Flat roofs carry their own set of challenges, and it is just something that commercial building owners have to watch out for. Fortunately, in Southern California, rain is not as much of a problem as in other parts of the country. Still, good building maintenance requires a close inspection of roof systems so that you can be quick to respond when a flat roof leak repair is needed. Here are some tips that can prove helpful when a leak repair is warranted.
First Things First
When you discover or suspect you have a leak on your flat roof, time is of the essence. Don’t delay in investigating the problem, or you could be looking at some serious structural damage. When you find a leak, follow these steps:
• Try to trace the source of the leak.
• Call the company who installed the roof, if it is on the newer side.
• If you bought a building with a leaky roof, you’re likely on your own. Decide whether to repair it or call a pro.
• Cover the hole with a tarp until you can get the repair fixed.
Addressing the Roof Type
Next, you need to figure out what type of roofing system your building currently has so that you will know what material will be needed to fix it. Remember, if the flat roof is significantly damaged with a lot of leaks, you should be considering a larger solution. But if a patch job seems to be within your realm of capabilities, here is what you should know.
• EPDM (rubber) roofs: Supplies for rubber roof repairs, such as flashing, seam tape and glue, usually must be purchased from a roofing contractor rather than just a home improvement store. You can make repairs with rubber glue or peel-and-stick patches.
• Tar and gravel roofs: The hard part about leaks on these roofs is that they are difficult to trace. Once you find the problem area, just patch the spot with tar, mesh and more gravel.
• Fiberglass roofs: Problem areas for these roofs include flashings and cracks due to expansion or contraction. Acrylic sealants are good for quick fixes, but a more permanent solution involves sanding the area, laminating a chopped strand mat into place and letting it cure.
• Asphalt roofs: These are pretty durable, but a crack might need a paint-on barrier or, for a more significant problem, try fixing it with a layered-on patch or a liquid patching system.
Whether you need help with repairs or an inspection to determine whether a new roof is needed, we can help.