WHAT IS ROOF CROCODILING AND HOW DOES IT AFFECT YOUR FLAT ROOF?
Waterproofed concrete and composite flat roofs on residential and commercial buildings require more maintenance than sloped roofs. They react differently to sun and moisture than tiled or sheeted roofs and require more frequent maintenance to ensure they function as they should. One common problem with many flat roofs is crocodiling.
What is Crocodiling?
Crocodiling is a crazed cracking pattern on the surface of the waterproofing. It looks like crocodile skin, which is where the name comes from.
Crocodiling is a sign that your waterproofing is ageing. The sun’s UV rays dry out and damage the waterproofed surface, and after five years or more years, the coating may develop small cracks. The older your roof gets before you repair the crocodiling, the more expensive it will get.
Extreme temperature changes, changing from hot sunshine to sudden cloudbursts and rain, and even hot winter days and very cold nighttime temperatures will cause new cracks to appear and will make existing cracks worse.
Leaves and debris will allow water to pool on the membrane which, together with the elements, will hasten the deterioration of the protective coating and waterproofing itself.
If you are like many homeowners, you have probably wondered why some houses have no gutters to provide protection against stormwater. You may have wished your own home had none because of the cleaning and maintenance issues.
Gutters are not required by law on a sloping roof. Many modern homes have none, even in instances where they would benefit by having them. There are alternatives that architects sometimes prefer such as concrete paving around the perimeter of your house.
In order to decide for yourself whether rainwater gutters are necessary for your home, it is best to first learn what the building regulations require.
The Building Regulations do not require roof gutters and downpipes if another suitable means of drainage has been provided to remove or disperse rainwater from the roof away from your home.
However, the Building Regulations do require that any stormwater that flows from your roof or any area that is in the immediate vicinity of your home must not cause damage to theinterior of the building, its structure or its structural elements. The regulations require steps to be taken to ensure that stormwater does not accumulate in a way that“unduly inconveniences” you as the occupant of your home.
Furthermore, the system used must:
not undercut the foundations by erosion or flooding
drain stormwater away from your home
not allow stormwater to accumulate against or close to the external walls
make provision for the drainage of any areas on the property where water pools