Flat Roof Problems

Lead Roofs
Below are 2 photos showing damages triggered by squirrels that had actually moved from timberland simply across the roadway.
This kind of damages isn’t uncommon, it’s often seen around chimney lead flashings on residences in rural areas.

and also:

If left unchecked, this damages might lead to rotten hardwoods and also a leak onto the ceiling.

Below are our recommendations to repair this sort of damage:
Short-term repair work– cover the damaged area with a specialist lead sealant such as this to stay out any kind of rainwater till a much more permanent service can be applied.
Longer term repair– a contractor with lead welding skills might easily fix this damages or the harmed area can be removed and a brand-new section fitted with folds. This would negate the demand for expensive welding.
Long-term remedy– as the lead roof is revealing indications of damages to several areas as well as the lead work around the close-by chimney has actually likewise been chewed. A permanent option would certainly be to change the roof covering with something much less attractive to the squirrels such as a bitumen based product.


For the chimney blinking, it could be replaced with a lead option such as Ubiflex– www.ubbink.co.uk/products/Roofing/Non-lead-flashing
The reason squirrels eat lead isn’t entirely clear. Some claim it’s because they are attracted to the sweet taste while others suggest it’s since they need to sharpen their teeth.
Whatever the factor, the use of lead should be minimised if the residential or commercial property is located close to woodland.
Further reading as well as photos can be discovered on this university website.
For leadwork to huge locations that has divides, the best bet is to cut in a growth joint. This job needs to be done by somebody with experience of leadwork.
Bitumen Flat Roof Covering Fixes
Bitumen based level roof coverings can be found in 2 various flavours:
old made “pour and roll”
an extra contemporary “lantern on” system
Both pictures listed below explain the distinction:

Flat roof installation

Put and roll felting to level roof covering
Both types of really felt will last in between 15-25 years and also there are some situations when they can be fixed:
Divides as well as Tiny Openings in Felt
For splits and also little openings in the level roof consider the following kinds of repair service:
Temporary repair service– for a quick fix that is cheap and also can be done by any person with Do It Yourself skills, initially completely dry and completely clean the location and afterwards use two or three layers of Thompsons Roofing Seal.


Tool term repair work– if you want a longer term repair service then dry/clean the location as well as use one layer of cold asphalt followed by a layer of scrim (also known as webbing or mesh) for support as well as an additional final layer of chilly asphalt. See cool asphalts here and also over below you can see scrim/mesh. There is a training video on Youtube that discusses exactly how to repair a level roof covering with scrim and sealants.
Long-term repair work– to maximise the life of the roofing without changing it, torch a new top layer (cap sheet) onto the roof. Due to the fact that this work includes a gas powered lantern, it will need to be done by an expert flat roof repairer.
Dips as well as Bowing Felted Roof Coverings
If the felt is showing indicators of bowing downwards in between the wood supports after that in our opinion, repairs are a wild-goose chase as well as cash.
As the roofing remains to dip/bow, any type of fixings will certainly tear and the leakages will certainly return to.
Due to the fact that you have roofing lumbers, decking and potentially ceiling boards and plaster under the roof covering, it’s simply not worth trying to save cash by repairing a roofing that is in this state. By missing out on an opportunity to change the roofing system, you can end up with significant and pricey damage to the woods or plaster must the roofing system suffer a major leak.
A better solution would certainly be to eliminate the felt layer, examine the decking below as well as replace any boards as required prior to laying a new felt roof.

Flat roofing bowing as well as flexing
Fibreglass Apartment Roofing Fixes
Fibreglass roof coverings are typically very long long-term and likewise look appealing as they don’t have any joints or joints.
One of one of the most usual problems with this product is that it can deal with splits.
This rarely happens on small roof coverings such as those seen on patios but is often seen on very large areas such as double garages.
The good news is that fibreglass can be quickly fixed.
Done in one fibreglass repair service sets set you back less than ₤ 30 and also it takes less than a hr to seal over an opening, split or fracture.
There are plenty of educational video clips on Youtube yet essentially, the following actions must be taken:
clean area completely
sand with a crude sandpaper
clean with acetone
cut strand matting is after that laminated flooring into place
after its dried out, a top coloured layer is used
Check out this item on Amazon.com.
Mastic Asphalt Roofs
This kind of flat roof covering is pricey and ought to last for years.
It’s thought about by lots of in the profession to be the “Rolls Royce” of flat roofing products.
Sadly, because it’s not extremely versatile and is really hefty, any type of motion of the roofing below might result in divides as well as fractures.

Broken mastic asphalt level roof covering
There are several fixing options readily available to you but the complying with 2 are best:
include an additional layer of mastic asphalt– this must be done after enhancing the area around the crack to stop it moving into the brand-new layer.
torch on a layer of bitumen felt, either as a spot repair or to the whole roof. If the look of this felt is an issue, it, together with the remainder of the roofing system, can be painted with a grey/silver reflective finishing.
Epdm/Rubber Roofs
This sort of material, understood informally as a “rubber roof”, fasts to mount and doesn’t call for a gas powered warm lantern.
While the material itself is long enduring, powerlessness are usually found at the joints and upstands.
Small holes, slits and also splits, whether at the joints or as a result of effect damage, can be easily repaired by applying one of the following:
by applying a dedicated rubber sealant such as this Firestone sealant. This is a short term fixing but also for very tiny openings may last for years.
by using a sealing tape such as this Firestone blinking tape. This is a long-term repair and must last as long as the roof covering.
The anticipated repair service time is around one hour which includes locating the leak, cleaning/drying the location and apply the sealant or spot.

A Look at Flat Roof Repairs and Your Options

This page contains a troubleshooting guide for leaky flat roofs that are leaking and are in need of a repair.

Our guide is intended for anyone who is competent with a ladder and roof safety such as tradespeople and some experienced DIYers.

We will cover the following:

  • quick fix repairs you can use to keep the flat roof watertight until a longer term solution can be applied.
  • long term fixes without replacing the entire roof.
  • examples of when you really need to bite the bullet and replace the flat roof.

As we are sure you can appreciate, there are many different types of flat roof materials and therefore different solutions will apply.

We will try to cover the most common types of materials that are in use on flat roofs in the United Kingdom.

The General Rule of Thumb

As a general guide, you can repair most flat roofs if:

  • the leak is caused by an impact such as a slipped tile, a tree branch or the like
  • the leak is caused by a one-off hole, tear or localised issue that is isolated and not indicative of a more widespread issue

You are probably wasting your time and money trying to patch repair a flat roof that is:

  • very old and has leaks in multiple places
  • that is bowing, dipping, bending or buckling between the joists
  • where the entire surface has deteriorated due to age or UV damage

Of course, many people do carry out patch repairs on such roofs, but they are doing so at great risk.

Because these roofs are flat they often hold water, especially during spells of heavy rain, thus a small tear or hole could cause a significant amount of water to enter the property. Certainly more so than a pitched tiled roof with a similar sized hole.

Common Issues and Things to Look For

Regardless of the type of flat roof material that is used, leaks are often:

  • located near a join or seam
  • where the felt has pulled free from the vertical wall
  • caused by the failure of the supporting timber decking underneath
  • made worse by water discharging onto the roof from a rainwater pipe
  • made worse by water pooling on the roof when it should ideally discharge off the roof
  1. check where the felt has been inserted into the wall, thermal movement may pull the felt out of the brickwork.
  2. check all seams/joins near any leaks, if the felt hasn’t adhered sufficiently it may allow water to a pass through.
  3. can the rainwater pipe be relocated or an additional pipe laid across the flat roof to minimise the amount water (and thus wear and tear) on the roof?