A damaged roof, flat or pitched, is a nightmare to a homeowner. It has to be repaired at the earliest. Procrastination can make you pay dearly. We are considering here the flat roof repair in a place like Tampa Florida where the weather conditions are extreme as well as unpredictable. The most common flat roof-types are the single membrane roof, modified bitumen roof, and BUR or built-up roof.
The flat roof repairs occur when the roof is considerably old or an unexpected hurricane or storm blows heavy pieces of debris onto your roof penetrating it. A third reason is that the extreme heat of Florida bears down on your roof.
Before you decide to repair your flat roof, you will have to consider a few important aspects. The age of your roof is an important aspect. If your roof is aged, repair may not hold for long and you may have to spend more money on your roof. If the damaged area is small, you can consider repairing it. See if you can cover the area with a single width of the membrane. If you have to join the membranes, sealing them seamlessly is taxing.
The First Step
Locating the source of a roof leak is the first task. First, locate the roof leak point form under your roof. Mark its position with respect to the two nearest walls. Now, more or less, locate this point on your roof by taking the same measurements from the two walls. Look for damage of some kind there. If you don’t see it, search a little higher because all flat roofs are slightly slopped. So, like any other pitched roof, the source of the leak can be located somewhere higher up.
What to look for
You can look for blisters, penetrations, or worn-off places on the surface of the roof. Small tears also occur due to some flying debris. If the roofing material is fastened using nails, some of them may be loose or popped up. Where there are joints, the seams may separate in due course, leaving space for water to enter. Furthermore, the caulk or cement at the bases of the rooftop structures like vents or chimneys may be affected.
How to repair small holes and punctures
Repairing it is easy. You will have to seal these holes by filling them with sealants. You can also clean the surface thoroughly and apply a peel and stick patch. If your roof is made of BUR, fill the hole with tar. Smoothen it further and reinforce it with a piece of fiberglass mesh. Press it down and apply a layer of gravel to protect it from the UV-rays. The fiberglass mesh will also provide added waterproofing.
How to repair blisters
The blisters on the membrane appear when the trapped moisture heats up in the sun. You will have to slice the surface of the blister without damaging the layer underneath. Lift the flaps slightly with a trowel to force the moisture to escape. The place beneath these flaps should be dried completely before applying the correcting mixture. Lift this flap with a trowel or a probing tool and dry it carefully using a small propane gun. Insert roofing cement or any other rubber sealant into this. Flatten it gently but thoroughly and apply a peel and stick patch over it. If you choose to fasten these flaps with nails, make sure that you cover the nail-heads with tar or a peel and stick patch.
How to repair a patch of worn-out or loose roofing material
You will have to cut away the damaged portion carefully. Cutting it as narrow strips will make it easier and neater. Clean this place and spread roofing cement smoothening it with a putty knife. Cut a piece of fiberglass mesh and force it gently into the cement. Cover the portion once again with a layer of cement. There, your job is done!
You can repair your flat roof mostly through a DIY job. Make sure that you have suitable tools and safety gadgets. However, if you find the job imposing, or your roof has passed its prime, you will do well in getting expert roofing help.