A flat roof is susceptible to wear and damage that can lead to leaks and costly water damage. When problems crop up, it’s essential to get repairs handled promptly by an experienced roofing pro who’s familiar with your type of roof system. What takes place during a flat roof repair can vary depending on your roofing material, but it should include these three steps:
Inspecting the Roof
A thorough roof inspection is necessary to pinpoint deficiencies where water can infiltrate the building. Common problem areas are checked including flashing and seals around roof penetrations such as vents, pipes, signage, HVAC units, and skylights. The roof field, parapet. and edges are also examined for signs of cracks, seam separations, blisters or bubbled areas, punctures, and tears.
Prepping Damaged Areas Properly
To make sound repairs, a roofer needs to use the right products, tools, and techniques for your particular type of roof system. Different roof covers require different prepping methods before they can be repaired:
- EPDM needs to be power washed and rinsed thoroughly, then primed with a splicing cleaner before adhesive can be applied.
- Thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) should be scrubbed with a water-soluble granular cleaner and a polypropylene scouring pad, then rinsed several times. After it dries completely, the area needs to be cleaned again with denatured alcohol in preparation for heat welding.
- Modified bitumen needs to cleaned and primed with a light coating of asphalt primer to ensure good patch adhesion.
Completing Repairs Correctly
Once your roofer has identified and prepped the areas that need attention, repairs can be completed. Loose/damaged flashing around the roof perimeter or penetrations should be reattached and caulked, and loose mechanical fasteners replaced and sealed. Blisters, cracks, open seams, punctures, or tears on the roof field or around penetrations are dealt with differently depending on the type of cover material:
- Damage to a TPO membrane can be fixed by placing a new piece of material over the area and hot welding it in place.
- Defects in an EPDM rubber membrane can be patched using splicing adhesive and lap sealant.
- With a modified bitumen roof, a compatible patch needs to be carefully heated with a roofing torch to avoid damaging the material or the existing membrane; then moderate pressure needs to be applied to achieve good adhesion.
If your commercial property is in need of expert flat roof repair, contact us today at Pro Roofing & Siding.