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How To Fix A Leaking Flat Rubber Roof

Preventing Future Flat Roof Leaks

How to Patch a Leaking Rubber Roof | This Old House

Puddled water on a flat roof will wear down the materials faster and create a potential leaking issue. Additionally, it will also cause mold and mildew to grow on the roof. If you do have mildew growing on the roof, hose off the roof, use a cleaning solution and add zinc strips.

Two options to consider that will alleviate the issue are:

Clean The Rubber Roof Material

What we are going to do first is clean the whole area before we prime it and put the tape down. Be pretty generous with the cleaner and scrub it down really well and clean the rubber. It doesnt matter how old the rubber is, even new rubber, youre going to want to make sure to clean it before you use primer or any tape to it.

The tape is going to want to stick completely in all areas. We are going to want to make sure every nook and cranny is clean. As you can see, is pretty dark.

Okay nice and clean. I am going to set the rag aside. The nice thing about membrane cleaner is that it dries pretty fast. Pretty much as soon as youre done, it should be dry. Then, you can go ahead and start applying the primer.

How To Deal With Flat Roof Leaks

Flat roofs are a common sight right across the country, often found atop garages in residential areas, or large commercial and industrial structures. Choosing a flat roof has many benefits, especially if youre looking to save time and money both during construction and maintenance. However, one issue that often plagues flat roofs is the dreaded roof leak. Flat roof leaks can happen for a multitude of reasons, that may not be immediately obvious. If your flat roof is leaking, youll need to carry out a thorough inspection to identify the root of the problem and get it fixed. Failing to do so quickly could lead to all sorts of issues, including flooding, rotting timbers, condensation, mould, and more.

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Apply The Patch To An Outside Corner:

Outside corner flashing video #2 filmed in studio by Rubber Roof Manufacturer

This is a more complicated / advanced technique and may require some practice, as well as redoing your first patch. Before performing this operation, watch included videos several times to get a good idea of what you will have to do and in what order.

Once you applied the primer and let it dry thoroughly, take the 7×9 corner patch , fold it in half, and peel back half of the film . Attach the patch to the vertical part of the outside corner, and wrap it around the corner, making sure that its tightly applied without any air bubbles. Now, use your fingers to slowly roll the patch down into angle change from vertical wall onto horizontal roof deck. Do not stretch it there or the bridging will occur, and this flashing will not work.

It is very important that this transition has no voids or bubbles where the roof goes from horizontal to vertical plane! otherwise your patch will not work make this transition as tight as possible. Then slowly start to apply the remaining flap to the horizontal plane. Use your fingers to lightly stretch the patch from the center out and keep rolling it in with your fingers. Continue the process until the entire flap is attached to the roof.

Once the patch has been applied, roll it in with silicone roller, paying special attention to step-offs. Roll the edges tightly, and apply EPDM lap caulk along patch perimeter.

Keep Debris Off Of Epdm Roofing During Bonding

How to Patch a Leaking Rubber Roof

That extension cord visible in the left photo was powering the leaf blower used to keep debris off of the to-be-glued surfaces. At below right you can see we used our bricks to hold the overlap seam of original EPDM down flat onto the new EPDM repair-surface during glue drying time.

Following this EPDM repair we visited all of the existing seams on the remaining original roof , cleaning and re-sealing any seams that appeared at all suspicious. We also closed and sealed all of the EPDM seam edges with EPDM lap sealant as a final step.

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Physical Damage On The Roof

Storm or other physical damage can occur, causing rips or tears in the rubber membrane. Since the roofing is open to the elements, a broad range of issues can affect its ability to keep water away from the interior of the building. Typical scenarios include winds causing trees or branches to drop on the flat roof, scraping the roofing material so that it can no longer protect. Machinery or other structures on the roof can tip and fall, punching holes into the membrane, pulling up edges or the boots that seal chimneys, pipes, or other fixtures that extend from the decking. When the membrane is damaged, leaking will occur.

If damage and then leaking occurs due to a storm or an accident, insurance can cover the loss. Make sure that your flat roof repairs are managed by a professional roofing company to support the claim. The documentation that experts provide goes a long way toward convincing an insurance carrier to pay for the labor and materials needed to fix a damaged and leaky flat roof.

Flat Roof Leak Repair Guide

A flat roof repair costs $400-600, which is significantly cheaper than the cost of full replacement.

Moreover, having a pro repair your flat roof can easily extend its service life by at least 3-5 years. However, in some cases, trying to fix a leaking roof membrane might be a futile effort and a complete waste of money.

Often leaks, water damage and other issues may be the result of faulty installation, poor maintenance, or old age of the roof itself.

