Flat Roof Repairs

You can repair a hot tar built-up flat roof with fiber-mesh patching or an aluminum fiber coating.

Intro

A flat roof is usually slightly sloped. It may be covered with a granular roll roofing, EPDM (which is smooth surfaced), or modified bitumen (which may be smooth or mineral surfaced). Some flat roofs have hot tar built-up roofing, which may have a gravel surface. If you live in an arid region or an older urban area, you may have a large flat roof. Suburban homes sometimes have small flat sections.

Where the roofing curves to meet a wall or chimney, the material may loosen along its topmost edges. Apply plenty of roofing cement to fill the void and smooth the cement so water can run off unimpeded.

An application of aluminum fiber coating quickly seals many small leaks and can prolong the life of a roof. It cannot be applied over a gravel-topped or mineral surfaced roof however.

Prestart Checklist

Time
1 to 2 hours for most repairs

Tools
Utility knife, trowel, squeegee/broom for applying aluminum coating, hammer

Skills
No special skills required

Prep
Inspect the roof for bubbles, cracks, and voids.

Materials
Roofing cement, fiber-mesh patching, EPDM or other flat-roofing material, roofing nails

Patching a small hole or bubble: Step 1

Use a utility knife to cut a slit in a bubble or lift up the two sides of a crack. You may need to cut out a narrow strip so the two sides can lie flat. Use a trowel to slip some roofing cement under the damaged area.

Patching a small hole or bubble: Step 2

Spread roofing cement over an area that is 6 or more inches wider than the damage. Embed fiberglass mesh in the cement, then apply another layer of cement. Use a trowel to feather the edges.

Patching a larger area: Step 1

Use a utility knife and straightedge to cut a rectangle around the damage. Cut just deep enough that you can remove the piece. Use the piece as a template to cut a patch.

Patching a larger area: Step 2

Spread roofing cement onto the cutout area and work it under the surrounding roofing as well. Set the patch into the wet cement.

Patching a larger area: Step 3

Cut a patch that is about 6 inches longer and wider than the first patch. Spread roofing cement, set the patch into the cement, and spread another layer of cement over the patch. Once it has dried coat the area with aluminum-fiber coating.


Comments (3)
7545516067
design-ideas wrote:

For Flat Roof Repairs, you can also use a single part, thermoset roof coating to repair your roof. Simply, remove all objects from the area, scrub with TSP and power wash. Repeat the TSP and power wash again. Apply the product to the damaged area and done. FFR-K1 is one such product that can be used. It is also a white roofing product and this can also lower roof temperatures, saving you money in cooling costs.

1/1/2013 07:24:05 PM Report Abuse
ptcconstruction wrote:

I have a question about a balcony deck repair. Originally, the balcony deck looks like rolled fiberglass roofing was used to cover the deck and has failed. Can I just tear out the water damaged OSB (top and underside)and replace with felt and rolled roofing? FYI: House is stucco which appears to be in good shape, with the exception of the underside of the balcony. Is there a better way to make the repair other than what I have suggested? C

11/29/2012 09:41:13 AM Report Abuse
lojo61377 wrote:

The house we bought has a bathroom addition with a flat roof. It has started leaking, so we re-shingled and tarred the roof. The roof is still leaking and we are at our wits end trying to figure out how to get it to stop. Can anyone offer any advice? Thanks.

7/7/2011 05:22:53 PM Report Abuse
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