3-Step Guide To Temporarily Repairing Your Business's Leaky Flat Roof

If you have noticed that your business's flat roof has started to leak, you may wonder if there is something you can do to temporarily keep the water from coming in. If so, use the following three-step guide for finding and patching the leak.

Step 1: Find The Location Of The Leak

The first step involves finding the location of the leak. To have an idea of where to look once you are on the roof, take a measuring tape, and measure the distance from the outside wall to the leaking spot on your ceiling. This measurement does not have to be precise, but it can give you an approximate location to start looking.

Once you have your measurement, go up on the roof, and measure from the approximate place on the side of the roof that correlates to the inside wall. Once you are there, look for signs that there is a hole or rip in the roof. These signs include a puddle of water, a visual tear in the roofing pitch or a crumbling of the surface.

After you have found the source of the leak, go onto the second step.

Step 2:  Remove Any Water And Debris

Now that you know where the roof is leaking, any water or debris should be removed from the area. Not only does this give you a better visualization of the hole or tear, but it also provides a clean surface onto which you can apply the patch in step three.

If the amount of water is minuscule, you can sop it up with towels, then wipe the surface with a dry one. However, if there is a significant amount of water, start by using a push broom to push the excess water from the area. Then, use a dry, industrial-size rag mop to soak up the rest of the water, wringing it out once it is full of water. Once the water is manageable, use towels to dry the surface.

Once the water has been removed, sweep away any dirt, leaves or other debris that remain. Inspect the roof carefully, noting any additional areas that appear torn or worn. Let the roof dry for a few hours, then go on to the third step.

Step 3:  Apply A Rubber Liquid Coating Patch

Once the flat roof's surface is clean and dry, it is time to patch the leaks using a rubber liquid coating. The coating can be purchased premade at hardware stores and home improvement centers in the roofing section. You will also need a small bag of gravel and a small shovel or hand trowel to apply the patch.

After you have cleaned the area, fully prepare the surface around the hole in the roof by filling the gap or tear with a handful of gravel. This gives the patch something to bind to, strengthening the composition of the patch. On top of the gravel, use your shovel or trowel to completely cover the hole with the rubber coating, extending out about six inches to create a seal around the edges of the patch.

Using the flat side of your application tool, smooth out the top surface of the patch. Allow the patch to set up according to the manufacturer's instructions. Once the recommended time has passed, apply a thin top coating to ensure no cracks formed while it was setting up.

Following the above steps will temporarily keep your business's flat roof from leaking. However, you may want to contact a commercial roofing contractor from a company like Bell Roof Co to discuss more permanent repair solutions or the possibility of replacing the roof, especially if you have multiple water leaks.

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