Flat Roof Leak Repair – Repairing a Leaky Roof

Drains causing roof leaks

Flat Roof Drain Detached from Rubber Membrane
The rubber membrane was never attached to the drain flashing in this image

When a drain is leaking, it is not always necessarily what causes the leaking. Because the drain is normally lower than the rest of the roof, a leak could start somewhere else and flow towards the drain underneath the roof membrane.

Ho to locate a leak around a drain:

  • Try to open the ceiling where the drain is coming through the roof and make a visual inspection
  • Clean all debris that has accumulated around the drain and strainer
  • Remove the strainer to make a visual inspection of the drain pipe from above
  • Make a close-up inspection of the roofing membrane and the drain flange to see if it hasn’t separated
  • If you can’t find an obvious problem, call an experienced roofing technician to find and repair the leak

More about Roof Drains

How to inspect a roof drain for leaks

  • Remove the strainer
  • Check if debris has collected inside the drainpipe blocking it
  • Inspect the membrane that is attached to the drain to see if there are any tears or cracks
  • Remove all debris
  • Remove all water completely to make a visual inspection

Roof Drains that are clogged will cause leaks

Debris Around Flat Roof Drain Strainer
Debris Around Flat Roof Drain Strainer
  • Make sure to keep drains clean from debris once a week
  • Clean entire roof regularly to prevent debris flowing to drain during a rainstorm
  • Make sure drain pipes are unrestricted all the way
  • Replace broken plastic strainers with metal ones
  • If water is ponding around the drain area due to being too high, have a roofing contractor lower the drain

Below is a video explaining how a roof drain should really work

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