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How to Repair Minor Flat Roof Damage

After a winter like we just had, there’s a good chance your roof is damaged to one degree or another. Especially if it’s an older roof.

Though we always recommend that you call a contractor to at least assess the damage with a trained eye, it is possible for you to fix minor damage that may be causing a leak.

Find the Cause of the Leak

First things first – find the cause of the leak. But be careful when climbing on to your roof and walking around. If the roof is very damaged or it is wet, the roof could be dangerous.

Flat roofs are usually made up of layers of tar and felt. Leaks will often occur around areas where the felt is damaged. When looking for this type of damage, also pay attention to low spots in the roof. They could also be giving you problems.

Usually, any minor leaks you run into will be located directly below the damaged areas and the damage that is causing the leak is easy to see.

Prep the Damaged Area

If the damaged area has water pool, mop it well and pat down until it is completely dry. Once dry, brush away gravel and debris.

Now look for large blisters or cracks in and around the area, where the top layer has separated. If it’s a blister, use a sharp utility knife to slice the blister down the middle. The cut should penetrate through the entire layer. Just make sure it does not cut into the undamaged layers of felt below.

Remove Excess Water

Now, you’ll want to lift the edges of blistered areas to see if there is water inside. If there is, press from the edges of each side to squeeze it all out. Soak that water up and repeat the process until all the water is gone.

Once dry, prop the edges up and let the layers dry out before you continue.

If there’s water under a large area of the roof, and not just individual blisters, the problem is beyond doing it yourself. You’ll want to call a roofing professional to asses and fix the damage before it gets worse.

Fix the Damage

Once everything has had time to dry, prepare an ample amount of roof cement. Spread a thick coating of the cement under the edges of the loose felt. Now press the edges down firmly and evenly so the cement is filling the entire damaged area.

Once everything is even and sealed, use a tight row of 6d galvanized roofing nails along each side of each slit. Once it is all permanently sealed, spread another layer of roof cement over the entire damaged area. All the nail heads should be covered and the area should be flat.

For more tips or to get a quote, call us now for a free estimate!

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