Concrete (flat) roofs are prone to cracking. These can be small hairline cracks to larger, visible cracks. These are a natural result of the concrete reacting with the elements. As concrete experiences wet and cold, it tends to shift, expand, dissolve, and contract, all which results in cracks along your roof.
Often, these cracks will lead to leaks in your roof. Leaks are dangerous to both the structure of your roof and to the items located in your building. When leaks are left untreated, they tend to increase in size until items within the building are destroyed and the whole structure of the roof is compromised. Luckily, it is fairly easy to fill these cracks and to protect your roof from further damage.
The way to protect your concrete roof is to place a concrete sealer on top of it. Concrete sealers are made up of special plastic and rubber coatings that attach to the concrete, creating a waterproof membrane that stretches with the concrete.
There are several different types and varieties of concrete sealer, all of which provide different levels of protection. These different levels are used in the two major ways to seal your roof: damp proofing and waterproofing.
Damp proofing is a non-reinforced process that helps stop leaks that have been caused through absorbed moisture. Damp proofing is the first step in roof protection and is a great choice for a roof that is just starting to form cracks. Damp proofing consists of thoroughly cleaning your roof and applying special layers of base coats, sealants, and topcoats. You can talk to your roofing professional about the best products to use on your particular roof.
Waterproofing is a reinforced process that gives you more protection than damp proofing and is the best choice for roofs that are starting to show more visible cracks, but that are still structurally sound enough to enjoy a long life. Waterproofing, like damp proofing, requires cleaning the roof and then applying it with different layers of waterproofing materials, such as base coat, sealants and topcoats.
Due to the special materials needed, and to the risk that is always involved when you climb onto your roof, it is always recommended that you have a professional come in to seal your roof. Your roofing professional will have the right tools and the right products to effectively seal and protect your roof so that it can have an extended life.