We will go through the common flat roof problems and signs that warrant repair vs replacement, so you can figure out the most cost-effective and lasting solution for your roof.

If you are ready to repair your flat roof, contact your local roofing pros for FREE Estimates!

Average Flat Roof Cost:

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Felt Flat Roof Repair

Old pour and roll felt roofing can crack, get puncture holes , or the felt could split. Edging can also lift, or old flashings against the wall could leak. The surface may also suffer from dips or hollows.

Temporary Fix

As with most temporary flat roof repair work, a paint on solution can fix leaks. A number of these products are available at Rawlins Paints.

Permanent Fix

If the old layer of felt roofing is in good enough condition, then a liquid system repair can be applied. For older felt roofing, a patch of torched on roofing with add an additional layer and fix the damage. Please ensure that the user of a torch flame to conduct repair work on felt roofing is insured to work with naked flames, and always have a readily available and easily accessible fire extinguisher to hand.

Flat Roof Leaking Causes

FLAT ROOF LEAK REPAIR : Repairing a rubber roof leak very simple and easy and fast- GAME CHANGER

There are a number of reasons why your roof may spring a leak or other roof damage may occur.

Natural disasters like hail storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, electrical storms, floods, wind damage storms, and related severe weather often damage commercial roofing.

If you experience one of these natural disasters, inspecting your roof and assessing any damage is something that you should prioritize during the aftermath, even if you do not notice any leaks right away.

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Instantly We Knew That Alltimes Liquid Rubber For Flat Roofs Would Be The Ideal Long Term Solution For This Job With Excellent Adhesion Durability And Resistance To Cold

A P P General building Solutions were the contractors for this flat roof repair. They had used our Liquid Rubber on a previous project and after seeing the end result, they were happy to be using it again. With our guidance and expert support, it resulted in them fixing the leaking roof quickly and efficiently and keen to use the product again.

All our questions were answered quickly and confidently! Liquid rubber is really easy to use and the final finish is good. We will use with confidence going forward.

Ali Perry, Owner A P P General Building Solutions

How To Find A Leak In A Flat Roof And Fix It

If youve got a leak in your flat roof but arent sure where its coming from youre not alone. It can be a stressful time when you cant find that leaky spot. How to find a leak in a flat roof is the topic of todays article and we will try and help you out.

How can you start fixing your roof if you dont know exactly where the leak is coming from? Thankfully, if this is a problem for you right now, then youre in the right place.

Lots of the info out there on finding leaks in a roof is for traditional pitched roofs. While these might be the most common type of roof in America today, they arent the only roof. If youve got a flat roof, a lot of the advice out there simply isnt relevant to your specific build.

There are a range of unique issues when it comes to finding a leak in a flat roof, and were going to look at them.

So if youve got a flat roof with a leak, then look no further. How do you find a leak in a flat roof?Lets have a look

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Cleaning Mould And Mildew On Epdm Roofing

As roofs are exposed to a whole host of weather conditions and dont always have time to dry out properly in between bouts of bad weather, mould and mildew can be a potential problem. While there are no components of EPDM rubber roofing that promote the growth of mould or mildew, it is still a risk for this reason.

Mould or mildew wont harm your EPDM membrane structurally, however it is not pretty to look at, and can be tricky to get rid of completely once its appeared. As such, as with many of the other problems listed here, prevention is better than cure,

However if you do spot mould or mildew on your EPDM rubber roof, all is not lost! It can be cleaned using a non-abrasive cleaner and a soft-medium brush. Vinegar can also be used to clean mould from your EPDM roof. Apply with a sponge, leave to sit for a few minutes and then sponge away. You may need to reapply to get rid of particularly stubborn patches.

How Long Does A Flat Roof Last

Flat Roof Leak Repair: A Complete Guide

A flat roof will normally last 20-25 years if the roof was built properly along with regularly scheduled maintenance.

If your flat roof leak repair are the result of age and material break down, it typically doesnt make sense to repair it, but its best to determine what type of roof you have and how long your roof lasts.

Usually these kinds of leaks start to show up around the 12 or 15 year mark on a well-made roof, so if you are experiencing leaks around this time it is perhaps best to look into the costs of replacing it altogether.

Whats more, if the initial installation wasnt performed properly, you may need to replace the roof sooner. Keep in mind that small leaks can be easily repaired, but large or multiple leaks may make replacing the roof entirely the best option.

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Signs Of A Mobile Home Roof Leak

Ideally, there will be some kind of visual clue that signifies a leak is happening.

