When your commercial building springs a leak on its flat tar and gravel roof after a heavy rain storm, you can do some of the repairs yourself. It is always a good idea to have a professional roofer inspect your entire roof for other existing problems, but in the meantime, here are tips to help you complete some simple repairs on your own.
Locate the Leak
If your commercial building has begun to leak water down through its roof and into its interior, the position of the leaking water can help you determine where on your roof the leak is originating from. To help you locate a leak in your roof, while you are inside the building, measure how far away from two adjacent exterior walls the leak is located. Then, when you get upon the roof you can measure the same distance from these two walls to get a general location of the leak so you can more easily find its exact location.
You can also inspect on your roof for any low areas where rain water may puddle to find a leak. There may still be a puddle present in the location, or you will notice a white-colored watermark outline where the puddle once was.
When you locate a potential roof leak, remove any gravel covering the surface of the roof with a rake or a broom. This will allow you to inspect the layer of tar roofing membrane. Look for any cracks, holes, or bubbles beneath the membrane layer. Where the roofing material has become breached, rain water can seep down into your building.
Repair the Leak
Repair any existing cracks, holes, or bubbles within the tar roofing membrane. Use a rag to dry the area around and inside the hole or crack. If there is a bubble on your roof, use a utility knife to cut an X in the bubble and peel back the flaps and use your rag to dry inside the flaps.
Place roofing cement inside the crack or hole, then apply roofing cement over the top of the damage, extending several inches around the damage. Apply roofing cement inside the bubble, close the X-cut flaps and apply more onto the repair, extending several inches around the damage.
Cut a patch from roofing fabric that will cover the repair area and place it onto the wet roofing cement. Apply another layer of roofing cement over the patch and sweep the gravel back in place.
Part of repairing a roof leak can include removing debris from your flat roof's scuppers and drains, so any rain water that is pooling on your roof and causing the leak can properly drain from your roof. Wear heavy duty work gloves to remove any debris around the drains of your roof.
Use these tips to help you locate and repair a leak in your commercial building flat roof. Contact a company like Specialty Commercial Contractors LLC to learn more.