Repairing a leak is easy, finding it is hard. Westport and New Canaan
Very seldom will a leak be from the roof membrane itself. Most rubber roofs are durable and can hold water. Most roof leaks are due to flashing problems. Laying down a roof is pretty easy, but connecting a membrane to another material, like metal flashing becomes tricky. Every roofer has their own methods on how to do so. The cause of a roof leak must be found before it can be repaired. There are many factors that could cause a leak.
This is a list of things to look for.
- Overlapping seams of the rubber roof.
- Flashing around skylights.
- Vent pipes – the rubber boot around the pipe.
- Chimney’s – Is the flashing and grout sealed and tight.
- Transitions from a flat roof to a shingle roof.
- Doors – when a door leads out to a roof, the door sill could cause leaks.
- Windows – open storm windows, air conditioners in windows, rotten window sills.
- Valleys of a shingle roof leading onto a rubber roof.
- Metal edging on the perimeter of a rubber roof.
- The age of the roof – naturally if a roof is 20 years or older, then the membrane could also cause problems.
Once the cause of the leak is identified, then it is relatively easy to make a repair on a flat roof.
A temporary repair can be done using caulking. It is advisable not to make to much of a mess when such repairs are done, because cleaning up to make a more permanent repair becomes more expensive. Before a leak can be repaired, it is very important to determine what type of material is on the roof. there are mainly two materials used, EPDM or Modified Bitumen. It is very important not to use any petroleum products on an EPDM rubber. The tar will eat through the synthetic rubber or damage it.
Before making a Flat Roof repair you need to determine the kind of material.
How to determine what rubber membrane you have:
EPDM rubber is very smooth and mostly black. If you know what an inner tube of a car tire looks like, then that is what EPDM rubber is. The rubber is very smooth and easy to clean. They come in a variety of widths and so you will have large surfaces that have no seams. Most of the time you will notice a bead of caulk at seams and flashing. This is a Flat roof we repaired in Greenwich.
When a Flat Roof repair has to be made, then this type of material is the easiest to deal with. Modified Bitumen Membranes – They come in different styles. The most common is plain, white or black granular surfaces. These membranes are three feet wide. You will see a seam every 3 feet. If you look carefully, you will notice how excessive material bleeding out from the seam when it was heat welded. This is a Flat Roof we did in New Canaan.
Hot Tar and Gravel roofs are still around. Most of them are at the age of being replaced. There are still roofers in the country that will install such a roof but it is very rare. To make a Flat roof repair on such material is extremely difficult and could lead to disaster. Only if the roof is relatively new it is worth making repairs. It is important to use the proper materials to make Flat Roof repairs. Each type of roof requires different treatment when it comes to repairs.