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How to Fix a Flat Roof

When I went out for lunch with my friend last week, we talked about his business and some of the issues he deals with.  One of the things that he mentioned hadn’t even entered my mind.  His company has a flat roof, and he told me about how he was dealing with some leaking areas.  Not familiar with flat roofs, I asked what he did to take care of the issues.  Edmonton weather can be fickle, and I didn’t want to get caught unprepared.

Flat Roof Repair Edmonton

It is typical for your roof to develop a leak; it is important to understand this if you want to learn how to fix a flat roof properly. Over time and with consistent exposure to the harsh Alberta elements, your roof integrity will weaken, which can lead to leaks. To fix a leaky flat roof, it is essential to know the kinds of roofing available and the type that currently covers your home or business. As opposed to sloped roofs, when dealing with a flat roof, there are several concerns to consider when making repairs.  Consider these seven tips before attempting to make repairs.


Consider the pros and cons of the different types of roofing material.

There are five primary types of roofing material that will work for a flat roof:

  • BUR or Build up roofing
  • Spray Polyurethane Foam Roof
  • Modified Bitumen Roofing
  • Thermoplastic membranes PVC or TPO
  • EPDM Rubber Roof

These types of materials vary in style as well as price. The simplest is BUR, or build-up roofing made of rolls of overlapping felt. The other types of roofing material have different ways of installation.  Make sure to evaluate the pros and cons of each type for your budget and lifestyle plans before committing to a roof repair material.

 Determine and examine areas where leaks come in from the flat roof.

All roof styles can have leaks, but a flat roof is particularly susceptible to this issue. Determining where a leak originated can be difficult, but ensuring that all of the foundational material is correct is crucial. Suppose you have a visible leak inside the home or business; attempt to locate that point on the roof. Once found, replace all materials at that spot.  Ensure that you overlap the material to prevent seams that allow water seepage.

Be thorough in replacing older, worn out pieces of framing.

Don’t cut corners on replacing older wood underneath the previous roof. Once the old material is removed, take the necessary time to inspect each piece of plywood or framing lumber that was previously used. There is no better time to put down new parts if you see any water damage, chips or nicks.

Consider creating a small slope.

Even with a slight slope, a roof can still be considered flat. Something to consider would be framing the roof into the center. The slope needs to be only enough to allow for the run-off. With Alberta’s harsh weather making leaks a significant problem for buildings with a flat roof, a minor slope can lengthen the life of a repaired roof!

Put in quality flashing.

The flashing goes around the roof’s vents, chimneys, and other protrusions. Essential flashing is inexpensive, but do yourself a favour and consider paying a little extra for something on the higher end, as flashing protects the roof from leaks which flat roofs are prone to.

Watch the temperature on the asphalt and felt rolls.

Putting on a roof is very labour-intensive work, and it can be tempting to take many breaks. Try and plan your roof repair to avoid doing so until you have completed laying an asphalt-felt layer. The asphalt rolls that insulate the roof go down best if they do not become overheated while rolled and the felt needs to be placed over them as quickly as possible once they are stretched onto the roof. This step needs to be done as efficiently as possible, so this is an excellent time to ensure that you are fully rested and have extra helping hands!

 Look to nail with a plan!

You mustn’t just put roofing nails down willy-nilly. Make sure to have a plan in place and stagger the nails over the roofing material to help ensure that they provide complete protection.

Don’t want to do it yourself? Call MD Roofing and we will take care of this for you with our professional contractors.  Contact us at MD Roofing!