Flat roofs are a common feature on older homes.You need to inspect these roofs for cracks and other signs of damage on occasion.Most flat roofs are made of synthetic materials.While asphalt can be repaired with caulk or resealed with Bitumen, rubber and synthetic membranes are often easy to fix with patches.If your roof is in a bad shape, diligence with repairs will prevent extensive damage and give it a longer life.
Step 1: Determine the distance from the 2 closest walls to the leak.
Finding damaged areas on a flat roof can be difficult because the water tends to trickle a bit before you see it.You can estimate the location of leaks by going inside your home.Use a tape measure to determine the relative position of spots that look wet or discolored from water damage.If the leak is from one wall to another, look in the same area on the roof.You can detect leaks by smelling a damp, wet smell after a heavy rain.It's important that leaks are fixed immediately to avoid damage to the roof.
Step 2: Take a look at the roof's slope over the area you measured.
Climb onto your roof with a ladder.During icy winters, being on the roof can be dangerous.To find out how the water could get down the roof and into the rooms below, you have to go above the leaking area.Flat roofs are not always perfectly flat.They tend to drive water off the sides.Water can get into damaged spots higher up on the roof.A friend can hold the ladder for you.Wear a harness and secure it to a chimney or another anchor point.
Step 3: There are punctures, tears, and cracks in the roof.
The spots should be easy to identify.Water damage can be caused by places that look worn out.The biggest areas of damage need to be patched up immediately, but don't overlook small spots.Don't wait until they turn into bigger problems to take care of them.There is an immediate issue with any spot that allows water in.Water entering the roof will cause the wood framework underneath to rot and become unstable over time.Patching these spots will prolong the life of your roof.Flat roofs can last up to 25 years before they need to be replaced.You should call a professional if your roof is in bad shape.
Step 4: There are cracks and holes on the roof.
The sides of the roof may be leaking.You can see the edges of the roof.The metal flashing strips used to repel water can leak in through the spaces between the roof and walls.The areas can be patched up.Any gaps or cracks can be filled with a good roofing caulk.
Step 5: Water and debris should be swept away.
You should always clean up any areas you want to repair.Water, dirt, and gravel can prevent the repair material from bonding to the roof.A better view of the damage can be obtained by sweeping the area.A tough broom is needed to clear the roof.It's a good idea to get as much debris off the roof as possible.
Step 6: It's a good idea to dry the areas before treating them.
If you want to make effective repairs, dry out the roof first.You don't need to remove anything from the areas you plan to treat with cement or sealant.There are paper towels that can be used to dry small areas.It is possible to use a propane torch, but be careful not to light your roof on fire.It helps to wait for sunny weather.You have to give the roof a day or two to dry on its own if you need to treat a large spot.
Step 7: Use a utility knife to slice open blisters.
There are blisters on your roof.Cut into the center of the blister.Since you don't want to cut deeper than the damaged portion, keep the cut shallow.Remove the damaged roofing material.These spots are caused by trapped moisture and overheating.If the roofing is dry, you can patch it.First, dry it out with paper towels.
Step 8: Cut around the area until it is no longer damaged.
You can repair most small punctures by forcing sealant into them.It is sometimes difficult to do that.If you want to remove material around the spot without damaging the layers underneath it, use a utility knife to make a shallow cut.The damaged portion can be used as a guide.Cut down until you are underneath the damage and stop if you puncture the rest of the material.You can use a trowel.Cut narrow strips around the crack until the area is level if the roofing material doesn't lie flat.
Step 9: Spread a layer of roofing cement with a trowel.
A good roofing cement fills in gaps on different types of roofs.A layer of cement is pushed into the damaged area.Spread the cement over the damage, then use the trowel to smooth it out.You should not be able to see the hole.Most home improvement stores have roofing cement.Cans are where most cement comes from.caulk tubes can be spread with a caulk gun.Small holes and cracks can be sealed with caulk.caulk is used to fill gaps.If you want to add waterproof material over a damaged spot, cement is more useful.
