Repairing My Roof

Patching An Asphalt Tar Roof

If you have a roof made from alternating layers of asphalt tar and felt paper, you may be able to make repairs on your own. It is not uncommon to develop isolated leaks before there is a need to replace the entire roof; thus, patching a leak can help to extend the life of your roof and save you money by avoiding the cost of replacing your entire roof. Making repairs is not a highly technical nor difficult process, so as long as you know what you are doing, you should be able to make repairs on your own. 

Locating Damage

When you are trying to find the source of a leak, you cannot simply look at the part of the roof directly above where the leak manifests itself on the interior of your building. Water that leaks under your roofing can travel along the roof deck for some distance before it finds a way to enter your building. From there, water may travel along roof joists, wires, ducts, etc. before it finally enters your building. Thus, you should look for signs of damage on your roof, so you know where to make your repairs. Specifically, you should look for depressions where water gathers, areas where the seams in the felt paper are showing through the tar that should cover the felt, and blisters where water that leaks through an upper layer collects between layers of felt paper. 

Making the Repair

Once you have located damage to your roof, follow these steps to make a repair:

  1. Use the flat side of a garden rake to pull the protective layer of gravel (if present) away from the damaged section of roof. 
  2. Sweep dust and debris away.
  3. Cut out a section of felt paper that is larger than the damaged section of roof by at least one inch on all sides. 
  4. Cut out a second section of felt paper that is larger than the first by at least one inch on all sides. 
  5. Paint a layer of asphalt tar over the damaged section of roof and place the smaller section of felt paper over the tar. Make sure that it extends past the damaged section of roof by at least an inch, then press it into the tar until it is completely impregnated with tar. 
  6. Paint a second layer of tar over the smaller section of felt paper, place the larger section over the first ensuring that it extends by at least an inch on all sides, then press it down into the tar until it is completely impregnated. 
  7. Paint over the patch thus created with a final layer of tar. 
  8. Once the tar has cured, push the gravel back in place with the flat side of a garden rake. 

These steps will make a permanent patch to a flat roof. For more information, contact a business such as TRM ROOFING.


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