A leaking flat roof is a major concern for home and commercial building owners. Frequent leaks can turn into larger forms of damage for flat roofs, hence, the sooner you address leaks on a flat roof, the better the result.
You need not worry about your flat roof repair in NJ. This blog post will lead you to the best roofing contractor by addressing the potential problems you’ll come across, the cost of certain repairs, and tricks for flat roof leak repair in NJ.
Common Flat Roof Problems
Flat roofs are effective, affordable, and easy to install, but they have some major drawbacks that can lead them to leak and become damaged over time. If damage is neglected for a long period of time, it will become a serious problem for both occupants and any items kept in the interior below.
Though different types of flat roofs have different types of damage, the following are common to all. Read through all the problems carefully in order to categorize the damage on your flat roof.
Punctures And Tears
Regardless of the type of roof you’ve installed, punctures and tears are common across all flat roofs. Whether they are EPDM, TPO, or modified bitumen, they all fall prey to punctures and tears as time goes on. The main causes of punctures on a flat roof include but are not limited to, ponding water, foot traffic, strong storms, hail, snowfall, poor maintenance, and improper installation.
The most serious problem that occurs on flat roofs is ponding water. Due to the low slope of commercial buildings, flat roofs make it harder for water to drain off the roof. Standing water results in water leaks, mold, and mildew growth. Additionally, home or business owners who haven’t installed a proper drainage system frequently suffer from issues related to ponding water.
No matter what roofing material you have installed, water pooling on its surface is always a problem. To solve this problem, you need to install a proper water drainage system and inspect it regularly.
Due to excessive heat and moisture trapping below the roofing membrane of flat roofs, small to large size pockets begin to form on the surface. If water penetrates the roofing material and becomes trapped beneath the surface, it can cause the roofing material to bubble and blister.
To prevent blisters and bubbles on flat roofs, it’s important to ensure that the roofing material is properly installed and that the roof is adequately ventilated to prevent moisture buildup.
Aging And Wear
Over time, direct exposure to the sun’s rays causes flat roofs to become discolored, crack, and blister. Additionally, heavy foot traffic leads to a shorter lifespan for flat roofs as it wears down the material and can also lead to puncture marks and cracks.
Flat Roof Repair Tips
As mentioned above, the lifespan of a flat roof can be shortened by many things, including, but not limited to, excessive heat and UV exposure, ponding water, and foot traffic. In order to extend the lifespan of your roof, a repair is necessary. Below we’ve included some tips on how to extend the lifespan of your commercial roof.
Identify The Leaky Area
Identifying the leaky area that’s in need of repair on a flat roof, whether it’s commercial, or residential, is essential. As flat roofs are made of rubber membranes, many times finding the source of a leak can be tricky. Therefore, it helps to look within the interior of your building and check for water stains on your ceilings or walls to find the source of the leak.
Clean The Damaged Portion
Once you have identified the area on your roof that’s leaking, you can move forward to cleaning it and the surrounding area. Cleaning and removing dust around the area ensures it is ready to repair and seal. Once you’re done with cleaning and removing any dust and debris, you are ready to apply patching and sealing materials.
Apply Patching Materials
Patching materials are additive compounds used to fill the cracks in flat roofs. They are generally applied with a putty knife until the crack or gap is filled and level with the surface of the roof. Patching materials are generally easy to use, and you can find ready-to-repair versions made for different roofs at your local store.
Seal The Roof
Before sealing the damaged and leaking area on a flat roof, you need to check that the patching material used to fill in the cracks and gaps has dried completely. Since wet patching material can catch dust and debris, ensure you have also cleaned it before applying roofing sealant.
Flat roof sealants are made of different materials and come in various forms, including liquid, sheet, or tape. Liquid sealant can be applied with a brush or roller to create a uniform and waterproof layer over the repaired area.
You can also read our “Do’s & Don’t Guide For Flat Roof Repair.”
Flat Roof Repair Costs
The cost to repair flat roofs depends on many factors, including the type of material, the amount of damage, and the size of the roof.
Flat Roof Repair Costs By Material Type
The cost of repairing an EPDM roof can vary depending on several factors, such as the extent of the damage, the size of the damaged area, and the cost of labor. Generally, the cost to repair an EPDM roof ranges from around $4 to $12 per square foot or more.
Minor repairs, such as patching small punctures or tears, fall on the lower end of the cost spectrum. In contrast, larger repairs, such as replacing a significant portion of the roof or repairing structural damage, are much more expensive.
The cost to repair modified bitumen depends on the same factors as an EPDM roof. However, the repair cost for a modified bitumen roof may potentially be higher than that of EPDM.
The cost to repair modified bitumen ranges between $4 to $8 per square foot, depending on the size of the repair and the thickness of the bitumen roof.
Built-up roofs are a type of flat roof that is mainly installed on commercial buildings to prevent water infiltration. They are constructed in a way that makes them durable and thick, creating a reliable option for commercial buildings.
A built-up roof is a combination of alternating layers of asphalt and ply sheets that form the roofing membrane over the top of a roof deck. These alternating layers result in a thick and water-resistant roof that lasts around 20 to 30 years.
However, built-up roofs are also prone to damage due to excessive heat and ponding water. Having standing water and snow piles on this type of roof for a long time results in roof damage that will require repair. If leaks or other forms of damage are left unaddressed they’ll turn into a major concern that may lead to a complete roof replacement.
Repair costs for this type of roof vary depending on the size of the damaged area but usually, the range is between $4 to $10 per square foot.
Flat Roof Repair Costs By The Level Of Damage
Flat roofs are prone to a number of issues that can impact their integrity, durability, and longevity. If the damage is left untreated, major problems will arise. Below we’ve highlighted some of the damage most common to flat roofs, and the cost to repair them.
Regardless of the type of flat roof you have installed, they all fall prey to alligatoring during their lifespan. The word alligatoring derives from the word alligator, as the damage on a flat roof resembles an alligator’s skin. Roofing membranes alligator over time in response to pooling water, foot traffic, sun exposure, and water evaporation on its surface. The cost to repair alligatoring on flat roofs ranges between $300 to $1,000.
Damage Due To Ponding Water And Snow Piles
As mentioned above, ponding water occurs on flat roofs due to broken or irregular drainage systems. The water drainage system helps remove water from the roof and prevents it from pooling and having devastating effects. To avoid paying for expensive damage, repairing your drainage system is crucial; otherwise, depending on the size of the repair area, you’ll have to pay over $80 to $500.
Holes In A Flat Roof
As this type of roofing system is known to be vulnerable to roof leaks and subsequent roof damage, holes in flat roofs are a major concern for home and business owners. While minor holes can be patched easily with the required materials, holes that are large or deep may be more complicated to repair in one session, and may lead to future repairs if not done correctly. Depending on the size of the damage, the cost to repair it will range from around $150 to $1200.
Hire a Flat Roof Repair Contractor in NJ
If you want to hire a personal roofing contractor for your flat roof repair in NJ, you are on the right page. Contact Champion Exteriors today at (609)-845-3576 if you live in New Jersey. The company is home to expert roofing contractors who can address all the issues we’ve mentioned in this blog post. Let our trusted team help you handle your flat roofing needs. Call now to schedule an inspection today!