Complete Guide on How to Repair a Flat Roof Leak
Flat roofs have their own set of challenges worth watching out for. Water is among the major nemeses and leaks should be addressed accordingly and within the shortest time possible to prevent further damage. Routine inspection and good building maintenance are essential to ensure your flat roof lasts long with minimal and less costly repairs. For safety purposes, ensure to first install the necessary fall protection such as a post and chain barrier before accessing the roof. Here’s everything you need to know prior to fixing a flat roof leak.
First Things First
A leaky roof can easily lead to electrical system damage, crumbling sheetrock, destroyed belongings, and mould growth. It’s important that you locate and address the leak as soon as possible to prevent the damage from becoming worse. You can save yourself a lot of money and time if you know what to look for. Roof leaks are often indicated by the presence of brown water spots on the ceiling.
However, the presence of a brown spot doesn’t mean that’s the origin of the leak. Water usually moves and leaks where it’s easiest to drop. Therefore, your first plan of action should be to determine the exact origin of the leak.
You need to conduct a thorough investigation of your flat roof to locate the source of the leak. When conducting the inspection, you should pay more attention to areas more prone to leaks. Below are important factors to consider:
Look for patches - it’s important to inspect patches to ensure they’re holding tightly, especially if you recently had your roof repaired.
Check the drains - blocked or clogged drains can prevent efficient water drainage, causing the water to pool on the roof and contributing to leaks. You need to examine your drains for any debris blocking or clogging the drains.
Examine the seams - if your flat roof has seams, ensure that they’re all tight and holding.
Before you begin repairing the leak in your flat roof, you need to consider the age of the roof. If it’s a recent installation done by a roofing contractor, you should contact the company to see if they’ll handle the repairs. But if the roof was installed a long time ago, probably past the time of warranty, you may decide to do the repairs yourself.
The type of roofing system your property has will determine the kind of material you’ll need to fix the leak. Ensure to use a membrane that’s compatible with the existing roof material.
EPDM Rubber Roofing
You can repair leaks to rubber roofs by using an EPDM rubber membrane patch. Apply just the right amount of patch to avoid problems should you require to perform a permanent fix in the future. Ensure the area is completely dry before sealing it. This includes draining any blisters and drying the supports beneath the roof.
Modified Bitumen Roofing
You can use an asphalt-based membrane to repair a leak in modified bitumen roofs, especially if it’s just a matter of a simple patch. However, you should consider hiring a professional if the repair requires torching.
Tar and Gravel Roofs
Tar roofs are usually covered with gravel, making it a bit difficult to locate the origin of the leak. However, once you’ve located the source of the leak, repairing the roof can be very easy. Exposed tar areas are prone to cracks, which could contribute to leaks. You need to look for areas with missing gravel to find the leak. To fix the problem, simply apply tar, mesh, and then gravel.