How to Fix a Flat Roof

When out for lunch with my friend last week, we got to talking about his business and some of the issues that he deals with.  One of the things that he mentioned hadn’t even entered my mind.  The business that he owns is in a location with a flat roof and he was telling me about how he was dealing with some areas that were leaking.  Not being familiar with flat roofs myself, I inquired what he did to take care of the issues.  Edmonton weather can be a fickle thing and I didn’t want to get caught unprepared.


Flat Roof Repair Edmonton

It is obviously a normal situation for your roof to develop a leak and 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 the development of leaks. To fix a leaky flat roof, it is very important to be aware of the kinds of roofing that are available as well as the kind that currently covers your home or business. As opposed to sloped roofs, when dealing with a flat roof, there are a number of concerns to consider when looking to make 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 material vary in style as well as price. The simplest is BUR, or build-up roofing that is 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 styles of roof can have leaks, but a flat roof is particularly susceptible to this issue. Determining where a leak originated can be difficult, but it is crucial to ensuring that all of the foundational material is correct. If you have a visible leak inside the home or business, attempt to locate that point on the roof. Once located, replace all materials at that spot.  Ensure that you overlap the material to ensure that there are no seams that may allow water seepage.


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

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


Consider creating a small slope.

Even with a small 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 run-off. With Alberta’s harsh weather making leaks a large 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 vents, chimneys, and other protrusions around the roof. Basic flashing is really 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. It is important to try and plan your roof repair to avoid doing so however, 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 a good time to make sure that you are fully rested and have some extra helping hands!


Look to nail with a plan!

It is key that you don’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!