Flat roofs are gaining popularity these days with the advent of new technologies and structural systems. It is supposed to represent pure geometry and reflect the broad horizontal lines of the natural landscape. A majority of modern houses have flat or very gently pitched roofs.
However, this type of roofing leaves the homeowners with the task of frequent repair and maintenance, as flat roofs are highly prone to leaks and cracks that create all sorts of havoc.
One can get their roof repaired by a professional, however, the cost can be a little heavy on the pockets, as it has to be done frequently. Moreover, the repair isn't that difficult, and you can easily do it yourself!
The most essential items you need to repair the flat roof are:
- Utility knives
- Roofing nails
- Roofing cement
- Nail gun
- Putty knives
How to Repair Flat Roof
The repair should be done in cool weather, when the roof is dry. Sweep the roof using a broom to dust away the dirt.
Locate the crack or leak on the surface of the roof. Metal barriers between the roof and the chimney or a plumbing stack, known as flashings, are the most prone to developing small cracks.
Brush off the gravel and dirt away from the working area. This should be done so that all the possible damage is easily visible, and that the cement you apply will adhere properly to the surface.
Cut around the cracked or damaged areas and remove the bad section carefully. See that you cut only through the top layer without damaging the felt underneath. Make the cut of a uniform shape, like a rectangle or circle. Soak up the water in the crack, if any.
Cut a substitute shingle, using the cutout pieces as a stencil. Apply a thin layer of roofing cement under the edges by sliding a putty knife inside.
Firmly press the new shingle into the opening. Nail the shingle with roofing nails on all sides. Remember to cement only the bottom layer. The upper layers can be nailed down together.
Seal the entire repaired patch by spreading roofing cement all over it. The cement should be spread in such a way that all the nail heads are covered.
Treating Bubbles or Blisters
A crack in the top layer of the roof may result in the formation of large bubbles or blisters. Look for such blisters when the roof is dry.
Once the blister is located, clean the area around it with a broom. Now, using a razor knife, cut a slice down the middle of the blister. Cut only through the top layer and not through the underlying felt.
Open up the cut edges and force roofing cement on the bottom of the edges. Then firmly press down the edges of the blister.
Tack down the edges of the cut with roofing nails. Cover the entire patch with cement to cover all the nail heads, and let it dry properly.
The next time you see a trickle dripping from your roof, take a moment before you call a professional. Such easy tasks don't really require the help of a pro, and can easily be done by the homeowner.