What are the Options if Your Flat Roof is Leaking?

What are the Options if Your Flat Roof is Leaking?

As a homeowner, the last thing you want to see is a leaking flat roof. To minimise the risk of damage, it needs to be addressed straightaway and we’re here to help you find the right way forward. A leaking flat roof can become a big problem fast, so move as many items from the space as you can and let’s explore your options.

Find the source of the leak as soon as you can

First of all, you’ll need to assess the leak and find out where it is coming from. Find the access point, which might not necessarily be local to the visible leak if it is still small and just seeping. Water can track down roof timbers for a fair distance before it finds a way into the spaces below, so start local, but be prepared to check the wider deck area.

Preferably from an upstairs window, assess the flat roof from above to see if there are any visible signs of damage to the waterproofing. If you can’t see anything obvious, you’ll have to access the roof deck and inspect it more closely. At this point, if you’re not a confident DIYer or a ‘heights person’ it might be a good idea to call in a professional. We can connect you with a recommended local tradesperson here.

Repair or replace the waterproofing?

Once you have located the source of the leak, assess the state of the waterproofing. If it is a small hole or crack, it may simply need a patch repair. However, do look at the overall state of the flat roof covering, as there may be further leaks if it is in poor condition. 

If there are multiple leak sites or the overall state of the covering isn’t great, it may prove to be more cost effective in the long run to replace the waterproofing altogether. 

DIY flat roof repair options

Emergency liquid roofing repair solution – for cracks, small tears and spot repairs to most flat roof systems, a liquid option is a fast and easy approach for DIY. Applied with a brush to almost any substrate, Emergency Liquid Roof Repair delivers a reliable seal to stop leaks fast. It can also provide a temporary fix if further works are required. This can help to minimise the damage and avoid the cost of a professional emergency call out. 

Spot repairs to membrane – modern rubber roofing is hard to damage, yet straightforward to repair with an EPDM patch. Perfectly suitable for a competent DIYer, a patch, applied with primer can seal a small tear for the long term.

Replacing damaged waterproofing

If damage is extensive or you decide to replace, rather than repair the leaking flat roof covering, choose a long term, reliable option, such as EPDM. It is fast and straightforward to install, ideal for a DIY team and can be bought in kit-form to further simplify the project.

Buying a kit is a great option for DIY. Everything is included and kits can be bought for project-specific needs, such as shed roofing, garage roofing or for a flat roof extension replacement. We stock flat roof kits with EPDM and liquid options – both straightforward to install.

Before you replace the waterproofing, make sure that any existing damage to the roof deck and timbers is fully repaired. Covering over damaged timbers could lead to further problems later as rot may already have set in. If you’re investing in a new covering following the leak, especially one with a long service life, having to remove it all and start again could prove a costly experience. 

Whether you decide to repair or replace your waterproofing, there are options for you if your flat roof is leaking. We’re here to help with expert advice and a range of repair products, free how-to guides and articles to guide you through.

This is an updated version of a popular post from 2019. Read the original version here.

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