We are the Flat Roof Experts and Specialists.
We Repair and Install rubber roofs
We do Residential and Commercial flat roofs
We have been in business for over 25 years
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Making repairs on a flat roof can affect the integrity of the rest of the roof. Make sure you use the right material. Redding and New Canaan.
All roofs are not alike. Every flat roof has a signature as to the quality of material and technique that was used. Ninety percent of the time a leak can be contributed to the way the material was installed. For the most part, the large surface is not the problem, but when it comes to the flashing, that’s when technique becomes very important.
How the rubber material is attached to metal is very critical. In the case of EPDM contact cement is used to attach to attach the rubber to metal. If the flashing is not very clean and fairly flat without dents, the chances of a leak are increased.
Modified Bitumen is a petroleum based product and therefore a tar like product must be used to do the flashing. Most of the time roofers will use an inferior tar to attach the membrane to metal. Using the wrong brand or cheap tar will cause a failure in the flashing to membrane attachment very fast.
To make repairs the first thing to inspect is to see if the transition from the rubber membrane to the flashing is done correctly. Most leaks spring from those areas. It’s harder to repair an EPDM rubber roof than a Bitumen roof.
- Any roof can be repaired if it is not too old.
- The old Hot Tar and Gravel systems are very hard to repair.
- Most of the time it is the installer that is to blame and not the material.
- Most of the time a leak stems from something else than the rubber roof itself. (skylights, drains, air conditioners, vent pipes, flashing)
List of products to use when making flat roof repairs:
- Caulking – The best sealant for EPDM roofs is Firestones Lap Sealant. FSP-207 TIS for Firestone Lap Sealant HS
- Sealant around glass and chimneys – Alex Plus clear caulk by DAP. This caulk is excellent for almost any seal against siding, chimneys, skylights. Make sure to get the clear caulk and not the colored ones.
- Tar – When working with Modified Bitumen you need the proper “TAR” to make repairs. The best is from KARNAK. No other tar comes close to this. The one to use is Karnak 81 trowel grade.
Any repair should be carefully done to avoid further damage to the roof.
The old hot tar and gravel roofs are not easy to repair. When they reach 20 years or older it is best to install a rubber roof over rather than repairing it.
What causes a roof to leak?
Before a repair can be made, the cause of the leak must be identified. Most of the time it is the objects that cause a leak rather than the roof itself.
- Skylights – The seal around the skylight or the flashing.
- Chimneys – Field Stone chimneys are prone to leak. The flashing around the chimney is the biggest problem.
- Chimney Crowns – The top of a chimney can cause leaks below.
- Vent pipes – Some vent pipes come with a rubber gasket that will perish over time.
- Door sills – Any door leading onto a deck or roof area can cause leaks.
- Siding – Siding that is rotten or not covering the flashing can cause leaks.
- Shingles – When it butts into a shingle roof. The leak can come from a shingle roof and valleys.
- Pitch pockets – The area where air conditioner’s piping and wires penetrate can cause leaks.
- Air conditioners – Curb flashing around air conditioners are the first areas to look for trouble.
- Drip-edges – The metal edging on the perimeter where the membrane is attached is a big factor for leaks.
- Rubber roof – Sometimes the seams on the membrane can come loose to cause leaks.
- Drains – Blocked drains or a clogged strainers can cause problems
- Gutters – they are always giving some problem. High maintenance item
- Scuppers – Very inexpensive Drain system. The rubber membrane that is attached to the scupper, in many cases will pop loose.
It is not the roof but the roofer!
The most common mistakes roofers make:
- Not using the correct materials for the specific situation.
- Not bonding the rubber material to flashing correctly.
- Not having proper flashing.
- Taking short cuts by skipping steps in installation.
- Not having enough experience in glues, bonding cement, and heat welding. (as in torch)
- Using inexpensive roofing cement (tar) to repair a rubber roof.