Valeriu Gurau

With over 15 years of industry experience, Valeriu Gurau is the founder of Built To Last Roofing. His extensive knowledge and expertise in the roofing business allow him to provide strategic solutions and ensure exceptional operational performance.

Table of Content

Clean the damaged area

Remove all dirt, debris, etc., with a brush or pressure washer. A clean surface is key for good adhesion.

Apply roofing sealant

Use a caulk gun to apply roofing cement or sealant liberally to the crack or hole, extending a few inches beyond. Smooth the sealant with a putty knife.

Reinforce with mesh (optional)

Embed fiberglass mesh into the sealant for larger cracks or holes, then apply a second layer of sealant over the mesh.

Allow the sealant to cure

Follow the manufacturer's instructions for drying and curing times, which vary by product and weather

Clean the damaged area

Make sure the surface is clean and dry before proceeding.

Cut the patch

Use a utility knife and cut your patch material (modified bitumen, EPDM, etc.) so it fully covers the damage and extends at least 6 inches beyond.

Apply adhesive

Use a roller or brush to generously apply roofing adhesive or bitumen primer to the damaged area and the backside of the patch.

Place the patch

Carefully position the patch, ensuring it's centered and doesn't have wrinkles or air bubbles. Press firmly for strong adhesion.

Seal the edges

Create a watertight seal by applying roofing sealant around the patch edges. Smooth the sealant for a seamless transition.

Allow the patch to cure

Drying times vary. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for specific info.

Clean the seam

Remove all dirt and debris from the seam and surrounding area.

Apply sealant

Generously apply roofing cement or sealant along the entire seam, ensuring it fills any cracks or gaps.

Reinforce with fabric (optional)

For added strength, embed reinforcing fabric into the sealant and cover with a second layer.

Allow the sealant to cure

Follow the manufacturer's instructions for drying and curing times.

Clean the roof

Thoroughly remove all dirt, debris, etc. A clean surface is crucial for proper adhesion.

Allow the roof to dry

Ensure the surface is completely dry before applying the coating.

Prime the surface (if needed)

Follow the coating manufacturer's instructions for any required primer.

Apply the coating

Use a roller, brush, or spray equipment to evenly apply the reflective coating, following the manufacturer's guidelines for thickness and coverage.

Allow the coating to cure

Follow the manufacturer's instructions for drying and curing times.

Obvious Leaks

Water stains on interior ceilings or walls are a surefire sign of trouble.

Pooling Water

Post-rain water accumulation signifies potential drainage issues or depressions needing attention.

Blisters or Bubbles

These unsightly bulges signal trapped moisture wreaking havoc from below. Don't ignore them!

Cracks in the roof membrane

Exposure to sun, heat, and weather naturally take a toll. Cracks in the roof membrane create easy pathways for water to infiltrate your home.

Missing or damaged flashing

Compromised flashing (the material around vents, pipes, etc.) creates an open invitation for leaks.

Poor drainage

Flat roofs are designed with a slight slope to allow for water runoff, but if the slope is insufficient or there are depressions in the roof, water can pool and lead to leaks.

Age and wear

Over time, the roofing material can deteriorate due to exposure to UV rays, extreme temperatures, and weather conditions, leading to cracks, splits, or blisters that allow water to penetrate the roof.

Flashing issues

Flashing, the material used to seal around roof penetrations like vents and chimneys, can deteriorate or come loose, creating gaps for water to enter.

Damage from debris

Flat roofs are more likely to accumulate debris, such as leaves, branches, and dirt, which can hold moisture against the roof surface and cause damage or leaks.

Foot traffic

Unlike sloped roofs, flat roofs are often used as a workspace or storage area, leading to increased foot traffic that can cause punctures or damage to the roofing material.

Seam failure

Seams, where sections of material join, are naturally vulnerable. Age, improper installation, or building movement can cause seams to fail and allow leaks.

Improper installation

Sealing, flashing, and other details must be done correctly. Otherwise, leaks are likely.

