As we all begin to assess the damage done by Hurricane Sandy, one area that should be of key concern to all commercial building owners and managers is your roof. For flat-roof buildings, punctures or tears to roofing material caused by flying debris or the intense wind should be fixed right away to avoid adding water damage to your growing list of repairs.
We’ve put together the following tips and recommendations to help ensure your roof is repaired correctly the first time.
Before You Start
Above all else, the first thing you need to do is find out what type of material your roof is made of. This information will be important because all repairs should be done using this same material.
The reason for this is that neither plastic, rubber nor asphalt form strong bonds when welded with different types of material. For example, a patch made of TPO welded to a PVC roof will not create a durable, watertight seal, and will likely leak.
There are a variety of materials your roofing membrane can be made of, such as TPO, PVC, rubber, modified bitumen or asphalt. If you are unsure what is used on your roof and it does not say anywhere on the material surface, contact the manufacturer or a reputable roofing contractor (see below for how to find a reputable contractor).
Next, check to see if your roofing membrane is still under warranty. Many manufacturers offer a warranty that protects against damage, including punctures or tears.
Oftentimes, material manufacturers have a list of roofing contractors they have qualified to repair their roofing material. By working with one of these contractors, you know your roof will be properly repaired and remain covered under the warranty.
Small, Non-Warranty Repairs
For small flat-roof repairs, like punctures or small tears not covered under a warranty, we recommend Olympic Everseal Roof Repair Tape. This tape creates a strong, watertight seal on smooth-surfaced roofs, including TPO, PVC, rubber and non-granular modified bitumen. It is also available in common surface colors, like black, white and grey.
The repair process is simple:
1. Clean the surface with denatured alcohol and allow it to dry (less than a minute). 2. Cut a strip of tape to the desired length. 3. Remove 2-3 inches of the EZ-release liner from the start of the tape strip. 4. Position the tape over the damaged area. 5. Secure the start of the tape strip to the surface. 6. Peel the rest of the liner off and press the tap onto the surface. 7. Use a hand roller to further press the material down and ensure a strong, uniform bond is formed with the roofing material.
Watch this process on the video below.
Large, Non-Warranty Repairs and Granular-Surface Roofs Repairs
For large damage areas or repairs to granular-surfaced materials, the most important thing to do is work with a reputable contractor. Avoid contractors who contact you directly after a big storm and are based in a different state. We call these contractors “storm chasers,” and have worked with a number of contractors brought in to fix their shoddy work.
To find a reputable contractor, your best bet is to contact your roofing material manufacturer and ask what contractors they’d recommend. You may also want to reach out to other building owners and see if they have a contractor they trust to deliver quality work.
If you have any questions, please contact one of our roofing experts at 800-635-0384. Good luck and stay safe.