Roof Replacement and Repair

What Is Alligatoring on a Flat Roof?

If the flat roof on your company's building has been up for a few years, then you should run regular checks to make sure that the roof is sound. Don't assume that your roof is okay just because you can't see obvious signs of leaks — changes to the way the surface looks can also be a sign of a developing problem.

For example, flat roofs sometimes develop a problem known as alligatoring. What is this problem and what should you do about it?

What Is Alligatoring on a Flat Roof?

As flat roofs get older, they can develop surface damage problems. These problems are often down to environmental factors such as too much sun or water on the surface over a period of years.

For example, if your roof has sat under the sun for years, then its surface coating might have some damage. It won't be smooth and intact but might develop various cracks.

These cracks don't run in straight lines like regular cracks. They have a scale-like rhombus shape. This shape, which looks like alligator skin, gives the problem its name.

Why Is Roof Alligatoring a Problem?

Alligator cracks typically start small. You might see a small patch of these shapes on your roof when the surface starts to degrade. However, as time passes, the cracks will spread across the roof. They might ultimately cover the whole surface.

While these cracks look cosmetic to start with, they will cause some damage if left alone. The cracks will eventually break open. Once you have open cracks on your roof, it isn't watertight any longer.

You could have problems with internal leaks and the damage they cause. The roof itself could degrade even more if water gets underneath its surface coating.

How Do You Fix an Alligatored Roof?

If you catch alligatoring damage early, then you might be able to fix the damage by removing the damaged part of the roof and replacing it with a new patch. If the damage is more extensive, then you might need to recoat part or all of the roof or even replace it.

If you think you can see signs of alligatoring on your building's roof, then you should have the problem checked out by a qualified roofer. The faster you deal with this problem, the less damage it can cause. Remember that an early fix can be cheaper.

For more advice, contact commercial flat roof refurbishment specialists.