3 Essential Considerations For Condo Association Flat Roofing Replacements

Since condominium roofing often falls under the heading of common elements, the condo association is typically responsible for dealing with repairs and replacements. For larger condominium structures, this requirement often means that associations must deal with the issues associated with flat roofs. However, replacing and repairing a flat roof can differ greatly from a typical high-slope roof.

While no single article can cover such a complex topic, this guide will provide three essential considerations for replacing flat roofs in shared-ownership complexes such as condominiums.

1. Recognize Flat Roofing Failure Modes

Most flat roofing systems consist of a membrane laid over insulation, sometimes with a layer of gravel for protection, drainage, and ballasting. These roofing systems can last longer than traditional residential roofs but fail in different ways. Major leaks indicate that your building's flat roof requires replacement, but other issues may be less obvious.

Ponding is one common problem. Any standing water that remains on your complex's roof for more than a few days qualifies as "ponding." This problem often indicates a severe problem with the roof system. While you may be able to repair some ponding issues, severe or widespread ponding often means that it's time to replace the entire roof.

2. Avoid Endless Repairs

The lifespan of a flat roofing system depends on the underlying materials, original craftsmanship, and ongoing maintenance regime. Some roofing systems may only last a decade or two, while others can last thirty years or longer. A well-maintained roof will usually reach the far end of this scale, but no roof will last forever.

If your condo complex's roof is nearing the end of its expected lifespan, pay close attention to the need for frequent repairs. Constantly fixing leaks, ponding, and other issues can become expensive quickly, resulting in much higher fees and assessments for unit owners. Instead, replacing a roof at the end of its natural lifespan can often be a far more cost-effective option over the long term.

3. Work With a Flat Roof Expert

Flat roofing and high slope share some common features but differ greatly in materials, installation, and maintenance. Large condominium complexes are also often closer to commercial structures than traditional detached residential homes. As a result, replacing a condominium roof will typically require specialized expertise and experience.

If you are part of your association's board and responsible for choosing a contractor to evaluate your roof and perform a replacement, work with contractors experienced in this area. A knowledgeable installer will often make the most significant difference in the longevity of your new roof, helping control costs for everyone in your complex.

Contact a local company to learn more about condominium flat roofing.