Water cannot slide off flat roofs like sloped roofs, but a simple solution exists to resolve this problem. Applying two coats of elastomeric coating protects the roof from water and also insulates the material, preventing loss of heat from inside the building. However, before applying elastomeric paint, you must measure your roof and clean it up to allow for a long-lasting coating.
Leaks, cracks or puddles on your flat roof? It sounds like it needs waterproofing! What can you buy to do the job properly? Read our guide to find out.
Flat roof technology has come a long way since the 60s and 70s. Thanks to modern materials and stylish glazing, today’s flat roofs are the epitome of architectural style. Some are even being used in new and unusual ways, from sun terraces and balconies to green roofs for budding urban gardeners.
But apart from their stylish design features, the other thing that’s moved on considerably is the technology used to keep them weather-proof. Once flat roofs were notoriously prone to leaking, and the problem could only be solved with a boiling cauldron of tar. These days there are patch repair kits, liquid rubber membranes and even quick, efficient paint-on acrylics that last for ages – and can even be applied in damp weather.
We enjoy watching the rain through the window during the winter season, and most of us like to roll out the curtains and sit on the couch to admire the beauty of nature. However, if the roof is not coated with waterproofing products, a wonderful rainy day can quickly turn into the worst nightmare. Usually, the roof protects us from various external factors like thunders, rain, scorching heat, and radiation at times. So, it is mandatory to construct and paint the roof with waterproofing products that are high in their standards. Here, we have provided you with the right waterproofing solutions to protect your roof from damping and rainwater penetration.
At Hitch Property Constructions, we offer the best range waterproofing services to rectify your water issues.
Can I repair, or do I need a whole new roof?
That depends on exactly what’s wrong with it and the age and history of the roof. If you only have a small leak or damaged patch, a complete re-roofing may not be necessary – and with today’s modern products, such minor repairs are well within reach of most homeowners. These days, even patch repairs are tough and durable and, at the very least, will buy you some time while you think about what to do.
Even if it’s the whole surface that needs waterproofing, some of Roofing Superstore’s more extensive products are easy-to-apply and are designed to be a long-term solution. For example, the Acrypol range can be painted on to virtually any flat roof surface, and its Acrypol 15 system is so durable that it’s guaranteed for 15 years.
So when will you require a new roof? Well, you might want to consider re-roofing should you wish to improve your flat roof’s insulating properties. Adding more insulation will protect the room below from condensation and may lower your heating bills, paying for itself in the long run. And if you wished to change the use of your flat roof, perhaps by transforming it into a balcony or roof garden, a new roof could make the existing structure strong enough to hold the weight of your guests at your next rooftop barbecue.
How to Waterproof Your Roof
Troubleshoot Your Roof
The most important part of roof waterproofing is troubleshooting and checking over the roof. Look all over the roof for damaged, loose or missing shingles. Gaps in the shingles can leave the underlayment exposed to wind and sun, which can rapidly deteriorate it. Next, check the flashing, another name for the metal seals between the roof and the chimney, vents or skylights. Seal or replace any flashing that has gaps, cracks or holes. Some experts say the flashing causes 90 per cent of roof leaks, so without checking the flashing, you won’t know how to waterproof your roof and prevent leaks.
Waterproof Under the Shingles
When you are replacing an old roof or working on new construction, you will need to know how to waterproof your roof from the start. Shingles are the most common roofing material, and all shingle roofs should have a solid waterproof material, such as tar paper or roofing felt, between the rafters and shingles. A newer, lighter and stronger option for waterproofing your roof under the shingles is thermoplastic polyolefin. There are also breathable TPO membranes that allow water vapour to pass through. This may not seem to be how to waterproof your roof, but the permeability reduces condensation in the attic.
Waterproof Over the Shingles
If wood shingles are getting old enough to show wear but not old enough to replace, here’s how to waterproof your roof and get a few more years of use out of the shingles. Spray, roll or brush a waterproofing compound directly on to the shingles. The oil- or water-based compounds restore the original waterproofing oils and resins in shingles. Oil-based compounds tend to last longer, but the water-based compounds are more environmentally sound. Of course, these compounds will not help waterproof your roof if you don’t have a waterproof underlayment, as discussed in the previous paragraph.
