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The Comprehensive Guide to Flat Roof Repair (Plus 3 Bonus Tips)

Is your flat roof leaking or cracking? Utah is no stranger to occasional storms, extremely dry seasons, and other severe weather patterns. These shifts in weather and temperature put a strain on exterior building materials, especially flat roofs.

These roofs are less expensive than other roofing systems and are safer to walk on thanks to their flat and low slope. However, they also need regular maintenance and repair since they usually have limited drainage systems, making them more susceptible to leaks and damage. Read on if you want a comprehensive guide to flat roof repair.

Signs Your Flat Roof Needs Repair

There are several indicators that tell you it’s time to repair your roof. If left unchecked, the damage these signs cause can worsen and drive flat roof repair costs upwards.

Water Leaks and Stains

Flat roofing has little to no slope, so water, snow and ice can accumulate on the surface and compromise the roof’s structural integrity. Eventually, leaks and water stains on your ceiling will form. These signs are easy to spot since they are visible inside of your home. If you are experiencing a leak in your flat roof you need to act quickly. Many of the building products used in flat roofing can become damaged beyond repair with prolonged exposure to water.

Blisters and Cracks

Extreme heat can damage your flat roofing material, leading to visible cracks and blisters. This not only affects the visual appeal of your roof but also removes its protective layering. These blisters and cracks often occur at the seams and edges of the roofing material. Make sure to have a professional roof inspection performed every 5 years to ensure the seams of your flat roof are still sealed. If you already notice these cracks and blisters, a flat roof repair or replacement is in order.

Aging and Weathering

Flat roofs have an average lifespan of 15 to 20 years, which can be shortened by the swings in high and low temperatures that we experience here in Utah. If you live in an area like Draper, Sandy, Cottonwood Heights, Alpine, or Highland where the mountains keep your roof shaded in the morning the rapid temperature change on your roof that happens when the sun hits it creates a rapid expansion of the material. . Prolonged wear means that your roof will eventually expire and need major repair or replacement. You’ll know your flat roof is at the tail-end of its life if it has recurring damage and shows general signs of wear and tear like fasteners backing out underneath the material, surface texture changing , and wrinkling around the seams.

How To Fix Flat Roofs

There are steps you should follow when doing DIY flat roof repair. However, if you lack the expertise and required tools, it’s advisable that you hire professional flat roofers. A good rule of thumb is that if you don’t know exactly what the flat roofing material is you should hire a professional roofer. 

Safety Precautions and Equipment

Before you climb your roof, make sure that you have everything you need first. To avoid accidents, use a sturdy extension ladder, waterproof gloves, and safety glasses. Then, gather a brush, utility knife, cotton rags, sealant, coating, and other flat roofing repair equipment you’ll need.

Surface Preparation

The first step involves cleaning the damaged section. Remove any rock, gravel, leaves, and other debris to clear out the surface. Then, use a brush and solvent to clean the roofing material or brush away any debris and dirt. Once you have scrubbed the area, rinse it and then to remove other dirt, wipe the surface with cotton rags damped with a cleaning solution. Once you’re done, leave the surface to dry for a few minutes.

Patching Damaged Areas

Remove the cracked and blistered roofing material using your utility knife. Once the puncture or hole is unobstructed, fill it with a wet patch or silicone based repair products to even out the roof deck’s surface. Gently set a fiberglass mesh on top of the flat roof patch. Then, grab a putty knife, and use it to carefully press down the mesh until it sinks into the roof patch.

To ensure that your flat roof leak repair has adequate reinforcement, you can add another layer of silicone patch. However, make sure that you smoothen the edges as any ridge can be peeled and cause water to sip through.


Final Inspections and Coating

Once the silicone repair material dries, thoroughly inspect your work. Look for any gaps or imperfections, and then fill them up with sealant.. This will protect your roof from environmental damage and help make your flat roof repair last.

Bonus Tips for Flat Roof Repair

There are additional measures you can take to get the best roof repair results and make sure that your flat roofing is always in good condition.

Choose the Right Materials and Techniques

Aside from the weather, the material used is another factor that impacts the lifespan of a flat roof. If you need a commercial flat roof repair or replacement, you should go for EPDM membranes since they are extremely robust and already have wide-scale applications in commercial and medical buildings.

Meanwhile, TPO and PVC membranes are ideal if you live in a hot place like Utah since these membranes are good at deflecting heat. They’re also very flexible, making them easy to install in residential houses.

Regular Cleaning and Debris Removal

Since flat roofs don’t have slopes that facilitate dirt and debris expulsion, you should regularly check and clean your roof. Remove rocks, branches, and other hard materials that can puncture your flat roofing. Pests that nest on your roofing system should likewise be taken out, especially since almost 50% of home structural impairment is caused by unwelcome wildlife.

Hire a Professional Roofing Contractor

If you want flat roofing repair that is neatly done and will surely last a long time, hire a professional roofing contractor. These contractors have access to all necessary tools and high-quality roofing materials. Furthermore, they have a team of expert flat roofers that can properly assess your roof’s status, determine the appropriate fix, and quickly make repairs.

Final Thoughts

From water leaks and stains to recurring issues, there are many signs that tell you it’s time for a flat roof repair. While you can repair your own roof, the recommended solution is still to leave the matter to the hands of professionals.

If you’re searching for the best roofing contractor in Utah, look no further than Master Roofing. We have over two decades of roofing experience and provide nothing but top-tier services to our clients. Contact us to get a free quote and learn more about our services.



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