Commercial flat roofs are not exempted to damage and deterioration. However, not all kinds of damages need immediate replacement. As a commercial property owner, it is useful to equip yourself with the right skills on how to repair a flat roof. Minor cases allow you to fix it yourself as a temporary solution. In this blog entry, we aim to give basic guidance on how to repair a flat roof.
Benefits of a Flat Roof
A low slope or flat roofing is common in commercial and industrial properties. This due to the many benefits you can get out of it. For one, this is a cost-effective roofing system which is automatically a big consideration. It can last up to 30 years with proper installation and maintenance. There is also lots of flexibility involved. You can transform the surface into other purposes like gardens, penthouses, and so many more. When it comes to maintenance, it is also easier to access due to a flat surface that workers can walk on.
Types of Flat Roofing Membranes
There are different types of low slope roofing membranes. First on the list are traditional materials such as tar and gravel, modified bitumen, and mastic asphalt. You can also choose metal membranes like aluminum, steel, or copper. Lastly, the synthetic membranes which include thermoplastic olefin (TPO), PVC, rubber, and glass reinforced plastic (GRP). As you can see, there are plenty of materials to choose from. They vary in terms of cost, longevity, and performance.
When to Perform Roof Repair?
Before we proceed, we would like to emphasize how important your roof’s role is. It shields and protects your property from external hazards. Over time, it will become more prone to damages which is a normal occurrence. As a property owner, it is your responsibility to care for your roofing. There are minor cases that you can personally handle. However, it is still the best to consult roofing professionals. They will give accurate assessments and recommendations to make sure your commercial roofs live up to its expected lifespan. Besides, no matter how simple roof repair may seem to be, it is a serious and dangerous job to perform.
You perform commercial flat roof repair when you begin to observe minor issues. It is also a way to help extend a roofing’s lifespan. There are damages that can be quickly repaired. However, if the damage is extensive and serious, that is the time you have to consider roof replacement.
Exposure to harmful elements may cause damage to any type of roofing. Sun, rain, storm, and snow exposure lead to deterioration. To begin, let us first identify the most common flat roof issues that you should watch out for.
- Pooling of water
- Accumulation of debris (leaves, dirt, etc.)
- Cracked, curled, or missing shingles
- Roof aging
When you notice one or more of these signs, do not neglect them. If left unrepaired, they may cause bigger problems sooner. For instance, what could have been a case for a simple shingle repair may lead to roof replacement. Hence, always be on the lookout and consult a professional roofing company regularly.
- Utility knife
- Cloths or rags
- Safety gears
- Asphalt roof cement
- Galvanized roofing nails
- Flat roof material (to match existing roofing system)
6 Simple Steps on How to Repair Flat Roof
Keep in mind that roofing projects should only be conducted by experienced roofers. For minor repairs, ensure that you are physically prepared to carry out this difficult task. Always wear proper gears (hard hat, gloves, boots, goggles, etc.) for your own safety.
First Step: Inspection
You need to locate the problem areas and identify where work needs to be done.
Important safety reminder: When climbing up the roof, mount your ladder on a flat surface. Lean it against a sturdy wall and make sure that there are no objects that could move the ladder.
Second Step: Clear the Area
Flat roofs have slight pitches that could pool water. This results in the most common problem – leakage. Hence, before you perform the repair, make sure to clean the area first by picking up all kinds of debris and gathering the stagnant water. Then, dispose the debris and water properly.
Do not forget to brush off the dirt to make sure the area is free from obstructions.
Third Step: Remove the Blisters
To mend a roofing blister, slice the damaged area up to the middle part. Make sure you do not reach the roofing felt beneath it. Lift up the sliced parts.
Fourth Step: Remove Excess Water
Check if there is water lying around. Squeeze out water by soaking it up using cloths or rags. Let the area dry out before you proceed.
Fifth Step: Fill-in Cement
Using roof cement, fill in the scraped-off areas as well as its surrounding areas. Spread a thick coating of cement to patch any uneven surface caused by the damage.
Perform the same process for cracks or holes. Fill it in with roofing cement until the area becomes even.
Sixth Step: Cover it with a Roofing Membrane
As a final step, measure the area that needs a new layer of membrane. Then, measure and cut the roofing material.
While the cement is still wet, patch the roofing material on to the damaged area. Make sure it is covered entirely. Seal it using galvanized nails on the edges of the blisters.
Optional: To further seal the damaged area, you can also top it off with aluminum-coating. Applying aluminum-coating over the entire flat roof will help block-off sun’s UV rays.
Whatever roofing problem you may have, the first step is to consult roofing experts. This is for your own safety and peace of mind. Licensed roofers can provide you with professional recommendations.
It’s good to equip yourself with basic skills on how to repair a roof. However, this job is very risky and entails expertise. Note as well that minor repairs are only temporary. It may aid in extending the lifespan of your roof but it will not fix it completely. Regular roof maintenance and inspections are needed in order to keep your roof sturdy and in good condition.
Looking for a licensed local roofer?
Since 2014, Central Roofing Solutions has been actively helping business owners solve their roofing problems. We deliver highest quality commercial roof repair, replacement, and installation.
Let us take good care of your roof. Call us today at 330-359-1727 and get a free quote.