Sep 252012
 
Leaking flat roofs in Spain

FLAT ROOF PROBLEMS IN SPAIN – THERMAL MOVEMENT CAN AGGRAVATE A ROOF MEMBRANE AND TILES

As anyone who has lived in Northern Europe knows, flat roofs can be an enduring problem.  All too often they are the cause of leaks and few flat roofs retain their integrity beyond around 15-20 years – before requiring extensive repair work.

In Spain the situation is much the same with the more extreme climate often stressing flat roofs in Spain to their very limit.  Very high summer day time temperatures and cold nights can damage membranes, crack grout on tiles and distort any flashing.  Any of these problems can lead to leaks, which can cause significant damage to a property.

Unfortunately, a frequent problem encountered with flat roofs in Spain relates to the inadequacy of any membrane between the roof sub-surface (usually concrete over a concrete block infill) and the final surface (most commonly tiles).  Sadly, on the flat roofs of some properties no membrane at all is used and sometimes the flashing between the parapet walls of a flat roof can be poorly executed – either of which can result in leaks.  Surprisingly, a lack of proper membrane on the flat roofs of newly built properties is not unusual – so do not fall into the trap of thinking that just because your Spanish house is new that the flat roof has been correctly constructed…

Flat roof repairs in Spain

TYPICAL WATER INGRESS FROM FAILING FLAT ROOF

Of course, any membrane (normally waterproof asphalt) deteriorates with time, in any event, and therefore needs replacing.  Indeed, generally speaking, if a flat roof in Spain is older than 20 years then you might need to renew it.

Typical signs of flat roof problems in Spain include the obvious tracking of water from the roof area down into the living area of a property.  This may become apparent, initially, in staining and then be followed by major water ingress.

Repair of flat roof problems in Spain can take a number of forms including the application of water proof roof paint, which is often pink or red in colour.  This can suffice in the short term but is rarely long lasting and always a sign that a significant problem exists – that will have to be dealt with properly at some stage.

There are a number of different ways of remedying flat roof problems in Spain but it is important to find the optimum, long term solution.  Sometimes this can be cheap and easy, so do not always anticipate or pay for solutions that are unnecessary or unjustified!

Roofing specialists in Spain

LONG TERM WATER INGRESS CAN CAUSE SERIOUS DECAY OF STRUCTURALLY IMPORTANT REINFORCEMENT STEELS

Equally, identifying the reason for damp ingress in a property is not always as straightforward as it seems.  Sometimes, the actual roof of a property may be fine but an area of parapet flashing is defective.  However, on occasions the ingress of damp or water may indicate a more serious problem related to subsidence or heave.

If you have flat roof problems in Spain then do feel free to contact us.  We will be able to save you money and ensure that your roof is dealt with correctly and that your problems will be resolved!

Mark Paddon