Flat Roof Repair

Some things are just “flat” wrong. There was actually a time when people thought the earth was “flat”… they were wrong.

There was also a time when men wore “flat” top haircuts thinking it was a good look. They were wrong too. In my opinion that was never a good look, but it was “flat.” And here’s something else that’s just “flat” out wrong… having to deal with a water leak on a ”flat roof.” You may need an experienced roofer to help you with your roof repair.

Trying to chase down a water leak on any roof is never easy but if you have a leak on one, flat or not, it becomes necessary. There are a number of reasons for water leaks on a flat roof. The wind may have blown a tree limb or some other debris onto the roof causing damage. Screws or nails may have backed out causing a leak. The membrane may have separated allowing water to seep in. Or, just plain poor or incorrect installation. Whatever the case, the leak cannot go unaddressed. The longer it’s put off the worse it will get.

Other reasons your flat roof may leak is pipe vents, and flashings. Poor workmanship and/or poorly designed transition areas where a sloped roof meets a flat roof can also be a major headache. These are the first areas you will want to troubleshoot. Something else to keep in mind is water may find an entrance at one point in the roof, but it may exit at another away from the point of entrance. It can be deceiving.

If it is a small tear or bubble you can probably repair the surface yourself. If it is a tear you will want to thoroughly clean the area being repaired. Lift one side of the tear and place roofing cement underneath it. Make sure to get the cement well under the roofing material. Lay it back flat and smooth it out using a trowel. Then repeat the process on the opposite side of the tear. Now use roofing mesh. Lay the mesh the length of the tear pressing it down firmly. Lastly, using your trowel cover the entire patched area with roofing cement.

If it is a bubble, use a utility knife to cut a slit the length of the bubble and use the same process as the tear above.

If it is a larger area you may have to cut a section of your roofing material out completely. If that is the case, it is best to cut the section just slightly smaller than the patch you will need to cover it with. After removing the section use it as a template to cut a new slightly larger section of roofing material. Apply roofing cement on the roof where the old section has been remove and replace it with the new section. Be sure the new section is pressed down firmly then apply roofing cement over the patch.

If the repair job calls for hot tar or a seam melt-down, you should call a qualified roofing professional.