If you have a flat roof, you will find that you have to perform routine maintenance far more often than your neighbors who have sloped roofs--at least you should be. If you're not on your roof more than your neighbors, you're going to run into some major problems later on when your roof demands attention.
By their nature, flat roofs require more maintenance because they don't repel water as well as pitched roofs, which can cause water to pool on your roof and remain there for long periods of time. There are also other reasons why you should be doing more maintenance than your neighbor.
Your flat roof is a debris magnet. Throughout the year, leaves and twigs along with small, dead animals can accumulate on your roof. On pitched roofs most of these items slide down the roof until they become trapped in the gutters or glide right on past the gutters to land on the ground below. Unless a strong wind comes along and sweeps your roof clean, you will have to do it yourself. Each year, you should sweep off your roof and clean out the drains and scuppers.
Flat roofs are prone to small punctures and scratches caused by tree branches and other sharp objects because they are usually covered with rubber or vinyl rather than shingles. While these issues are easily fixed with a quick patch job, they can turn into huge problems if you ignore them. For this reason, you should inspect your roof annually for scratches, rips and punctures. You should also take this time to remove low-hanging tree limbs that may cause problems later on.
While they are less expensive to install, flat roofs cost more money to repair. This is because water forms pools on flat roofs, resulting in more water damage when a breach occurs. Snow is also a heavy consideration where flat roofs are concerned. The weight of snow along with the water that's left behind when it melts can cause a lot of damage. You can mitigate damage by catching problems early with frequent inspections and maintenance.
In addition to inspecting and cleaning your roof annually, you should mend small holes and punctures with a repair kit. You should also replace caulking and reseal your roof regularly. If all of this maintenance seems like it is too much for you to handle, you can hire a roofing contractor, such as Conrad Roofing Of Illinois, to do it for you.