Flat Roof Repair: Details About this Roof and How to fix it


Flat or plain roofs are very common in every part of the world, due to related benefits and general characteristics that make them different from high-pitch roofs, although plain ceilings are never completely flat hence that would bring a great problem. Nonetheless, this type of ceiling is not forever and at some point a flat roof repair is needed, requiring DIY solutions or companies to deal with this issue.

Problems related with flat roofs are usually very closely connected to its form, since it influences how such ceiling behaves over time. So, ways of fixing a flat roof are also related to its shape and of course, depending on the damage and other characteristics it is going to be addressed, from a flat roof leak repair or hole to patch to entire replacement.

The thing is, a flat roof is not only one and actually there are three different types to know before making the decision on getting up there and fix it yourself, and we will address everyone them along with definition, advantages, flat roof repair options for repairing, maintenance, average costs and specialized companies to carry out this undertaking.

Description of Flat Roofs and Its Types

As its name says, a flat roof is a type of ceiling that is built completely flat, but not entirely. In fact, flat roofs are also known as “low-slope” roofs since they have at least a 10 degree slope that allow the water to drain and fall. If a roof were completely flat, accumulated water will destroy it in a short matter of time.

Therefore, unlike pitched or “high-slope” roofs where water simply falls off the shingles and does not get accumulated, in flat roofs this process takes longer for water to dry and drain and because of that the subtle slope is necessary.

Types of flat roofs materials actually are quite related with the intention of making ceiling water- lighted as possible, and in this materials the different sorts of roofs are based-on for this purpose by including diverse flat roof coating.

Types of Flat Roofs: Important Information for Roof Fixing Purposes

There are three main types of flat roofs and while they are different in approach, it all comes to the flat roof coating that comes with each of them. These three are: Built-up roof, also known as BUR, modified bitumen roof or MBR, and last but not least there is rubber membrane roof or (EDPM). Let´s review them shortly:

  • Built-Up Roof or BUR: this type of roof is the one based on hot tar and similar, in order to waterproof the ceiling with plies of material. Tar is alternated with river stone to create this strong and reliable roof that is of the most traditional and also the cheapest of the three main types of flat roofs. As counterpart, BUR is heavy, hard to install and complicated to fix and finding leaks.
  • Modified Bitumen or MBR: Modified Bitumen Roofing is the direct rival and alternative of BUR, but less heavy and messy to install but not as thick and durable. MBR is based on asphalt-plastic materials with mineral coating on top. Installation, while requires fire to heat the roof surface and the MBR sticks on it, is a lot easier than BUR. Modified bitumen can be bought in sheets in form of roll.
  • Rubber Membrane Roof (EDPM): for residential use, the rubber membrane roof based on EDPM is the most recommended as a membrane manufactured in ethylene propylene diene monomer: a strong synthetic rubber applied sheet by sheet glued or fastened to the roof. Rubber membranes are relatively easy to install, lightweight and very resistant to sunlight. Gutter patching and leaking is easy to find and fix.

Benefits and Disadvantages of Flat Roofs

Flat roofs have great benefits and some disadvantages in comparison to high-pitched ceilings, in terms of price, installation, endurance, replacing and more and this is why they are so popular.

Advantages of Flat roofs

With no doubt, the most outstanding benefit of flat roofs is pricing. Materials are less expensive and have less of an aesthetic look, in comparison to pitched roofs that most users want to look nice to the view, and this costs. Also, respecting costs flat roofs are easy to repair, install and replace than high-slope ceiling since there is less risk, and this translates in less money charged.

Another great and popular advantage is the fact that flat roofs make the higher part of the house usable, with space where another house can be built or have a barbecue, a deck or something similar.

Maintenance is also easier in flat roofs where usually owners can carry out this process with no risk, in comparison to other types of roofs where climbing and maintain them is very difficult.

Disadvantages of Flat Roofs

When it comes to disadvantages, flat roofs have a few. For instance, with more insulation surface, this type of ceiling come up with great exposure to extreme temperatures, meaning a roof that is more prone to damage.

Actually, flat roofs have usually a shorter life span in comparison to other types of roofs, especially when not maintain well and periodically. Also, due to the way they are built, flat roofs are considered weak facing natural phenomena.

Lastly, if water is accumulated or badly drained on the flat roof, damages and leaks will appear all over the place, so installation and maintenance are very important.

Flat Roof Repair near Me: How to Repair a Flat Roof?

Depending on the damage and the issue related, a flat roof can be repaired by the owner or by a roofer or specialized company. Now, leaking is the usual problem and the process on how to repair a flat roof leak can be addressed differently.

In details, the flat roof and the coating can split thanks to extreme temperatures, areas where water is ponding, or where blistering is happening due to similar reasons. So, the first step is to locate the liking or problem and then depending on the type of roof and personal skills, try to fix the issue or call a roofer.

For MBR, BUR and EPDM based roofs, blistering, ponding and splitting can be solved with proper materials for patching, as material sheet rolls and torch.

On the other hand, if this procedure is too intimidating, the best idea is to call a roofer near your area, since severely damage roofs can even involve a flat roof replacement. The best in the U.S. for this job are Burns Contracting, Arocon Roofing, Vertex Roofing and Terry´s Handyman Services.


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