Bitumen primer and caulk

Promote adhesion and fill gaps for a watertight seal.

Roofing cement and bitumen roof sealant

Patch cracks, seal seams, and adhere materials.

Fiberglass mesh

Strengthens repairs for longer-lasting results.

Matching roofing material

For replacing damaged roof sections.

Roof repair kit

Packs essential materials for common repairs.

Utility knife

Cuts materials, opens containers, and scrapes away debris.

Paint roller or broom

Applies cement, sealant, and primer.


Smoothes and spreads patching compounds for a clean finish.

Safety gear

Gloves and glasses protect hands and eyes, respectively.


Ensure stability before roof access.

UV Protection

Reduces the damaging effects of sunlight, extending your roof's lifespan.

Improved Energy Efficiency

Reflects heat, potentially lowering your cooling costs.

Longer Roof Life

Helps prevent the deterioration that leads to leaks and other problems.

The damage is widespread

Large areas of damage are complex to fix correctly.

You're unsure of the cause

Accurate diagnosis is key to choosing the right solution.

The roof is old or complex

Older roofs or those with multiple layers can be tricky.

Safety is a concern

Roof work carries risks โ€“ don't take on more than you can safely handle.


Working on a roof can be dangerous, especially for flat roofs with limited slip resistance. Professional roofers have the necessary safety equipment and experience to work safely on roofs.


Professional roofers have the knowledge and expertise to diagnose the source of the problem and recommend the most appropriate repair solution.

Quality workmanship

Professional roofers use high-quality materials and proper techniques to ensure a long-lasting repair.


Professional roofers typically offer warranties on their work, which can provide peace of mind for homeowners.


If your roof is nearing or exceeding its expected lifespan, a replacement would likely be the best solution.

Frequent significant roof leaks

Persistent leaks across the roof, even after repairs, signal widespread deterioration.

Ponding water

If water pools extensively, despite repair efforts, it may indicate structural issues that require replacement rather than a patch.

Extensive damage

Major storm damage, severe hail, or widespread sun damage means it's probably time for a fresh start.

Many patches

A roof covered in numerous patches is a sign that the membrane is compromised and likely needs replacement.

Inspect regularly

Schedule professional inspections annually to catch small issues early.

Debris removal

Keep the roof clear of leaves, branches, and other debris.

Proper drainage

Ensure nothing impedes water flow and that drains are always clear.

Roof coating

A reflective coating can extend a roof's lifespan and enhance protection.

Avoid wet roof walking

Minimize roof traffic, especially when wet, to avoid damage.

Flat roofs offer a sleek, modern look and maximize your building's usable space. However, they are especially vulnerable to leaks and weather-related damage. Knowing how to repair a flat roof is crucial for preventing costly water damage and keeping your building safe and sound.

This guide will help you identify the warning signs and understand the necessary repairs to keep your flat roof in top condition.

Signs You Need Flat Roof Repair

Signs You Need Flat Roof Repair

Indicators of a flat roof in need of repair include:

Understanding Flat Roof Leaks: Why They Happen

Most flat roofs are more susceptible to leaks compared to sloped roofs due to several factors:

How Much Does the Flat Roof Repair Cost?

The cost of repairing a flat roof depends largely on the extent of the damage. Here's a typical range of expenses for various repair scenarios:

Type of Repair Estimated Cost Range
Minor repairs (small cracks, leaks) $100 - $500
Patching larger areas $500 - $2,000+
Full roof replacement $3,000 - $10,000+

Important factors: The total cost can vary due to the size of your roof, chosen materials, labor rates in your area, and the complexity of the repair. It's always best to get multiple quotes from reputable contractors for comparison.

Flat Roof Repair: Techniques and Essential Supplies

Repair strategies vary with the damage extent and type. Whether you're a DIY enthusiast or simply want to understand the process, the right tools and materials are essential.

The right repair method depends on the type and severity of damage.