Step 10: Place a piece of fiberglass over the cement.
Extra waterproofness is provided by fiberglass on your roof.You will need a pair of scissors to cut it.Put the mesh in the cement by pushing it down.Roll of mesh can be found at home improvement stores.Go online to shop at roofing supply stores.A type of lightweight tape called fiberglass scrim can be used in place of the mesh.It can be used to seal off long, straight cracks.After covering the crack with the scrim, fill it with caulk or cement.
Step 11: The mesh should be covered with a thick layer of cement.
Spread a layer of roofing cement over the entire piece of mesh.Add more cement as needed by smoothing the cement flat with a trowel.The final layer of cement should be thick enough to hide the mesh from view.
Step 12: Sun damage can be prevented with a layer of gravel over cement.
You might have seen rocks on the roof and wondered why they are there.Flat roofs are often protected from sun damage with a layer of gravel or river stones.Make sure that no part of the roof is visible by distributing the rocks evenly over the repaired area.Add stones to protect the rest of your roof.The UV rays that are absorbed by this layer prevent sunlight from breaking down the bonds in the roof.Your roof will last longer if it is full of gravel.A can of reflective coating can be purchased from a home improvement store.
Step 13: You can get a roof repair kit.
All the supplies you need to patch up a roof are in the roof repair kits.caulk for seal cracks and patches for treating larger areas of damage are included in many of them.You don't have to hunt down the individual components you need for a repair if you get a kit.Match the patch to the roof you have.If you don't know, you might want to call a professional.The consistency of the asphalt is similar to rubber.When repairing a patch, use a torch.You can use an EPDM patch.Oil and natural gas are used to make EPDM.TPO is a single-ply rubber coating.TPO patches can be used to repair it.
Step 14: You can cut out the damaged area with a utility knife.
Start planning how big the repair should be by locating the damaged spot.The knife can be used to cut around the damaged part.When you are able to remove the damaged roofing material, begin by cutting 1 in ( 2.5 cm) deep.When cutting, be careful.You will slice through the lower layers of material if you cut deeper than the damage.
Step 15: Take a layer of roofing cement and fill the hole.
There is a can of waterproof roofing cement in the store.Most cans of cement work well for any roof, but you may want to check the label to make sure it's appropriate for your roof.Spread out a layer of cement about 8 in (0.32 cm) thick, smoothing it out with a trowel until it is level with the rest of the roof.Spread the cement as much as you can.Try to get it past the damaged area.When installing patches, don't use caulk.It's not meant to be a glue.When cement sticks to the roof, your patches will last longer.
Step 16: A patch on the cement.
Take a patch from your roof.You don't need to cut it to the correct size, but you can use a utility knife to fit over the damaged area.Press the patch into the cement until it sticks, if you want it to be even with the rest of the roof.Some patches have backings.It is possible to hold these patches in place with roofing cement for additional security.
Step 17: The damaged area should be coated with roofing cement.
Provide a sticking point for your new patch by spreading more cement.You should cover the damaged portion with cement.Spread it into a smooth layer about 6 in (15 cm) beyond the damaged spot with a trowel.The rest of the roof should be level with the concrete.You should spread the cement a little further than you did the first time.You can use the new patch to figure out where you need the glue.
Step 18: To fit over the cement, cut a patch.
Extra water resistance can be provided by patching the damaged area.The new patch should be at least 6 in (15 cm) larger than the damaged area and consistent with the last layer of cement you spread.To cut it to size, measure it out and use a utility knife.Adding a second patch is worth it to make the repair stronger.
Step 19: The new patch should be over the original patch.
You are familiar with the drill.Put the new patch over the damaged area and push it into the cement.It should hold up.The new patch may be larger than the area you cut out and hang over.Keep it level with the rest of the roof.Water may get underneath the patch if the edges are not secured.Make sure the patch is dry if they don't stick.Put more cement under the edges.
Step 20: The patch needs to be covered with a final layer of cement.
