Although a flat rubber roof is safer to walk upon than a pitched roof, it is still a dangerous place to be. Before you head up onto your rubber roof, ensure the structure is able to take your weight. If you have any concerns about rotting roof decking, do not walk on your roof. Call a professional roofer for the job.
Locate the Problem
The main problems that come with rubber roofing are due to poor installation or age. Using a broom, sweep away any debris to look for damaged flashing, cracks or bubbles, or ponding water. Any holes or bubbles in your flat rubber roofing is as good as having a hole in your umbrella. Ponding water that lasts more than 48 hours could indicate a structural problem, and will increase the effects of UV rays on your rubber roof.
If you already have leakage inside your house, it is far too late for a quick fix. A professional should be called immediately.
Be careful when performing a rubber roof repair - a roof is a dangerous place to be. | @ iStockphoto.com / Adventure_Photo
Rubber Roof Repair: Bandage Solution
If the problem is a crack or a hole, then you may be able to apply a patch with good results. For the job, you will need special rubber roofing cleaner, primer and a rubber roof patch.
Firstly, clean the area around the leak thoroughly with your rubber roofing cleaner and a regular dish brush. Once you have removed all dirt, use a bit more cleaner and a clean rag to give it final wipe. Let the area dry.
Next, apply the rubber roof repair primer. Using a basic paint brush, apply a coat of primer around your leak, large enough to ensure a 2” border around the area of your rubber roof repair patch. Make sure you spread your primer evenly, as extra thick areas will not dry properly and your patch will not adhere to your roof. Allow the primer to dry completely.
Finally, you must apply your rubber roof repair patch. It should be at least 2-3” larger than the hole. Remove the film from the back of your patch and slowly apply it to your roof. Make sure you do not leave any trapped air pockets. Use a roller to securely adhere it to the roof.
It is prudent to have a qualified inspector evaluate your rubber roof repair. What might seem like a quick fix could turn into a nightmare.
Rubber Roof Repair: Structural Issues
If your problem is due to poor installation or a structural issue, then a patch is not going to do the job. Contact a professional roofer immediately. This will save you on costly water damages, and will ensure you avoid any massive structural failings that could threaten your safety. Be sure to also contact your insurance company to discuss your options.