Roof Repairs

Roof repairs are essential for the maintenance of your buildings.

Roof Repairs should be done by Roofix ensuring you, your family and business’s stay dry and safe.

Sometimes roofs develop leaks years before the entire roof needs replacing. Usually these leaks are caused by localised damage, such as cracked or missing tiles or slates, or on a flat roof, a blistered or cracked area. The hardest part to repairing this kind of damage is locating it.

Roof-repair Safety Tips

Working on a roof can be dangerous. Keep these safety precautions in mind before tackling a roof repair, or contact Roofix to do the job properly and safely:

  • Roof repairs should be done on a sunny day when the roof is completely dry. A wet roof is slippery and very dangerous.
  • Adequate safety measures must be taken for any roof repairs. Always use safety ropes.
  • On steep roofs, use a ladder framework to provide secure anchoring.
  • Rubber-soled shoes provide the best traction when working on a roof.
  • The location of power lines should be kept in mind when working on a roof.

Metal Roof Repair

  • Identify the metal that the roof is made of, and get a piece of the same metal to make a patch.
  • Clean the damaged area with all-purpose cleaner and let it dry, then go over it with a wire brush to remove debris.
  • Cut a patch at least 2 inches larger than the damaged area.
  • Use tin snips to cut the corners off the patch.
  • Fold the edges under about 1/2 inch, and sand the folded parts until they’re shinier than the rest of the patch.Put flux both on the surface to be patched and along the folded edges of the patch.
  • Put the patch into place and weight it with a cinder block or brick.
  • Hold solder to the seam, and use a soldering iron to heat it until it melts and runs under the patch.
  • Follow the patch all the way around with the solder and soldering iron. Try not to leave any open spaces, or the patch will be ineffective.
  • Cut a pair of patches larger than the hole.
  • Coat the roof area with roofing cement.
  • Press one patch over the area and apply another coat of cement.
  • Repeat with the last patch and a final coat of roofing cement.

Flat Roof Repair

As with any roof, it’s important to first find the cause of the leak. How to find that leak — and ultimately fix it — varies depending on the type of roof. Following are some tips for mending leaks on flat roofs and wooden shake roofs.

Flat Roofs

Flat roofs are built up of layers of roofing felt and tar. Leaks usually occur at low spots or where the roofing felt has been damaged. In most cases, the leak is directly below the damaged spot and the damage to the roofing felt is easy to see.

If there’s still water pooled in the leak area, mop it up or soak

it up with rags, and let the surface dry. Brush off any gravel. Look for cracks in the felt or for large blisters where the top layer has separated.

To mend a blister:

  • Use sharp utility knife to slice blister open down middle. Cut should penetrate to full depth of blistered layer but should not reach sound roofing felt beneath it.
  • Lift cut edges of blister. If there’s water inside blister, press from edges in toward center to squeeze out water from between roofing layers. Soak up all the water you can with rags; then prop edges up to let layers dry.

In cold weather or if layers are thoroughly saturated, use propane torch with flame-spreader nozzle to dry out felt (be sure to wear safety goggles). Carefully move flame back and forth over inside layers of blister. Roofing felt and tar are very flammable, so don’t let layers get hot enough to burn or bubble.

Caution:

If there’s water under a large area of the roof, the problem is more than a simple blister; water may be running in from an adjoining pitched roof surface. In this case, it’s best to call a professional roofer.

  • Spread thick coating of roof cement on bottom edges of loose felt and firmly press down sides of blister.
  • Close blister permanently with row of 6d galvanized roofing nails along each side of slit, then spread roof cement over entire blister, making sure nail heads are well covered.

 Slate Roof Repair

Golden rule: Don’t do it yourself

  • Contact Roofix and get your slate roof leak fixed correctly

Felt Roof Repair

You can repair a felt roof, but be aware that over 50% of felt roofs that are repaired by someone inexperienced leak before a year. You can contact us to get the job done right in Dublin and surrounding counties.

