How to Repair a Flat Roof From Leaking


Flat roofs are quite efficient in protecting your home against weather elements. However, they are bound to run into occasional issues. A leaking flat roof is not a very amusing site and must be fixed immediately. No one wants to live in a house with a leaking roof.

When it comes to flat roof repair, you need to understand the right materials and how to use them effectively. You can easily fix some flat roof leaks in your apartment or business building.

In this guide, we will show you how easy to fix a flat roof leak. The five steps below should be enough to get rid of that issue.


Common Flat Roof Materials

Before you think about flat roof replacement or repair, you need to know the roofing material used on that roof. There are several materials common on these roofs. They include:


EPDM is a durable and sturdy roof membrane used in flat roofing systems. It is made primarily from ethylene and propylene, with similar properties as a tire. When you want to repair a leaky flat roof with EPDM, understand some properties of this rubber material first.

Modified Bitumen

Asphalt is combined with different types of rubbers and solvents to make modified bitumen. It is one of the most durable materials on the market today. You can use this material to fix flat roof leaking issues easily.


Build-up roofing can be used on a sloped roof as much as it is used on a flat roof. It is crafted using tar and gravel and has been used for more than a hundred years. You can fix a leaking flat roof conveniently using BUR. Any roof leak on such roofs should be handled effectively, as it can be quite challenging.

TPO Roofing

Another material used in flat roof leak repair projects is TPO. It is a single-ply roofing designed from polypropylene and ethylene-propylene rubber polymerized. It can be installed fully adhered or mechanically attached, making it one of the best roofing materials today. If you want to repair a flat roof made from TPO, ensure you get the right material and follow the right methods.

PVC Roof

Flat roof repair costs depend on the specific material used on that roof. And PVC is one of the most affordable ones, especially on commercial roofs. Sometimes a simple roof coating will handle the leaking problem for a long time. The material features two layers of PVC material with a polymer between them.


How to Repair a Flat Roof From Leaking

Now that you know the different flat roof repair options, it is time to learn how to handle those roof leaks. It all begins by understanding the roof repair materials you need to use and how to apply them effectively – which we have already mentioned above.

You can easily fix small leaks on these roofs without involving roofing contractors. For instance, all you need could be to apply roofing cement, and your problem is solved. However, more serious flat roof repairs will require a specialist.

A detailed roof inspection may be required to check for possible damages to the roof deck, underlayment, and other components. So, if you are unsure of the damage’s extent, let an expert roofer look.

With that in mind, follow these steps to repair your roof.

Find the Leak

You can only work on roofing systems if you know where the leak is coming from. Remember, a wrong move can easily pull you into a full flat roof replacement.

Locating the leakage source could be the longest step. Place a bucket under active dripping water and follow its source. You can also check for stains on the ceiling or roofing membrane on flat roofing materials that get stained.

Some leaks are often sneaky. It could be a few feet away from the real source. Also, some leaks may need more roofing cement to fix them than others.   That is why you need to take time to identify the leak and use the right fixing methods.

If you decide to climb on the roof, look for signs like loose flashing, loose tar, missing shingles, missing nails, and cracks. Also, pooling water can be a sign of a damaged area on your roof.

Remove the Debris

Now that you know where the leakage is, cleaning the area should be the next step in your roof repair process. It could be that a storm caused the problem by throwing too much debris on the roof, something you can handle with proper cleaning.

Dry the area to keep moisture from escaping into the house. You may have to engage a professional roofing contractor if you think the roof is already affected by moisture. The last thing you want is sealing it inside the roof.

Use Tarp in the Area

This is the easiest temporary fix for your leaking flat roof. Simply tarp the area as you wait on a professional roofing company to offer a lasting solution. You can do this by applying a thin layer of tarp to seal the hole. It might not completely cover the leaking roof, but it will be enough to protect the damaged roofing material from bigger problems.

For fiberglass roofs, you might need something more than just a tarp. The same applies to a mechanically attached system, which is relatively more challenging. So, fixing such a leaky roof could be better left to professionals.

Remove the Damaged Area

If your roofing system is leaking due to blistering, you need to cut through the damaged part of the material and remove it. Synthetic material is easier to cut through, but you should be careful enough to cut the roofing felt underneath. Most flat roofs have this felt, and cutting it will mean more serious roof damage, forcing a complete replacement.

Metal roofs cannot be cut through. But you can use self-adhesive rubber tape to seal any hole. On the other hand, a mechanically attached system on a pitched roof could be easily handled by lifting off the material. Or you can hire roofing services to look and fix it once.

Fix the Leaking Area

It is time to fix your roof. This is one of the most important steps, as any mistake will leave your roof vulnerable to more damage. As stated above, a thorough inspection is always a good way to determine the damage to your residential or commercial building.

Use a towel or any ideal tool to apply a roofing cement or bitumen primer on the damaged membrane. This plugs the leak and re-attaches the membrane, protecting it from extensive damage. But in case the membrane cannot be repaired, consider getting a new roof altogether.


Hire a Professional Roofer

DIY repairs are the most cost-effective solution for most homeowners. It can help you deal with small but necessary repairs to keep your roof in the best condition. However, when natural disasters hit and damage your roof, you may need to repair the whole roof, which a professional roofer can only do. You don’t even need to check water stains on the ceiling for such damage.

Call your local experts at Equity Roofing, and you can forget about such issues. The team will apply a waterproof seal on the best flat roof repair material to make it more durable. They cover every square foot in detail, making your property appear as good as new.


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