Flat Roof Repairs – DIY roofing repairs


Three Roofing Material Explained

Flat Roof Repairs

We Repair all types of flat roof membranes and will help you save money and a lot of aggravation. For the last 20 years, we have been repairing and installing commercial flat roofs. The EPDM rubber roofing system is on our top list of the worst roofing system. We still believe that the two-ply Torch Down system is by far the best and most cost-effective to install with little maintenance over its lifetime.

"Locating the leak is harder than fixing it"

    1. Find the object or place where the roof is leaking
      • Get reference points inside the building or take measurements from two walls to get an approximate idea where the leak is on the roof
      • Check the flashing, skylights, door-pans, vent pipes for possible clues that could cause the leak
    2. Tools and Materials needed
      • Disposable Brush
      • Rags
      • Scissors
      • Steel brush
      • Scraper
      • Turbo Poly Seal or Super Silicone Seal from https://bergstromm.com/
    3. Prepare the Surface:
      • Use the wire brush and brush away any loose paint, debris
      • Wipe the surface clean from any dust
      • Remove any old caulking with a scraper
      • Remove old Tar
    4. Start the repair:
      • Open the can of Turbo Poly Seal or Super Silicone Seal.
      • Stir the contents well
      • Apply a thick coat of sealant over the leaky area covering at least 2 inches on each side of the leak
      • Measure and cut a piece of Polyester Fleece that will be big enough to cover the leak area
      • Apply the fleece over the sealant and dab it into the sealant with the brush
      • Apply a final coat of Sealant over the fleece ensuring that the entire Polyester cloth is covered
    5. Curing Time:
      • Make sure there is at least 1 hour time after fixing the leak and before it rains
      • It takes about 24 hours to cure at 65° F
      • If there is any  sealant left in the container, make sure to seal it very tightly

Pitch Pockets that are located next to Airconditioner units are common to cause leaks.

If your commercial roof is leaking, inspect the following:

  1. Locate the "Pitch Pocket" - this is where all the electrical wires and conduit pipes come through the roof
  2. Make sure the "Tar" is filled to the brim. If the tar is forming a pocket where water can accumulate, it will cause a leak
  3. Make sure the foam insulation around the condenser pip;e is intact. If the foam insulation is corroded or broken, when it rains, water will leak in between the foam and the pipe into the building
  4. Make sure that the Tar seals tightly around the condenser pipe and wires
  5. Check the transition from the Pitch Pocket to the rubber roof - the flashing may need repair

No matter what causes a leak, if you have Turbo Poly Seal or Super Silicone Seal, you can repair any leak

How to repair a leak:

  1. After locating the leaky area, prepare the surface by cleaning it removing loose paint and debris
  2. Wipe the area clean with a rag
  3. Apply one coat of sealant covering two inches on each side of the leak area
  4. Install a precut Polyester Fleece over the sealant embedding it
  5. Apply  a final coat of Sealant over the Polyester Fleece
  6. Make sure to close the container securely so no air can get in

Do it Yourself Flat Roof Repair

If you want to do your own Flat Roof Repair, click on this button. Videos on how to find leaks, and what materials to use. I am also ready to Chat with you whenever you need help. This video shows why a 2 Ply Torch Down Rubber Roof is far better than any other roofing system

We are the Flat Roof Experts for Modified Bitumen Torch Down

The 2 Ply Modified Bitumen Torch Down Roofing system outperforms all other roofing systems. If you have a flat roof with a Torch Down roofing system, then the chances are good that we can repair it if necessary. If a Modified Bitumen Torch Down roof had the silver coating maintained over the years, the chances are that the rubber is in very good condition.

Our experience on flat roofs will help you save money and have a maintenance-free roof for many years to come.

EPDM Rubber on Flat Roofs

If you have an EPDM Rubber flat roof that has been installed for over 10 years, then the chances are that you will have to replace the roof. Because of the black surface of an EPDM Rubber roof, the Ultraviolet rays will dry it out and cause it to shrink. The adhesives that were used to bond the seams together also will break down and with the shrinkage and adhesive breakdown, the entire roof is compromised.