 

  • Prepare the foundation. Before laying 30 lb felt on a flat roof make sure the plywood base is in good condition. Any rotten decking should be replaced before laying the felt. All new boards should be coated first with a preservative. Once your roof decking is suitable, you are ready to begin replacing the felt.
  • Remove excess felt, nails, and adhesive before replacing the felt on your flat roof. Allow any wet plywood to dry out. There should be no extra debri of any kind on the decking before you begin.
  • Nail the first layer of felt to the plywood using 20mm galvanised clout nails with large heads spaced every 150mm along the planks. Make sure the felt is straight and flat. Always start nailing in the center of the felt sheet working your way outward towards the edge of the roof. Do not nail on the edge of the roof where the second layer of felt will overlap the first.
  • Paint a layer of adhesive, such as bitumen mastic, over the top of the first felt layer, a length at a time. The second layer of felt is then placed over the top of the first. Do not let the ends join together. There must be an overlap to prevent leaking. Either use a broom, or if the roof is strong enough, walk over the top of the roof felt to get rid of any air bubbles.
  • Cover the roof edges with strips of felt before laying the final layer of roof felt. Remember to allow 50mm of overlap with each piece of felt layed. Paint bitumen mastic over the top of the entire final layer of felt to provide the most waterproofing. To strengthen the surface of your new felt roof cover the surface with gravel, granite, or limestone.

Shingle Roof Repair

Shingle roofs are usually easy to fix. At the marked leak point, look for damaged, curled, or missing shingles. At every place where two surfaces meet and around every chimney or vent, look for breaks in the flashing or caulking or for gaps in the lines of roof cement.

If you can’t see any damage to the shingles or flashing in the leak area, you’ll have to call a professional roofer; the problem may be inadequate flashing or simply deterioration of the shingles.

If you find evidence of shingle problems, repairs are fairly simple. Curled-back shingles can be reattached with asphalt roof cement or compound in tubes for use with a caulking gun. In warm weather, you can easily straighten out the curled shingle. In cold weather, shingles become very brittle and must be softened before they can be flattened out.

To soften a brittle shingle, carefully use a propane torch with a flame-spreader nozzle. Apply the flame carefully to the curled edges of the shingle; it should get just warm enough to soften but not hot enough to catch fire. Then flatten the edges of the shingle.

To reattach the shingle, apply roof cement generously to the bottom; a good dollop of cement at each corner is usually enough.

Press the shingle firmly into place.

If shingles are torn, rotten, or missing, they should be replaced with new ones. Any shingle that lifts right off the roof with no effort is rotten and should be replaced.

If you find a large area of rotten shingles, you may need a whole new roof. If so, consider calling a professional roofer. Otherwise, replace the damaged shingles with shingles left over from the previous roof installation.

If you can’t get matching shingles, you can make do with nonmatching ones. In an emergency, cut shingle-size patches from sheet aluminum or copper.

To replace damaged shingles:

  • To remove damaged shingle, lift edges of surrounding shingles, and carefully remove nails with pry bar. Slide out old shingle. If there’s loose or brittle roof cement left under it, scrape opening clean. When shingles are blown off by a storm, remove any protruding nails left in roof. Nails that don’t stick up can be left in place.
  • To make it easier to slide new shingle into place, slightly round its back corners with sharp utility knife.
  • Slide new shingle into gap, with its front edge aligned with shingles on each side and its back edge under shingles in row above it.
  • Lift corners of overlapping shingles and fasten top of new shingle with 6d galvanized roofing nails driven through each corner. Cover nail heads with roof cement, then smooth down overlapping shingle edges.

If you’re replacing rows of shingles, you only need to round the back corners where the top row meets the row above. Ridge shingles, the tent-shape shingles along the peak of a roof, can be replaced the same way. Overlap them along the ridge and over the shingles on both sides. Do not try to use flat shingles; you must use new ridge shingles. Cover the back of each new ridge shingle with roof cement before setting it into place. Secure each corner of the shingle with a roofing nail, and cover the nail heads with roof cement.

After replacing the damaged shingles or if the shingles are undamaged, inspect the chimney flashing, the flashing around vents or vent pipes, and any line of roof cement where two surfaces meet.

If the metal flashing around a chimney or dormer is not thoroughly caulked, fill the joints with roof cement in a caulking gun. Along joints sealed with a line of roof cement, apply roof cement with a putty knife to areas that look worn or cracked. Apply the cement liberally, covering the questionable areas completely. If there are any exposed nail heads in the flashing, cover them with roof cement.

Flat roofs and shake roofs have their own set of unique leak problems — and unique ways of conquering these issues. Read the next section for helpful tips about repairing leaks on these types of roofs.

Here are some of the tools you’ll need for replacing shingles:

  • Pry bar
  • Scraper
  • Replacement shingle
  • Utility knife
  • 6d galvanized roofing nails
  • Hammer
  • Asphalt roof cement
  • Trowel

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