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Flat Roof Repair Options

Commonly used on extensions or outdoor buildings flat roofing brings benefits to any building. The first initial benefit of flat roofing is how cost effective it is. Compared to a pitched roof it is quick and safer to install which reduces labour costs. Additionally, you do not need to worry about the curb appeal of your flat roof as it is hidden from view. This is one of the factors which make flat roof repair particularly cost effective. In this blog, we will outline the options when it comes to flat roof repair, these options fall into two categories, temporary and permanent roof repair.

Temporary Repair (DIY Flat Roof Repair Option)

This emergency paint on waterproofer repair guide is suitable for mineral felt, asphalt or concrete roofs and could salvage your roof for up to a year. The key signs that you may have a split or crack in your roof are: slight smell of damp, perhaps a damp patch has already appeared in your ceiling, you may notice a brown water mark.

You will need: An acrylic based waterproofing paint, a towel or heat gun, a brush to apply the paint and a broom.  

Step By Step Guide:

1) From inside measure where the water mark or damp patch starts on your ceiling, eg. A meter in from the corner of the room.

2) Then climb up onto your roof and use the measuring tape to measure roughly this distance in from the same corner. This should help you gauge the area where the repair needs to take place. You may see visible ridges or hollows which will clearly indicate were the roofing structure may have sunken. There may also be water pooling in these areas.

3) Assess the issues. Don’t forget to look and check over the entire roof while you are up there as you may see some potential weak areas were splits could form. Keep an eye on any dry joints of lifts too that you can get ahead of and repair

4) Once you have finished assessing the areas that need repairing, return to the original problem source. Get rid of as much water as possible by rubbing a towel over area. Your aim is to make it as dry as possible.

5) Once this has been achieved use a broom to sweep debris from your room. This will remove any dirt or moss that may be on the surface creating a clean surface area for you to work on.

6) Next, Paint the sealant onto the roof to bond with the surface and drive out any moister. It can get flecks, which form naturally in the paint, but don’t panic - keep going over and it they will go to leave a smooth surface. Most tins direct that you should aim for 2 millimetres thickness but it is worth double checking the manufacturers guide on your tin. Be sure to go over carefully any joint or split to make the sealant nice and thick.  

7) If you have any splits it is advisable for you to reinforce them with self-adhesive plasterer’s scrim. Measure the spilt then cut the scrim to the correct length, once done place to one side.

8) Now work over the area with the paint sealant, once you feel the coverage is correct you can put the plasterer’s scrim on top. Finally, work the sealant over the top of this; the scrim is 2 or so inches in width, which helps to make sure you have given the crack enough coverage, as well as strengthening the repair.

Follow these guidelines carefully and you can buy yourself a few extra months or even a year before you have to get a permanent repair done. Obviously other factors will come into play here, such as weather conditions. Whilst the job may look patching on top and appear unsightly, the good news is that it won’t be seen from the pavement.

Permanent Flat Roof Repair

In reality there isn’t really such a thing as permanent roof repair, in fact it is a roof repair that gives an extended life to a roof of more than 10 years. Below we will look at how to carry out a repair on the following roofing systems: Felt, Asphalt and GRP (Fibreglass).

Permanent Felt Roof Repair

When most people think of a felt roof they envisage the now outdate practise of ‘pour and roll’ felts where thin bitumen felts were glued together with hot liquid bitumen and then built up into layers. This style of felt roofing caused poor quality roofs that were incline to rot, dry out or crack with old age or from being damaged by sunlight.

However, the torch on felt roofing that is now used is a type of roof hat comes in rolls and is then laid by using a very large blow torch, which heats and melts the felt onto the roof structure below. In most cases workers will apply a 3-layer system that contains a layer of perforated underlay followed by a 2mm underlay and lastly a thick felt layer normally of about 4-5 mm, known as a cap sheet. The layers are laid in a half lap manner which means that the joints are as far away from the other joints as possible. Further to this each layer is strengthened with strong polyester weave that has been inserted into the middle of the felt making it extremely durable.  To repair a felt flat roof a professional roofing contractor can blow torch a new piece of felt over the defected area or give the damaged area a liquid overlay.

Permanent Mastic Asphalt Roof Repair

A mastic asphalt flat roof is one of the best roofing systems you can have. It is a very reliable system and is often referred to as ‘The King of Waterproofing’.  It is easy to mould and can be laid nearly any substrate. An asphalt roof is almost always able to be repaired and can form perfectly around even the most complex of detailing. Even though this system is more expensive when compared to others in terms of cost per year of service it is very cost effective. If there is a defect with an asphalt roof which needs repairing, you need to get a professional asphalt contractor to remove the defective area, then clean the joints and the substrate below making sure it is dry. Then they will apply new mastic asphalt and create unison joint which marries the old and new asphalt together.

Permanent GRP Fibreglass Roof Repair

Fibreglass Flat roofs are a newer concept in the UK and in recent years there has been a rise in Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) fibreglass roofs. The development in how fibreglass flat roofs are manufactured alongside the growth in installation knowledge has meant that fibreglass roofs are now discussed in turn with felt and asphalt flat roofing as a great material that can create a seamless flat roof.  To view the common repairs needed with a GRP roof and how a professional contractor can remedy them click here: Fibreglass Flat Roof Problems

Need Some Advice About Your Flat Roof Repair Options

If you need some advice about your flat roof repair options you can contact us on 01277 375 511 or get in touch via our website by clicking here. We have a team of roofing surveyors with a wealth of experience who can help you get the very best solution for your roofing problem.

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