Our roof shields us from the elements, including rain, sun, snow, and wind. Roofs can be flat, sloped, vaulted, domed, or various other shapes, depending on your house design.
You can expect a new roof to last up to 25 years. However, after around 15 years, you may notice condensation on your ceiling or even dripping water from your roof. This may be caused by inadequate drainage systems, which is a cause for concern during heavy rainfall.
Repairing a leaking flat roof can be extremely expensive and time-consuming, especially if it is not fixed right away. So it’s better to address the problem immediately to avoid further damage.
How To Stop A Flat Roof From Leaking During Heavy Rain
Flat roofs have a higher risk of leaks in comparison to pitched roofs because of the non-sloping design. A steeper slope causes water to flow more quickly. Flat roofs tend to collect water and don’t drain water as well, increasing the chance of a leaking roof.
In addition, special care must be taken to ensure that pipes and flashing are properly sealed. If your flat roof is made of a single-ply membrane instead of multi-ply membranes, then this can increase the chances of a leak. Water can seep into the insulation through a damaged membrane, leading to more significant breaches.
Here are some ways to keep your flat roof from leaking during heavy rain:
1. Ensure that the roof is clean
Maintaining the cleanliness of your roof can go a long way in preventing roof leaks. Leaks can occur if debris accumulates on a flat roof for a lengthy period. In addition, it has the potential to keep water from draining from your roof if it is left. Therefore, it is important that you always keep your flat roof clean and avoid flushing debris down the drain
2. Sealing the joints is essential
Cracks and gaps, as well as places where surfaces connect with aluminium flashing and chalk, may allow rainwater into your home. Leaks coming from these areas are easier to spot and fix since they are more visible.
You can seal these areas, such as chimneys and roof joints, with roof sealant or cement to keep out the water. However, before applying the sealant, make sure the area is dry and debris-free.
3. Installing flashing is a must
Knowing what equipment to use will save you money down the road when you need to replace your roof. When dealing with significant cracks in your roof, you should consider installing new flashing. Your flat roof can be protected from leaks by installing flashing around chimneys and vents. Install flashing around the edge of the roof, making sure that it bends over the edge.
4. Examine the drainage system
You may also want to check for clogs in the drainage system, as blockage can prevent water from draining from your roof thoroughly. Knock on the metal drain pipes with your knuckles and listen to what happens. If the tube makes a dull sound, this indicates that debris is lodged inside. This debris can increase the likelihood of water pooling in your roof, causing water to sip into the waterproof membrane of your flat roof. Make sure to remove these clogs regularly.
5. Use a Tar or a Membrane
A rubber membrane is commonly used to cover the shingles on a flat roof, replacing the gravel that would typically be present. An old, rotting roof can be saved by using this procedure.
Roof tar can also be used to seal a leak coming from the ceiling. Roofing tar can function better when it is supported by materials, such as a shingle or a piece of plywood. You can apply roofing tar to the area where the leak occurs, and then push the shingle or plywood against the leak to keep the area dry.
Is It Normal For a Roof To Leak In Heavy Rain?
During extreme weather conditions, small volumes of water are expected. However, heavy rains and strong gusts can cause water penetration and roof leaks, even if your roof has been recently installed. This is because seams will be the most sensitive to water logging, and is where leaks commonly occur.
Can a Roof Leak Be Repaired In The Rain?
A leaky roof can be repaired while it’s raining, but that’s only a temporary fix. It’s better to repair a roof when the rain ceases. Repairing a leaky roof can be difficult because many homeowners are unaware they have a leaky roof until it is too late.
The damage might have happened a few months before the first big leak, however the issue may not become apparent until the second or third major rainstorm. As soon as the leak is discovered, homeowners must hire a professional to fix the leak immediately to prevent further damage to their property from occurring.
Here are several short-term fixes that may keep your belongings safe until you can get in touch with a professional for a long-term fix.
Roofing Cement or Tar Paper
Roofing cement can be found in many hardware stores. If your roof is dripping, you can fix it with tar paper and plastic roofing cement. Spread the tar paper over the damaged area of your roof with a caulk gun or putty knife. As an additional layer of protection for your roof, you may also add some roofing felt on top. Just remember that roof cement is simply a short-term repair and that a permanent roof repair is required in the future.
Patching With a Roof Tape
If you detect where the roof leak is coming from in your ceiling, you may tape the area using roofing tape to stop it from leaking further. However, this will not work if you do not have direct access to your roof from the inside. For example, if you don’t have an attic if it is still raining heavily, the adhesive capabilities of the tape may begin to wear away.
Plugging is an alternative to patching a roof. This involves pouring water and a powder identical to roofing cement into the top of your roof leak where the damage is, and the leak will be stopped immediately. The mixture will then solidify, preventing any further water from entering. However, it will not function for an extended period. Eventually, you’ll have to go through the process again until a professional roofer can come out and address the problem.
How Much Does It Cost to Fix a Roof Leak?
A few hundred pounds may cover simple patch repairs for flat roofs. However, a complete flat roof replacement can be more costly. For instance, high-end materials like contemporary GRP costs up to £90 per square meter, while basic felt alternatives may only cost £50 per square meter.
In addition, labor costs may range from £150 to £250 per day. For example, if you plan to replace a flat roof on a standard garage, the cost will be from £1,200 or higher, in labor, depending on the size.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Roof Leaks From Rain?
Your insurance would cover the cost of repairing or replacing your roof in the event of a fire, storm, if your property or personal belongings are damaged.
However, homeowner’s insurance does not cover roof leaks caused by normal wear and tear. The likelihood of a leaky roof increases with age, but this isn’t something that insurance will cover. As a rule of thumb, most insurance companies will deny a claim for a leaky roof caused by mildew, damp rot, and rodents or birds, or damp rot.
How Manchester Roofers Can Help
If you suspect a leak in your roof, get in touch with our team at Manchester Roofers as soon as possible. We have a wealth of experience dealing with flat roofs and carrying out roof repairs, so you can sit back and feel confident once we are on the job.