Flat roofs are cheaper than slanted roofs, making them a popular choice for budget buyers. Even though they don’t look as stunning as their slanted variants, flat roofs are still found in most old homes. People living in arid environments install flat roofs. They work well, but they must be inspected once in a while to ensure that the roof is not damaged. Asphalt, rubber, and PVC are the most common materials used on flat roofs.
The biggest issue with this roofing is that they collect a large volume of water, making the materials underneath asphalt highly susceptible to leakage. A leaky roof is hard to fix, especially if it’s a flat roof. Plus, leakage can cause significant damage to your property if left unaddressed for long. Roof repair is not something you can DIY.
Repair a Flat Roof Step by Step Guide
Inspecting a flat roof is easier than the sloped roof, but that doesn’t mean you can fix the underlying cause of the roof leakage without professional help. Here are a few flat roof fixes you can try to repair the damaged roof efficiently.
Locate the Leak
The good news is that locating a leak on a flat roof is relatively easier than finding the same on a sloped one. However, identifying any type of leak can be a bit complicated since the area that leaks inside your home don’t always indicate the place that’s leaking on the roof. The water enters the membranes and travels across the roof before it finally reaches the HVAC units or roof deck.
Check the damp spots on the roof carefully. Call a professional roof contractor to identify the leaky area and have it fixed as soon as possible. The longer you leave the problem undetected, the more damage it can cause.
Clean the Area
Before you start laying cement, caulk, and other adhesives on the damaged area, clean it well. Make sure you have washed the surface thoroughly. Remove dirt, debris, dust, gravel, and anything lying on the floor to create a smooth surface. All you need is a clean cloth and a stiff broom to move the debris away from the cracks.
You could also use a pressure washer for deep cleansing before you start repair. This is especially recommended if your roof has collected a considerable amount of dirt that won’t move with a vacuum or a broom. Grab a pressure washer, set the low stream, and wash the area thoroughly.
Use Roofing Cement to Fix the Issue
A gap in the roof is the common cause of roof leakage. Although it requires professional help, you can fix the issue by filling cement in the damaged portion. Lay the layer of cement in the gap and spread it evenly across the surface such that the cracks are filled completely. Use a trowel to level the surface until you can’t see the hole anymore. You can find cement at any hardware store. Alternatively, the gaps can be filled with caulk. In fact, it is better than cement when it comes to filling small cracks.
Once you are done laying the cement, cover the area with the fiberglass mesh. It acts as an additional protective layer over the cement. Lastly, put gravels on the cement to protect the roof from sun damage. You might have noticed rocks on these roofs and wondered why people place them on flat roofing. That’s done to ensure protection from any environmental damage, especially UV rays. The gravels must be spread across the damaged portion so that the membrane is not visible.
Create a Slope
A small slope will still make your roof look flat. The reason experts recommend you have a small slope is that it creates sufficient space for water runoff. If leaks are a major issue in your house, the best thing you can do is create a small slope that directs the water away from the roof and into the gutter.
Use High-quality Flashing
The areas around your vents, chimneys and other elements on the flat roof feature flashing. It is the flashing that protects the roof and the materials beneath it from the leak. So, it makes sense to spend a few extra bucks on buying high-quality and robust flashing material that can prevent leaks efficiently.
Seal Small Cracks Immediately
The longer you wait, the more damage a leaky roof can cause to your property. The moment you notice any cracks on the roof or a damp ceiling, head up to the roof immediately and identify the problematic area. If it’s a small crack, you can fix it on your own. If there is a big hole or damaged flashing, contact a professional roofing contractor to fix the issue. As mentioned earlier, you can use adhesive patches to fill these holes and small cracks quickly. Before you start, grab a tape and measure the area of damage so that you can order the cement accordingly.
Cover it with a Tarp
This is an immediate yet temporary fix for a leaky roof. At times, it is not possible to call a contractor and get the leakage fixed immediately. That’s where a tarp comes in. Borrow one from your neighbors or buy it from a hardware store. All you have to do is identify the leaky area, cover it with the tarp properly, and nail the tarp down to the roof. For extra protection, you can place a couple of heavy rocks on each end of the tarp so that it won’t move. While it can be a perfect temporary fix, you may need to call a professional later for a permanent repair.
Flat roofs require more maintenance than slanted ones because of the lack of space for water run-off. It’s important that you conduct regular roof inspections either yourself or by hiring a professional roof contractor. If you ever need emergency roof repair services or any kind of roofing work done at a reasonable price, feel free to get in touch with the expert roofers at Best Top Roofing Ltd. Call them on tel: +1-780-710-9990 and enjoy a healthy roof.