A Complete Guide to Flat Roof Repair
July 20, 2022
A flat roof repair Etobicoke can be combined with other enhancements around your home like garage door capping, garage door aluminum capping, window capping, and window aluminum capping. Flat roof leaks can be complicated and frustrating. Depending on the work required to solve the problem, a low slope or commercial flat roof repair can be detailed and complex. Insurance claims can often get sticky, and your need for a knowledgeable roofing contractor with experience dealing with claims adjusters is necessary to get the project from start to completion. Your contractor is your advocate that will protect your interests and structure from outside forces, like denial of insurance coverage.
Locating the Leak for a Flat Roof Leak Repair
You can find a flat roof leak easier than a shingled roof, but it doesn’t make the repair easier. The roof leak you see from inside the building might not be the source of the water entry. Flat roofing systems use membranes, and the water leak can travel across the membrane and penetrate the interior at a weak spot. Water will find seams where HVAC units have been installed, chimneys, flashing, pipes, and vents where caulking gas shrunk or cracked, leaving openings.
Flat Roof Repair Materials
EPDM (aka rubber)
EPDM roofing systems are used worldwide, and this malleable rubber roofing system is comprised of ethylene and propylene. The composition of the roofing material resembles the material that makes up car tires; it is easy to work on and fix, like patching a puncture on a car tire.
Asphalt is mixed with rubbers and solvents to create a heat-sealed seal on the roof.
This roofing system (aka tar and gravel), this system enjoys an excellent reputation and has been used for over a century in North America. The system works on a series of felt matte and bitumen layers to make up a watertight seal on the roof.
This system is created through a single-ply sheet consisting of polypropylene and ethylene-propylene rubber that is polymerized and can be mechanically attached or affixed to a roof with a UV reflective membrane.
This system sees its genesis in a two-ply application with a layer of polyester to provide strength. Additives to the PVC make it malleable so as not to curl or shrink that have UV ray protection built-in through the additives.
Flat Roof Leaking Causes
Natural disasters and heavy weather are the two main culprits for flat roof leaks. Hail and high winds lashing a roof leave roofing systems vulnerable to damage. If you have experienced a once-in-a-decade weather event, contact a roofing contractor even if you see no visual damage.
How to Repair a Leaking Flat Roof
If you see discolouration on the ceiling of your building, you know you have a flat roof leak. To find the source, measure from the discolouration to the closest two walls and head for the roof with dimensions in hand, and you will find the spot where the leak is originating. Your flat roof has a slight pitch for drainage; if you see no apparent signs of damage, go to the lowest point on the roof proper – water runs downhill, and you’re likely to find the entry point where you see water stains from water pooling. Check all vents and pipes to see if the caulking still provides the seal you need – a quick application of a bead of caulking can save thousands of dollars on a roof repair or replacement. If you don’t have tools and materials, call your contractor because he does, along with the knowledge to prosecute roof leaks when you have problems.
DIY Flat Roof Repair
If you need a ladder for a flat roof repair, use caution before ascending the roof and use safety gear – it is necessary to keep you from an untimely injury. Roofs can be slippery, proceed with care once you get on the roof – it is never a beautiful day when you need to effect a repair (Murphy’s Law) – rubber patches, rubber materials, and tar may be required. If your roof is TPO/PVC, get a contractor with expertise in repairs for these systems due to the specialization of the work. Rips in seams or punctured membranes need sophisticated solutions that contractors supply daily.
Cost to Repair Flat Roof vs. Flat Roof Replacement
First things first – check your warranty – generally, roofing materials have a warranty life of 5-20 years. If the age of your roof is beyond 20 years, call your flat roof contractor for an assessment. The contractor can tell you how much life is left on the roof and project repair costs going forward. Before you buy a new roof, ask three questions:
- In general, is the roof in good condition?
- Was the damage caused by hail or wind?
- How big/small is the damaged area, and can it be patched?
If these conditions are prevalent, a repair might be the best option. A repair might cost more than a replacement due to the nature of the repair and the materials needed. Not every roofing system can be saved, and there will be times when you bite the bullet and get a new flat roof replacement.
How Long Does a Flat Roof Last?
Under normal circumstances, with a regular maintenance schedule, a flat roof has a lifespan of 20-25 years. In sports, like the roofing business, Father Time is undefeated, and a flat roof will need attention at the 12–15-year mark – without maintenance. If you got poor workmanship on the previous installation or the manufacturer’s guidelines weren’t followed, you should replace the roof rather than repair it. Multiple leaks can be repaired, but all you’re doing is forestalling the inevitable – flat roof replacement – with all the ensuing damage to the structure itself.
Hire Reliable Flat Roof Repair Experts in Etobicoke
When you realize that your flat roof is no longer performing optimally, reach out to the go-to roofing company in Etobicoke, Integrity Roofers. Three decades of service repairing and replacing flat roofs is where our expertise begins; what we bring to our customers is regular maintenance, an eye for detail and proactive recommendations to out front of problems before they set in. To keep your roof in excellent condition, have a bi-annual inspection, and one after every weather event by one of our highly experienced team. What we do is simple: repairs and maintenance to all roofing systems. Our technicians have received SOPREMA’s Programme of Affiliation for Quality + Safety (PAQ+S) training program, the most comprehensive training in the industry. We supply industry-standard solutions at the cutting edge of roofing technology to keep your roof watertight. For an estimate for all your flat roofing needs, fill out the form attached to the link – or you can call our office today at 647.953. 9365 for more information.