How do you find the source of a flat roof leak?
If you have to put a bucket in the same spot each time it rains, you’ll want to find out exactly where your leak is coming from. The source of flat roof leaks can be hard to locate when you’re up there, so a good tip is to do your detective work inside the house. With a tape measure, measure the distance from the drip in the ceiling to the nearest wall. Then, when you’re on the roof, measure the same distance. That should lead you straight to the root of the problem.
How to inspect your flat roof
If you suspect your flat roof has a waterproofing issue, you’ll need to head up to the roof itself. But what should you be looking out for? Follow these tips for a successful flat roof inspection…
Before attempting any inspection of your flat roof:
- Make sure that it’s completely safe to do so and, if you’re at all unsure, call out a professional.
- If you need to use a ladder, make sure it’s well-secured and don’t step onto the roof itself if you have any doubts about its condition.
- If your flat roof doesn’t currently have an anti-skid coating, remember that it could also be very slippery and you may have to use temporary boards.
Time it right
Try to do your flat roof inspection after a period of rain. This will help you spot any areas of ponding (big puddles) and highlight any drainage issues.
Check the guttering
Sometimes what appears to be a leak in a flat roof turn out to be problems related to the guttering. That’s why you should check your gutters and drains are free from dirt and debris while you’re up there.
Know what issues to look out for
Once you’ve checked the gutters, it’s time to look at the flat roof surface itself. Things to look out for include blisters (bubbles in the membrane), ponding, cracks or splits. You may find that the coating has cracked and formed a pattern that looks like the skin of an alligator. Called ‘alligatoring’ this is a common condition caused by sun exposure and excess moisture. Left untreated it could lead to splits over time.
How do you know what’s causing the problem?
Spotted something on your flat roof and don’t know what it is? We can help you identify some common trouble spots, and give you tips on what to do.
Looking for the best waterproofing company? Look no further! Hitch Property Constructions has you covered.
Noticed any air bubbles on your flat roof? Called blistering, it happens when small pockets of air or moisture get trapped beneath the membrane. Blisters can expand in the sun as the warmth heats the air inside, which stretches the membrane further. But despite their appearance, it’s best to leave blisters alone if they’re still intact. If they do happen to pop, cut away the broken material then apply a patch repair such as Acrypol Plus or an adhesive patch kit such as Karnak Patch N Go, making sure the damaged area is well covered.
If a puddle stands on a flat roof for 48 hours or more, it’s known as ponding. It’s a common problem in flat roofs. This may not be a problem, but over time it could cause stress on the membrane and lead it to fail, letting in the dreaded moisture. To avoid this, keep gutters clear so that water can quickly drain away.
If your flat roof is starting to look like the hide of an alligator, water, debris or sun damage has cracked the bitumen coating. Eventually, this will split and let moisture in. For this, you need a new roof waterproofing solution, such as liquid rubber or Acrypol.
DIY Steps On Waterproofing Your Rook
Remove all dead leaves and branches.
Rain could dam up dead leaves and branches, causing water to back up and cause damage to your roof. If you live in a dry area like Texas, removing dry, dead leaves can also lessen the unfortunate likelihood of a wildfire starting on your roof.
Trim trees close to the roof
Fallen limbs and debris can leave your roof vulnerable to turbulent weather. These limbs can damage your home if they fall due to wind, ice, hail, or snow. By trimming your trees close to the roof, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing that any falling branches won’t harm your home.
Replace missing, curling, or damage shingles
A single curled shingle can let water seep underneath the roof. This moisture can then enter your home, creating mould and mildew, which requires more home improvement. Also, shingles that are hanging can be pulled off by a strong wind.
You may be able to replace 1 or 2 shingles, but a professional roofer can also evaluate surrounding shingles. That way, they can prevent a full roof replacement for you if possible.
Add insulation to your attic.
Good attic insulation keeps heat in the interior of the home, preventing intense temperature fluctuations that can damage or warp roof structure.
Cover seams with seam tape
Seam tape is especially great for concrete roofing. Add seam tape on the exterior roofing to prevent water seeping in. Once applied, use strong pressure to ensure a firm seal.
Add a water repellent layer.
