularly checking skylights for damaged seals or frames and replacing them when necessary is essential for preventing leaks.

This article was written by a roofing professional at At, we’re determined to be the only one you need to hire when looking for a Clearwater roofing contractor. We take a modern, professional approach to the roofing business in order to ensure our customers in St. Petersburg and the Central Florida region have the best possible experience whenever they choose us.