A flat roof gives your home an interesting appearance and it can even provide a nice place to relax and watch the stars. A flat roof also has special considerations when it comes to roofing materials and leaking. EPDM (ethylene propylene diene terpolymer) is a type of rubber that's common for flat roofs. It's durable, but it's still possible for it to develop leaks. Here's a look at how to deal with a leak in a flat rubber roof.
Find The Damaged Area
Finding a leak on any roof is difficult since water sometimes rolls away from the damage before it drips into your attic and down to the roof of the room below. Stand on the roof and estimate where the leak is below and then start looking for damaged areas up the slope from there. Even though your roof is flat, it will still have a slight slope to it that will allow rain to drain away. A slope can be difficult to detect on a flat roof, so you may need to look over a wide area. Check for loose seams, rips, and holes in the rubber, as well as areas with loose flashing. If there is any flashing near the area of the leak, examine it thoroughly for gaps and holes because flashing is a common source of roof leaks.
Although it may sound like an easy task to find a roof leak, it can be difficult. If you can't find the leak or if you don't feel safe climbing on your roof to look for it, then hire a roofer that does flat roof repairs to take a look at your roof.
Repair The Roof
The type of repairs your roof will need depends on where the leak is located. If flashing is the problem, the vent may need new flashing or a new boot. The old flashing may need to be adhered to the roof to seal the gap. If the problem is with the rubber roof, then it can be repaired with a patch. The first step is to make sure the area to be repaired is clean so the patch will adhere and stay put. Then a rubber patch can be applied over the hole or rip and secured in place with adhesive, contact cement, or sealer. The patch makes the roof watertight again, but it's a good idea to check the repaired area occasionally to make sure the patch stays sealed and secure.
Preventing damage to a rubber roof isn't always possible since flying debris in a storm can cause rips and punctures. However, there are a few things you can do, such as keep tree branches away from the roof and limit foot traffic as much as possible.