Can a flat roof be repaired?
Flat Roof Repair
Have you ever noticed how most commercial structures have flat roofs? We’ll let you in on a little unknown fact: They really aren’t 100% flat. Nope, to the naked eye, they look flat, but in reality, they have a slight slope, for the most obvious reason: Water drainage. Even in Sunny St. Petersburg, Florida! However, flat roof repair in St. Petersburg, FL is important, even if they aren’t 100% flat. Do you need repairs? Give us a call at 727-821-4332.
What causes a flat roof to leak?
While the logic and reasoning behind commercial structures having flat roofs are important, such as a place for the HVAC components to be installed, leaving actual ground-level real estate open for other reasons (parking spaces). But the downside is the increase in leak possibilities, keeping flat roof repairs done can be a continuous challenge and concern if you don’t have proper maintenance. There are three primary causes of flat roofs leaking:
Ponding water on a flat roof is the most common reason flat roof repairs are needed according to the National Roofing Contractors Association. Ponding water is when water doesn’t or isn’t able to drain after rain or from melting ice or snow remains on the flat roof for a long period of time, typically over 48 hours.
In an ideal situation, a structure with a flat roof has the slight slope we mentioned earlier. This allows the water to flow toward the drain points on the roof. When those drains become clogged, however, the water can’t drain, and results in creating ponds and puddles of water over the flat roof. This water sits, leaks into the membrane, and you have a leaking roof. You also have the concern of added weight from the ponding and puddling water, which puts the entire structure in jeopardy.
- DAMAGED MEMBRANE
Up until about 20 years ago or so, the majority of flat roofs were BUR (built-up roofing). This is roofing that is built up with layers of different materials of asphalt tar, felt, and gravel. This makes for an effective roof, but the installation is laborious and time-consuming. So, roofing experts discovered roofing membranes that are made from a durable, thin, single-ply rubber membrane. This is a less labor-intensive installation, making it less expensive, and they are more effective in protecting the structure.
However, this type of flat roofing is not free of problems. Over time, that rubber membrane can blister, crack, and split or be punctured by debris and workmanship of the HVAC unit. This leaves the flat roof vulnerable to water leaking beneath the membrane, waterlogging the membrane, and resulting in a leaking roof which leads to flat roof repairs.
As we mentioned earlier, flat roofs are ideal for commercial structures for HVAC system installation as well as communication and utility equipment. In addition to being flat making them vulnerable to leaking, having this equipment, along with pipes and other various equipment poking through adds to that vulnerability.
There are several tactics used by roofing contractors to minimize this from happening such as installing flashing, field wraps, pipe boots, and rain collars. However, all that additional protection should never replace routine roofing inspections! Finding where flat roof repairs are needed at the onset is important and can save a lot of headaches and money down the road.
What is the best way to repair a flat roof?
A leaking modified bitumen roof flat roof doesn’t always mean you need a new roof. So, can you patch up a flat roof? More often than not, yes, flat roof repairs are possible and here we share some tips for successful repairs:
- Inspect the entire roof for any damaged areas.
- Clear the damaged area of any debris.
- Clean the damaged area and the surrounding area.
- Remove any blistered or bubbled areas.
- Remove all excess water from the roof.
- Use roofing cement to fill and plug the hole or patch cracks and tears.
- Cover the damaged area with the same roofing membrane that covers the roof.
How do you repair EPDM flat roofing?
Obviously, EPDM flat roof repairing is done differently than the above-described modified bitumen flat roofing. Flat roof repairs with EPDM roofing material will require methods and materials used specifically for EPDM.
After a thorough roof inspection to find any damage that could lead to a leaking roof or signs of damage, you need EDPM patching material. This material is typically pressure applied or with an adhesive made for EPDM and simply follow the package instructions. Or better yet, call a professional commercial roofing contractor. This ensures the job is done right and will have a guarantee and warranty. Additionally, it will ensure that the roofing material warranty is held in place too by having any flat roof repairs done by a certified roofing contractor.
How much does a flat roof repair cost?
The cost will depend on the amount and area that need flat roof repair. If the damage is below the roofing material, modified bitumen, EPDM, or other material, that will need to be repaired before the exterior roofing damage is