Many people associate flat roofing with commercial buildings, but low-slope roofs are also common on residential structures. Homes with typical high-slope roofs may contain one or more flat roofing sections, while fully low-slope roofs are common on manufactured houses and some modern designs. If your home has a low-slope roof, you've probably wondered about the need for sealer paint.
Why Low-Slope Roofs Require Special Consideration
No one ever talks about sealing a typical high-slope asphalt shingle roof, so why do you need to apply a sealer to low-slope or "flat" roofing? The answer, though shocking for some, is that roofing isn't waterproof. An asphalt shingle roof has plenty of places where water can enter the home, but the slope and roofing design channel this water away before it can enter a house.
Low-slope roofing designs can't rely on the same behavior. Since they don't have the steep angle of taller roofs, water won't necessarily flow down and away. The longer water remains on the roof, the more likely it is to migrate into vulnerable areas or even seep through porous materials. As a result, these roofs require more care to protect them from water.
Pooling water is another concern on low-slope roofing that's largely a non-issue for roofs with steeper slopes. Once the water begins to pool on your roof, its weight can create a concave area that will allow more and more water to collect. While pooling will typically require repairs, it also creates another potential vulnerability for water intrusion.
How Roof Sealant Helps Protect Your Home
Roof sealants are specialized coating paints that go over your existing roof. These sealants are similar in many ways to the sealcoating material you apply to an asphalt driveway and provide similar benefits. Since you can't rely on the slope of your roof to channel water away from vulnerable areas, you need an extra layer of waterproofing to prevent damage.
Roof sealants serve the dual purpose of making your roof surface less likely to absorb water while also creating a smooth and even surface. Since even "flat" roofs still contain some slope, this smoother surface will help water to bead up and run off your roof. While water won't run off as quickly as on a high-slope roof, the sealant coating will provide protection as it drains.
In general, you should consider sealing your roof at least once every five years, although it's a good idea to inspect your roof annually. If you notice your old sealant looking worn or wearing away, it may be time to consider a fresh coat. Erring on the side of caution and sealing more frequently will help ensure your roof doesn't suffer any costly water damage due to old or failing sealant.
For more information, contact a residential roof sealing service in your area such as Associated Paint, Inc.