Our flat roof experience in EPDM is that it is not worth repairing EPDM rubber roofs if they are older than 8 years.

What is the cause of the leak on a flat roof?

  • Skylights – The seal around the skylight or the flashing.
  • Chimneys – Field Stone chimneys are prone to leak. The flashing around the chimney is the biggest problem.
  • Chimney Crowns – The top of a chimney can cause leaks below.
  • Vent pipes – Some vent pipes come with a rubber gasket that will perish over time.
  • Door sills – Any door leading onto a deck or roof area can cause leaks.
  • Siding – Siding that is rotten or not covering the flashing can cause leaks.
  • Shingles – When it butts into a shingle roof. The leak can come from a shingle roof and valleys.  
  • Pitch pockets – The area where air conditioner’s piping and wires penetrate can cause leaks.
  • Air conditioners – Curb flashing around air conditioners are the first areas to look for trouble.
  • Drip-edges – The metal edging on the perimeter where the membrane is attached is a big factor for leaks.
  • Rubber roof – Sometimes the seams on the membrane can come loose to cause leaks.
  • Drains– Blocked drains or clogged strainers can cause problems
  • Gutters – they are always giving some problems. High maintenance item
  • Scuppers – Very inexpensive Drain system. The rubber membrane that is attached to the scupper, in many cases will pop loose.

It is not the roof but the roofer!

The most common mistakes roofers make:

  • Not using the correct materials for a specific situation.
  • Not bonding the rubber material to flashing correctly.
  • Not having proper flashing.
  • Taking shortcuts by skipping steps in the installation.
  • Not having enough experience in glues, bonding cement, and heat welding. (as in torch)
  • Using inexpensive roofing cement (tar) to repair a rubber roof.
Flat Roofs - Repairing and Installing flat roofs
Repairing a Build-Up roof with Karnak 81 Trowel Grade
The Repair of Scuppers and Drains
  • We are the Flat Roof Experts and Specialists.
  • We Repair and Install rubber roofs
  • We do Residential and Commercial flat roofs
  • We have been in business for over 25 years
  • Free Estimates no matter how small or big the job is

Making repairs on a flat roof can affect the integrity of the rest of the roof. Make sure you use the right material.

All roofs are not alike. Every flat roof has a signature as to the quality of the material and technique that was used. Ninety percent of the time a leak can be contributed to the way the material was installed. For the most part, the large surface is not the problem, but when it comes to the flashing, that’s when technique becomes very important.

How the rubber material is attached to metal is very critical.  In the case of EPDM contact cement is used to attach the rubber to metal. If the flashing is not very clean and fairly flat without dents, the chances of a leak are increased.

Modified Bitumen is a petroleum-based product and therefore a tar-like product must be used to do the flashing. Most of the time roofers will use an inferior tar to attach the membrane to metal. Using the wrong brand or cheap tar will cause a failure in the flashing of membrane attachment very fast.

To make repairs the first thing to inspect is to see if the transition from the rubber membrane to the flashing is done correctly. Most leaks spring from those areas. It’s harder to repair an EPDM rubber roof than a Bitumen roof.

  • Any roof can be repaired if it is not too old.
  • The old Hot Tar and Gravel systems are very hard to repair.
  • Most of the time it is the installer that is to blame and not the material.
  • Most of the time a leak stems from something else than the rubber roof itself. (skylights, drains, air conditioners, vent pipes, flashing)

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Review Peeper

Flashing

5.0 rating
May 30, 2020

Very informative and friendly we appreciate thank you.

Margarita salinas

very cool

5.0 rating
May 28, 2020

very friendly and good product.

Silvia

Drain leaking

5.0 rating
May 28, 2020

That information is very helpful for me because we have a leak in my flat roof.
Thank you very much

Adelaida Solis

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