The first thing you need to do when fixing a leaky roof is to protect yourself. Do not attempt to fix a roof when the bad weather that has instigated the leak is still ravaging on. Wait until rain and winds have subsided. This hopefully sounds like common sense. Instead, focus on what you can do to protect the inside of the building. Grab those buckets and plastic wastepaper baskets and catch the water beneath where it is leaking. For larger leaks, if you have access to a heavy plastic sheet or tarp, string it up to where the water collects on the sheet first, and then empties into a container.
If your building has a flat roof and the weather is permitting, go up and see if the water is ponding anywhere and then attempt to remove it with a push broom. No matter what type of roof you have, make sure the gutters and drains are free of debris so that water that is trying to drain properly doesn't have any obstructions.
Locate the Leak
If you can pinpoint the source of the leak, you have a better chance of finding ways to stop it. If you find the leak inside, go to the exterior of the roof at that location and see where the water is entering. It is common for areas around mechanical equipment housed on the roof to create leaks. Likewise, flashing used to deflect water away from chimneys or other structures that protrude out of the roof may have leaks. Single-ply membrane roofs might have cuts, punctures or splits at the points where the material was chemically bonded together (seams).
BUR (built-up roofs) can be temporarily fastened with patches. This is something that can be done once the storm is over, not as a quick fix during the actual downpour. Use plastic roof cement. This comes in rain or wet patch grades and is a trowel type of substance. You'll want to clear off any loose gravel from the BUR materials and then apply the cement six inches wider than the area of the leak. Use pressure and fill the area fully.
For single-ply membrane roofs, it is better to use sealant and roof tape. Clean the area thoroughly with alcohol or other cleansers. If it is dirty, the adhesive won't stick. Then press the roof tape on with strong pressure.
Avoid using liquid or pourable asphalt repair products as they don't work as well, and actually will make the professional repairman's job harder. And that will end up costing you more money in the long run.
Remember, these are quick fixes to hold you over until a professional repairman can do a proper repair. And since all roofing materials are not the same, if you do have access to information about repairing your specific type of roof, make sure to follow it exactly to prevent more damage.
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So as you can see, there are many tricks to buy you some time, but in the end, you will have to find a more permanent fix for your leaking roof. And what then? Well, you know where to turn when you need a company you can trust on your side! Here at Crawford Home Improvements, we put your needs first and the job isn't over until you're happy! So why not come see us and give us a chance to help you with your home improvement and home remodeling needs?
3810 Clemmons Road
Clemmons, North Carolina 27012