Flat roofs are made up of layer of tar and roofing felt. When this felt is damaged, the roof starts leaking making it easy to locate the damage as leak is directly under the damaged spot. But, at times, the water enters one spot and travels some distance before expressing itself from some other end. It may be quite far from the leaking spot hence making it difficult to locate.
How To Test For The Leaks
First step for detecting a leaking area is to get up there on the roof and inspect the cracks or holes, mainly at the seams of the roof or flashing. Water can also seep in through exposed nail heads causing the damage to the structure. You can also look for some discoloured spot that indicate the stagnant water and possible a crack or a hole.
Testing the roof for any leak need lots of patience and time. You need to get a hose up on the roof and run it slowly at the drain points. The process needs to be repeated for the entire roof and once you locate the culprit, you can start your work on flat roof repair.
How To Start Flat Roof Repair
Before you start flat roof repair, clean up the pooled up water if any in the area of leak using rags and then allow the surface to dry. Clean up any debris or gravel. You can now look for the cracks or large blisters.
There are few things that you will need to repair a flat roof and these include utility knife, clean rags, safety goggles, propane torch, trowel, hammer, 6d galvanized roofing nails and asphalt roof cement or compound.
If there are blisters on the roof, you can use a sharp knife to slice it open down middle. Penetrate the cut fully inside the blistered layer but be careful not to cut the sound roofing felt under it. Lift the blister from cut edges and if there is water inside, squeeze it out by pressing towards the centre. Soak up water using water absorbent rags and prop up the edges so that the layers can dry. Put a thick later of roof cement on the bottom edges and press down the sides of blister. You then need to close the blister permanently using 6d galvanized roofing nails on both the sides of the slit. Cover this blister with cement and make sure that all the nail heads have been covered properly.
Hiring A Professional For Flat Roof Repair
Flat roof repair can be very challenging, especially if the surface is wet. Many homeowners prefer to hire a professional who is expert in roofing repair. You can look for roofing experts of your area in the yellow pages. Make sure that the roofing expert you choose is well trained and certified. Make sure that you hire someone who specializes in flat roof repair for the material that your roof is made up of.
Roof can be made up of various materials such as wood, tiles, asphalt, slate or engineered rubber/plastic and repair for each of them calls for different techniques. For example, metal roof repair will be different from repairs of other types of roofing materials mentioned above. It is also important to check the credentials of the roofer and understand all the terms and conditions of flat roof repair prior to signing an agreement.