Building and Grounds Maintenance > Flat Roof Maintenance

Flat Roof Maintenance

Course Number: 866

The Flat Roof Maintenance textbook introduces roofing, including flat roof systems and various types of decks. It examines insulating and water-proofing materials, and techniques of application. Next, it discusses roofing damage, how to repair roofs, and how to make a proper roof inspection. It also explains types of preventive maintenance, how to plan preventive maintenance, and how to select the proper materials to use.

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Recommended Contact Hours – 12

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction to Flat Roof Systems

Topics: Structural deck; Wood, concrete, and steel decks; Vapor barrier; Thermal insulation; Waterproofing materials; Aggregate; Flood coats; Walkways

Learning Objectives:

  • Name and define the four basic components that make up a flat roof system.
  • Explain the differences among a pre-stressed concrete deck, a pre-cast deck, and a reinforced deck.
  • Explain the functions of a vapor barrier.
  • Tell why thermal insulation is applied above deck in some applications, and below deck in others.
  • List three benefits of coating a flat roof with aggregate or crushed slag.

Chapter 2: Roof-Related Components

Topics: Base and counter flashings; Flashings for vents; Irregular roof penetrations; Expansion joints; Drainage systems; Parapet walls; Scuppers

Learning Objectives:

  • Explain how a base flashing and a counter flashing work together to protect a roof.
  • Tell how and why a hot vent is usually flashed differently from a cold vent.
  • Name three roof conditions that make it necessary to install expansion joints.
  • Describe how the components of a flat roof drainage system work together
  • Tell how to keep moisture out of parapet walls.

Chapter 3: Causes of Common Roof Problems

Topics: Roofing membrane failure; Bare spots; Blisters; Punctures; Splits; Dirt and debris; Alligatoring; Installation problems; Ponding; Damp insulation

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the causes of blisters, bare spots, and punctures.
  • Explain how dirt and debris create maintenance problems on flat roofs.
  • Name the most common reasons for vent flashing failure.
  • List the steps to take to prevent water from ponding on a flat roof.
  • Tell how to set heavy equipment on a flat roof without damaging the membrane.

Chapter 4: Roof Inspection

Topics: Selecting an inspector; Making the inspection; Hidden trouble; Moisture in the roof

Learning Objectives:

  • Tell what a roofing bond or guarantee usually covers and doesn't cover.
  • List the materials and information that a roof inspector should have for his guidance.
  • Describe two ways of telling whether the roofing bitumen is asphalt or coal tar.
  • Explain how water can seep through roof penetrations, pitch pockets, and parapet walls.
  • Describe a simple means for measuring the moisture content in a roof system.

Chapter 5: Preventive Maintenance and Repair

Topics: Maintaining the roofing membrane; Flashings, pitch pockets, drains, gutters, and parapet walls; Emergency repairs; Snow and ice; Safety

Learning Objectives:

  • Name the basic materials that should be stocked for making roof repairs.
  • Tell how to repair a split membrane if sealing tape isn't available.
  • Describe how to repair a hole in a base flashing.
  • Explain how moisture can cause a parapet wall to crack and crumble.
  • Explain how to channel a roof leak to a floor drain.
  • Describe how to use tools, ladders, and hoists safely when repairing roofs.

Chapter 6: Single-Ply Roofing

Topics: Thermoplastic polymers; Elastomers; Modified bitumen; Roof-laying methods; Installation and maintenance; Inspection checklist

Learning Objectives:

  • Name and describe the three types of single-ply roofing materials.
  • Detail the roof-laying methods used with each of these types.
  • Identify actions that would void a typical roof warranty and explain why it is important to keep the warranty in effect.
  • Explain the six key points that should be checked in the inspection of a single-ply roof.

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