Common Problems With Flat Roofs

Issues With Flat Roofs

Flat roofs have a lot going for them: They’re tough, attractive, and can last for 25+ years. However, flat roofs are prone to an array of problems, many of which you wouldn’t get with a sloped roof.

Below, we’ll discuss some of the most common problems with flat roofs. If you need flat roof repair now, reach out to Nelson Contracting at (402) 464-2418.

Pooling Water and Leaks

Flat roofs have no slope, and what happens when rain falls on a flat surface? It sits there with nowhere to go.

Flat roofs have drainage systems, but if those systems fail, water can pool on the surface. Pooled water can weaken the roof’s integrity, which means you might need to replace the roof sooner than you expected.

Leaks are another common issue. If there’s a crack in your roof, water has nowhere else to go except inside your home.


Blistering is also known as “alligatoring” and gets that name because the damage closely resembles an alligator’s hide. You’ll easily recognize alligatoring when you see it.

Alligatoring happens when your roof has been exposed to UV rays for too long. It develops when your roof has lost too much elasticity.

Alligatoring is a sign of serious damage that necessitates a flat roof replacement.


Cracking is one of the most common problems with flat roofs. Flat roofs are constantly under pressure, much more so than sloped roofs. This pressure can cause your roof to crack. Cracks can also develop if your home’s foundation shifts.


Unlike shingled roofs, which consist of a membrane split into several pieces, a flat roof’s membrane consists of a single sheet. This is a problem because as your house shifts, so does the membrane. When that happens, the membrane buckles, and you’ll need to call us for repairs.


Flat roofs constantly expand and contract, and normally, this is nothing to worry about. Over time, though, this movement can cause the flashing to pull away from the roof. Damaged flashing leads to roof leaks.

This is why we suggest having your flat roof inspected regularly. Regular maintenance can uncover damaged flashing, and we can fix it promptly so you won’t have to replace the whole roof.

Debris and Biological Growth

Debris And Biological Growth On Flat Roof

Leaves, twigs, mud, and other debris are big problems for flat roofs. If you don’t swiftly remove the debris, it can clog drains and lead to leaks.

Biological growth is one of the most common flat roof problems as well. Algae can develop in puddles of standing water, compromising the roof’s integrity.

Lack of Maintenance

It’s a common misconception that flat roofs don’t require maintenance. Inspections and maintenance allow you to uncover small issues before they become expensive problems. Skip the maintenance, and you could have a hefty repair bill on your hands.

Should You Repair or Replace Your Flat Roof?

Flat Roof Repair & Replacement

Your flat roof looks worse for wear, and you’re wondering whether you should repair or replace it. Of course, you don’t want to shell out for a replacement if you don’t have to, but that may be the only option, depending on how damaged your roof is.

Severe blistering, shrinkage, or cracks will likely necessitate a full roof replacement. We may also suggest replacing your flat roof if it’s more than 25 years old (unless it’s made of concrete or metal, which lasts about 50 years). Most flat roofs start developing serious problems around the 25-year mark, so it’s wise to replace them before major damage occurs.

Call Us for a Quote Today

If you’ve read our list of the most common problems with flat roofs and think you may need repairs, reach out to us at Nelson Contracting. Our family-owned business offers speedy repairs and flat roof replacements that suit your budget. We repair and replace roofs for residential and commercial buildings.

To get a quote, call us at (402) 464-2418.

Call Us Now

Happy Customers

Request a Free Inspection
Quality service & workmanship on all roof replacements, roof repairs, siding, and seamless gutters in nebraska.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Request a free inspection

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.