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New Methods to Fix Your Flat Roof on Your Own

Apr 1, 2008
A typical reaction of homeowners with flat roofs when they notice a leak is 'head in hands'! Leaks can extensively damage your ceilings and decor. The reason for flat roof leaks are that asphalt flat roofs or built up flat roofs have a limited lifespan and they deteriorate due to weather variations.

Leaks on flat roofs spread in any direction and are hence very difficult to locate. Flat roof repair is also more challenging than that of a sloping roof. When you have a leak in a flat roof, the water does not necessarily express itself at the spot it is leaking through. In most cases, it generally travels some distance before expressing itself. You ought to remember one important factor when locating a leak- water does not travel uphill, so discount all the areas below the spot where you noticed the leak.

If you have a flat roof that shows some leaks, inspect the roof for trouble spots, when the roof is cool and dry. Inspect the flashings first as flashings connect the roof with other objects that are not part of the roof. Look for small cracks, breaks in seam or openings in and around the flashings. Look for dry lake beds as they indicate ponding. Concentric circles of dirt indicates that the presence of a low spot. Seams are another area that deserves your attention, check for holes, cracks and loose seam.

Once the source of the leak is located one of the following methods, depending on the roofing material, can be used to carry out the repair.

Plastic roof cement method is recommended on single-ply systems, Modified Bitumen or BUR and Built up Roof systems. Remove all the gravel and other debris and clean the surface. Ensure that the surface on which the repair is being carried out is clean and dry. Apply the roof cement on the entire area and well beyond it (six inches approx). The plastic roof cement is trowel grade and has to be applied in a continuous process while applying pressure.

After the cement has begun setting, lay a strip of fiberglass reinforcing fabric on the cemented area. This fabric acts as reinforcement, greatly increasing the life of the repair. Apply a layer of plastic roof cement over the exposed fabric; you may lay an additional layer of the fabric to further strengthen the repair.

Sealant and Roof Tape method is recommended for smooth surfaced roofing systems such as E.P.D.M or PVC Thermoplastic. The surface has to be prepared before carrying out the repairs. Clean the area with a cleaning solution and wipe it dry. Apply polyurethane or butyl sealants that are generally available in hardware stores. In case you are applying roof tape; apply even pressure for better adhesion. Duct tape is recommended for PVC roofing systems. Clean the area and then apply the tape with even pressure applied.

Please note that these repairs are temporary in nature and it is advisable to carry out permanent repairs by a professional roofing expert.
About the Author
Are you thinking about getting a Metal Roof or a Flat Roof ? Read this free report on the insiders guide to metal roofing before you make a decision. http://www.classicmetalroofs.com/vp/index.php
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