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Fix a Flat…Roof, That Is.


First of all, one needs to consider if the roof is used for any other purpose than to keep the rain out of the building. If it’s used as a deck or for recreation, then it obviously needs to not only be kept in good repair, but be presentable as well. You want it to compliment your rooftop garden, right?

Most flat roofs have a layer of tar or asphalt covered with gravel. The use of hot tar is definitely not recommended for a do-it-yourself project. If that’s the way you’re going to go, call a professional.

If you have a leak and you’re determined to fix it yourself

The following very basic guide may help if you’re using a membrane roofing system. There are three types of membrane to choose from:

  • Synthetic Rubber
  • Thermoplastic Membrane
  • Modified Bitumen (the closest to asphalt roofing)

Before you do anything, check the roof on a dry day. Walk around and look for a low spot or depression surrounded by a dirt ring. Check the flashing by pipes and gutters, and examine seams that may have come apart. Test the suspect area by pouring water on it and then checking inside for water. It could take an hour or two for the leak to show itself.

If you still think you can handle this repair yourself:

  • Determine which membrane material to use and how much you’ll need for the patch
  • Make sure you have roofing glue
  • Clean the leak area thoroughly
  • Lay the membrane over the leak area, and the fold it half way back on itself
  • Apply the glue and lie the membrane flat
  • Repeat with the other side
  • You may want to cover the whole patch with a section of rubber roofing, if it’s not too big an area

If it’s time for a new roof, then it’s definitely time to call a professional.

There are many options for flat roofs, and a professional can go over the pros and cons, cost and quality and life expectancy of each type.

Rubber roofing is steadily gaining popularity. It lasts longer than asphalt, and it helps the environment since it’s made from various rubber sources, including recycled tires.

Membrane roofing systems vary in thickness, strength and application process. Your roofing professional can recommend the best one for you.

Asphalt roofing is still available, but with the arrival of rubber roofing and the various membrane roofing systems, you have options that can prove to be more cost effective and longer lasting.

Call The Siding & Insulation Company today for your new flat roof quote.