If you’ve gone with a cheaper, less reliable roofing company, they may have shortchanged you on this step. If you want a more aggressive approach to your waterproofing, talk with a roofer to assess and add this layer.
Add heat tape to gutters and more.
During cold months, heat tape warms your gutters and roof to keep ice as water. This ensures your roof can stay sturdy and not buckle due to excessive snowfall. This also prevents gutters from buckling or forming due to ice dams or heavy icicles.
The Best Way to Waterproof a Flat Roof
Measure each surface area of your roof’s length and width in feet. Multiply the total length with the total width. This gives you the surface area in square feet. Visit a local hardware store and purchase as many buckets of the coating as the representative says you need for your specific roof size.
Clean your roof with a pressure washer or broom, ensuring all the dust and dirt is removed. Use a mixture of 1 qt. Of trisodium phosphate with 5 gallons of water in extreme cases to clean the roof. Wait for the roof to dry before applying the coating.
Pour about a gallon of elastomeric coating from your bucket onto the roof and begin spreading with your paint roller. Start from a corner and work your way around the roof, walking backwards. Don’t step on your coat. Repeat this process until you have covered the entire roof. Allow the finished coat to dry for 24 hours. Apply a second coat.
How Do You Choose The Right Waterproofing Paint For The Roof?
Masonry Waterproofing Paint
Masonry paint, a waterproofing paint for the roof is made from a mixture of ceramic and latex paints. When it comes to roof- waterproofing solutions, this paint is one of the most preferred options all over the world. The reason why this waterproofing product is used widely is that it can be applied to every type of roof and it absorbs liquid solutions (water, chemicals) very quickly. As a result, these waterproofing solutions (masonry paint) never allow rainwater to penetrate inside and keeps the roof dirt-resistant & more durable as well. The application of this paint not only restricts to waterproofing the roof, but it also waterproofs the bricks, concrete blocks, and stones. If you are an environment-friendly individual, then this paint gives you an additional benefit along with waterproofing solutions. This is possible because of the Nil percentage of lead concentration in this paint. In addition to this, the masonry paint has fungicide and algaecide properties that stop algal and fungal growth on the roof.
Epoxy Waterproofing Paint
Epoxy paint is made from resins, and the chemical name of this paint is poly-epoxides. This is best suitable as a waterproofing paint for the roof; when you face the struggle of damps on your roof. Hence, epoxy paints are known as damp-proof paints. Applying this paint on the surface of your roof can protect it from water penetration, chemicals, and even from the concentric acids. This Nippon waterproofing for roof paint is more durable because it is 5% thicker than the other waterproofing solutions & waterproofing paint for the terrace. This is the reason why we have manufactured a wide range of waterproofing products in epoxy to protect your roof and the exterior from damps.
Acrylic Waterproofing Paint
Acrylic paint provides excellent waterproofing solution and is best suitable in waterproofing paint for roof & waterproofing paint for the terrace, built with rectangular blocks. Applying this waterproofing solution on the roof surface along with a primer will ensure your roof’s durability, increases the resistance against water (irrespective of PH level). Whenever rains, the elastic property in acrylic waterproofing solution allows the paint to contract and expel water from the roof surface.
Unlike the other waterproofing solutions and waterproofing paint for the terrace, acrylic paints are easy to apply and non-toxic. You can use rollers, sprayers, and even brushes to coat your roof surface with acrylic paint. Odour-free and quick-drying are the desirable features of this roof waterproofing product.
We have a huge range of waterproofing services Melbourne at Hitch Property Constructions that offers stress-free services for any water problem you got!
Tips for preventing flat roof leaks
- Try to inspect your flat roof twice a year. March and November are good months to do it, both before and after winter
- Limit access to your roof unless it’s been designed to take regular footfall. If you need to walk on it, use temporary boards
- Record the size and position of any blisters or puddles, so you’ll know if any of these problems are getting worse
- Check details such as upstands and flashings, joints and edge trims and make sure the roof isn’t sagging at the joists
- And finally, keep your roof clean. Any build-up of moss or algae can contribute to trapped moisture that can lead to damage to the waterproof membrane.
Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to flat roofs. So deal with little problems before they turn into big expensive ones.