When summer rolls around, owners of houses with flat roofs rejoice. And for good reason — a flat roof is a built-in relaxation zone, and with a small investment of time and energy it can be turned into urban oasis perfect for firing up the grill for a long weekend cookout or lying back on a warm summer night and gazing up at the stars. 

But in order for a flat roof to provide all these benefits, you need to make sure all the spring maintenance has been properly taken care of. Because flat roofs see more wear and tear compared to pitched roofs, they also require more attention, so if you want to get your flat roof ready for spring and summer fun, here are a few things you should take care of first. 

1. Snake the Drain

The drains are probably the most important part of any flat roof system, and if the drains get clogged, trouble is sure to follow. It is quite common for debris and dirt to build up in flat roof drains over winter, so one of the first things you should do when the weather clears up is have the drain snaked to remove any blockages. 

It’s a good idea to snake the drain even if you aren’t having problems with pooling water on your roof, as this will ensure the drain stays clean and continues to operate at maximal efficiency. 

2. Check the Membrane

Once you’ve cleared the drain, go over the roofing membrane to make sure there are no rips, holes, or tears that could lead to leaks into the house itself. Roofing membranes are tough and resilient, but they do sustain damage over time. 

If you notice any problems developing, get in touch with a roofing company that can help you seal or patch the holes before they become an issue. 

3. Install a Floating Deck

Having gone to all the trouble to make sure your roof deck is in good shape and won’t be springing any leaks, you will want to make sure it stays that way for as long as possible. But having guests walking, eating, playing, and perhaps smoking on your roof is a recipe for punctures. A floating deck is a great way to protect the flat roof membrane, and unlike more permanent options, floating decks are not attached to the structure of your building — they simply rest on the roof itself, “floating” above your main living space. 

The chief benefit of floating decks is that they don’t require major structural changes to the architecture of your house. Some floating decks are cheap and simple, consisting of portable, detachable flooring that can be laid down in the spring and stored away for winter, while others are more elaborate. Which is best for you will depend on your budget, and on how much work you want to put into the installation.  

A flat roof can add significant square footage to your home, and if you live in a crowded urban setting, you’ll want to make the most of it. But before you start enjoying your flat roof this summer, make sure the essential maintenance tasks have been taken care of. When you’re relaxing on it worry free later this summer, you’ll be glad you did!