Tips to Protect Your Flat Roof From Leaks | Ep. 126

flat roof home
Flat-roof homes are modern and stylish, but they present unique drainage issues. (©js-photo, Adobe Stock Photos)

Flat roof homes are unique and stylish but can be problematic at times — especially if there are a lot of trees surrounding your home. Build-up from debris can cause the drain on the flat roof to clog and create damage.

One suggestion to prevent a flat roof leak is to install a dome drain cover. Such a cover can promote drainage without blockage, but heavier debris build-up can still stick together and the roof cover will not work as well over time.

A more substantial solution is to build a roof over the existing flat roof. Essentially, this will shed the water away and eliminate the need for a drain on a flat roof.

Pro tip: If you have a parapet wall lining your flat roof, and the parapet wall is solid, we recommend cutting openings in the wall.

To help with maintenance, clean your flat roof once a month, keep the deck clean, and if your neighbor’s tree branches are hanging over your flat roof — you should have access to them.

But we strongly recommend checking with your city, attorney and neighbor before cutting the overhanging branches above your flat roof home.

On this week’s podcast episode we also cover these topics:

  • Restoring the original look to your porch
  • Installing a shade for a patio covered by a slanted roof
  • To use or not to use a powered roof vent in your garage

Listen to the Today’s Homeowner Podcast for more home improvement tips!

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Simple Solutions

Self-Centering Guide — Here’s a quick, easy way to find the center of a board without measuring or doing any math. Simply make a self-centering jig.

Take a short length of 1×2, and drill three holes into it. Near each end, drill a 3/8-inch-diameter hole, and then drill a 5/16-inch-diameter hole in the exact center.

Next, tap a 3/8-inch-diameter x 2-inch-long wooden dowel pin into each of the outer holes. To use the centering jig, simply sit it on a board and rotate it until the pins make contact with the edges.

Then, put your pencil in the center hole and slide it along. You’ll have a line right down the exact center of the board. 

Watch: DIY Center Finder for Woodworking Projects

Garden Mailbox — Keep small gardening tools handy by planting a mailbox in your garden. Bury a 4×4 post in your garden and then attach a mailbox.

Now your gardening tools are readily accessible and right where you need them!

Question of the Week

Q: How can I secure deck furniture and a grill from the rear decking to keep it from being stolen?

A: It may not be very attractive, but a solution would be to take a long steel cable that’s coated in plastic — like you see at home centers — and lace it through the furniture/grill and then put a tamper-proof lock on it.

Also, you could get a battery-powered alarm so if the furniture is tampered with, the sound from the alarm could scare off anyone who would mess with it.

In addition, installing cameras is always a good solution as well as great evidence!


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