Safety First: Materials & Tools

For DIY enthusiasts or to understand professional needs, here's a basic list of repair necessities:



Flat Roof Leak Repair and Cracks Repair

Flat Roof Leak Repair and Cracks Repair

For small cracks, holes, or leaks, a simple DIY repair is often successful. Here's the process:

Patching Larger Areas

When damage is more extensive, like a puncture from fallen debris or a blister, a patch is necessary:

Repairing Leaky Seams

Seams are common spots for leaks. Here's how to fix them:

Applying a Reflective Coating

After addressing damage, consider applying a reflective coating to your flat roof for:

Here's how:

When to Call Professionals

While some minor flat roof repairs, such as patching small cracks or applying sealant around roof penetrations, can be DIY projects for handy homeowners, it's generally recommended to hire a professional roofing contractor for more extensive repairs or roof replacements.

Consider hiring a pro if:

Professional roofing services have a lot of benefits:

Our team at Built to Last Roofing has the skills and tools to tackle any flat roof problem. We'll diagnose the issue, provide repair options, or discuss replacement if that's the more sensible long-term solution.

When to Consider a Flat Roof Replacement

When to Consider a Flat Roof Replacement

Even with good care, flat roofs don't last as long as sloped shingle roofs. In some cases, repairs might not be enough, and an entire roof replacement might be necessary.

Here are signs your flat roof is beyond repair and needs whole roof replacement:

Tips for Successful Flat Roof Maintenance

Proactive care is the best way to prevent costly problems with your flat roof! Here's what to prioritize:

By following these tips, you can help keep your flat roof in good condition and avoid costly repairs down the road.

Protect Your Property with Professional Flat Roof Repair

Knowing how to repair a flat roof is an essential skill for any property owner with this type of roofing system. By understanding the common problems, safety considerations, and repair techniques outlined in this guide, you can tackle minor leaks and damage with confidence.

However, for more extensive issues or complex repairs, don't hesitate to call the pros at Built to Last Roofing. With regular maintenance and prompt repairs, you can keep your flat roof in excellent condition and protect your building from costly water damage.

Don't let a damaged flat roof put your property at risk! Take action today and schedule a consultation with Built to Last Roofing. We'll help you protect your investment and maximize the lifespan of your flat roof.

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What are the different types of flat roof materials?

Several materials are used for flat roofs, including:

  • Built-Up Roof (BUR): This traditional flat roof system consists of alternating layers of bitumen (asphalt) and reinforcing fabric, often topped with gravel or a reflective coating.
  • Modified Bitumen: Similar to BUR, modified bitumen roofs use a single layer of asphalt-based material, reinforced with a fiber mat and topped with a mineral surface or reflective coating.
  • Rubber Membrane (EPDM): These roofs use a durable, flexible sheet of synthetic rubber that's adhered to the roof deck and sealed at the seams.
  • โ€TPO and PVC: These single-ply membranes are made from thermoplastic materials and are known for their durability and energy efficiency.

What are the benefits of flat roofs?

Also known as low-slope roofs, flat roofs are a popular choice for both commercial buildings and some homes. They offer several benefits:

  • Cost-effective construction: Flat roofs are generally less expensive to install than pitched roofs.
  • Usable space: Maximize your property! Flat roofs can be transformed into rooftop decks, relaxing patios, or even gardens.
  • โ€Easier maintenance: Their flat design often means easier access for inspections and repairs. This can also translate to lower long-term maintenance costs.

How long does it take to repair a flat roof?

The time needed depends on the extent of the damage. Minor fixes might be completed within a few hours, while major repairs or partial replacement could take a day or more.

Can I repair my flat roof myself?

Smaller repairs could be DIY-friendly if you are comfortable working on roofs and have the necessary tools. However, for complex repairs and replacement, it's always best to work with a professional roofing contractor.

How often should I get my flat roof inspected?

Don't wait for leaks to spring up! To maximize your roof's lifespan and prevent costly surprises, schedule professional inspections at least once a year. Ideally, twice-yearly inspections (in spring and fall) provide the best protection.

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