Spread the cement on the new patch with a trowel.The layer should be thick and even with the rest of the roof.Remove the material from the patch and leave it undisturbed so it will last a long time on your roof.The damaged area should be replaced with a new ballast.It is possible to protect your roof from sun damage if you have some.
Step 21: The primer should be brushed over the roof.
If the waterproof seal needs to be renewed, it is necessary to work on the entire roof.Before you start, make sure the roof is clean.Then, apply a primer to the roof.Use a paint roller to coat the entire roof in a thin layer of primer.Most home improvement stores have Bitumen-based primers.Bitumen is a black, oil-based mixture found in a lot of flat roofs.A little primer can go a long way.If you see you need it, pour out more.The amount you use depends on the size of your roof.Expect to use about 1 US gal per 100 sq ft.The roof's area can be calculated by dividing its length by its width.
Step 22: Allow the primer to dry for a bit.
The weather in your area can affect the drying time.It may take several hours on overcast days.For more information, read the manufacturer's instructions.The primer should be dry before you start.If you add a sealant on top of the wet primer, it won't secure your roof.
Step 23: Wrap fiberglass mesh around the roof.
There are large rolls of mesh.If you need help getting onto the roof, get it.Roll the mesh along the roof's width from one end to the other.Attach it to the edge of the roof with scissors or a utility knife.The mesh needs to be level with the rest of the roof.Purchase mesh at a store.Unless you are a professional constructing a big roof, you don't need the giant rolls.The rolls need a crane to lift them.Most roofing projects use roofing mesh about 100 cm wide.What you use depends on the size of your roof and what you can carry up to it.You don't need to cover the entire roof.It's best to install the mesh 1 piece at a time.
Step 24: Curl the ends of the mesh and hold them to the roof.
The roof and mesh need to be sealed.To do this, you have to gradually roll the mesh back up.A crowbar, paint can, book, or another weight can be used.Work on one side at a time.The opposite of your ladder is the end of the mesh.It may be difficult to get to this part against a wall.
Step 25: Until it reaches an even consistency, mix a Bitumen roof sealant.
There are big cans that look like liquid tar.The can has a solid material at the bottom.A wood mixing stick is needed to stir the material.It is easy to spread the semi-liquid consistency of the sealant.
Step 26: The sealant should be painted onto the roof.
The paint broom can be used to dip the bucket of sealant.The sealant should be spread at the far end of the roof.Place the sealant where the mesh will lay once you roll it back out.The sealant should be thick enough to fit in an even layer.Spread the sealant under the mesh's other end once you have it in place.If you haven't already, roll up this end.
Step 27: The mesh should be coated with a second layer of sealant.
Roll the mesh back out and press it flat with your feet after spreading the sealant on the roof.Spread your brush over the mesh by dipping it into more sealant.The mesh needs to be coated in a layer of sealant.It is important to put the mesh in place.
Step 28: Wait until the entire roof is covered.
Next to the first patch of sealant, roll out more mesh.The mesh should overlap the old layer by 2 in.Even with the other pieces, each piece should be level.You should spread the sealant the same way you did the first roll.Continue until your entire roof is covered.The size of your roof will affect the amount of mesh and sealant you need.
Step 29: 12 hours later, add a second coating of sealant.
After giving the sealant plenty of time to dry, come back and check your work.There are small, dark holes in the sealant.The areas are not waterproof and benefit from another coating.Spread another 2 in (1.3 cm) layer of sealant over the entire roof with your brush and let it dry completely.The holes should be filled with the second coating.To seal every spot, go over the entire roof.
Step 30: A reflective coating is added to the roof.
Purchase a can of reflective coating and mix it with a clean stirring stick.To coat the edges of the roof, use a paint brush.Get a clean roller and spread the reflective coating over the rest of the roof.At home improvement stores, you can buy reflective coating.The coating is similar to rocks used in some roofs, which can wear out your roof over time.It will take at least 8 hours for the roof coating to dry.It can take as long as 24 hours in cold weather.