Whether you have a pitched or flat roof youll want to look for the following signs both inside and outside of your home. Here are a few things to look for when trying to locate a leak on your shingled mobile home roof:

How To Temporarily Fix A Leaking Flat Roof

Fixing the leak in your flat roof temporarily is often a great option to buy yourself time, if only to get your valuables out of the way of the dripping water for a few days. Generally, the best stopgap method for repairing a flat roof leak is to use waterproofing paint to seal over the area. Do note however, that you shouldnt use waterproofing paint if there are multiple sources of your roof leak across a large area, as this is inefficient and can make things more difficult down the road.

Flat Roof Sealant for Leaks

The best waterproofing paint to temporarily fix most flat roof leaks is Cromapols Acrylic-based Waterproofing Paint. The advantage of acrylic-based waterproofing is it will not crack like bitumen-based waterproofers, and can even be applied during wet weather, although dry conditions are best. You will of course, need to clean the area first, as theres no point sealing in moss, dirt, and debris!

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Fibreglass Flat Roof Repair

One of the main sources of damage on fibreglass flat roofs can be GRP flashings near abutting walls that leak, or cracks/splits near board joints, trims and/or upstands. Cracks can also occur from expansion and contraction, caused by seasonal extremities.

Temporary Fix

Once the area is cleaned with warm soapy water, acrylic sealant can be applied around and over the small crack or hole, reinforced by plasterers scrim. This temporary measure can easily be scraped off for a permanent fix.

Permanent Fix

Using acetone and grit paper, thoroughly clean and sand down the area over and around the damage. Next, a chopped strand mat needs laminating into place on top of and under a resin coating, with all bubbles removed. Finally, after curing, a topcoat needs to be applied.

Make A Temporary Leak Patch

How to Fix Flat Roof Leaks with a Torch

Once youve found the leak you can make a temporary leak patch from some plywood or shingle and some roofing tar. Use a putty knife to spread the tar into the leaking hole on the inside of your roof. Place the shingle or plywood onto the tar and spread more of the tar around the edges of your patch.

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Apply The Patch To A Flat Area

If you are applying a patch to a flat area , this process should be very easy. Make your patch so that it sticks about 2-3 beyond the hole in the roof, and round off the corners with scissors. Once you confirm that the primer is dry, remove the film / paper off the back of your patch and slowly apply the patch to the roof surface, making sure you do not trap any air, so that you dont create any bubbles / air pockets between the patch and rubber membrane. Work your way out from one edge of the patch to the other. Once the patch has been placed down, roll it in with the silicone roller, with moderate pressure. Make sure you roll in the edges of the patch especially well.

Patching Outside Corners Skylights Chimneys Curbs Etc

Outside corners are much more difficult to patch correctly, if youve never done it. You will have to apply a patch on 2 different surfaces, there is an angle change , and you will have to carefully stretch the UNCURED flashing to give it the correct shape.

Often, there is old flashing in the way, which you will have to remove without causing any further damages. I suggest a practice run, if this is your first time:

Cut a 6×6 piece of flashing from a 10 roll that I provide with the kit, fold back 1/2 of the release paper, position it at the corner of a dresser and try to stretch the exposed material so that it molds to the horizontal part .

Here is a short video on how to flash an outside corner:

Now, this video makes it look easy, but it demonstrates a new roof install. When it comes to a repair, you have to deal with OLD flashing that is already in place. Often, you also have 2 or more roof layers, which makes the roof to chimney angle more than 90 degrees. This can both simplify and complicate a repair.

If the old patch is small 6×6 or so, you can use a 12×12 patch to go over it. If the existing patch is bigger than 6×6 or you have multiple old patches, you will need to remove old flashing completely, if you want your repair to work and to last long.

It is always best to install patches over the original membrane and to make sure there are no additional layers in between, because that complicates installation and poses risk of leaks.

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Keep The Epdm Roof Smooth And Wrinkle Free During Installation

Notice how nice and smooth the installer has made the new EPDM? No wrinkles in this fully-adhered rubber roof repair. Some roof studies we cite below note that installation of EPDM membranes that were not fully cured or that were at a very different temperature from the roof can contribute to EPDM roof failures.

At the right side of this photo you can see the second segment of rubber roofing half-bonded in place and with end seam overlap primed and ready to adhere as well. We used bricks to hold back the to-be-overlapped width of original roofing during this application so that all final seams would be lapped and glued in the proper direction.

Above Ron is bonding the lap-over length of original roofing onto the upper edge of the new EPDM that has been run along the roof edge. That extension cord visible in the left photo was powering the leaf blower used to keep debris off of the to-be-glued surfaces.


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