Toronto Flat Roof Repair Services

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Roof leak repairs from The Roof Whisperer of Toronto

Flat Roof Repairs Starting at $499
Don’t complain about the snow on your neighbor’s roof when your own doorstep is unclean.                       Confucius

Roof Maintenance

If you are a commercial building owner or a facility manager and your structure has a flat roof, at some point you will probably encounter leaks.  Instead of a complete roof replacement, simply repairing the roof is a good solution.  

Flat roof repair, sometimes called low slope roof repair, can range from a simple fix to a complete reconstruction.  First steps include locating the source of the leak or other problems, pulling the paperwork to see the age of the roof and any insurance coverage that may apply.

Finding the leak is usually easier with a flat roof because you can walk around relatively easily.  Realize that the source may not be the area where the water is infiltrating the ceiling or walls.  Water that penetrates the membrane can move across until I finds a seam.  This seam can be on the roof deck, around the HVAC equipment, around a skylight or solar panel, or around an electrical installation.

Commercial Flat Roof Repair Services

You also need to check for more severe damage like a dip in the surface where water will accumulate and eventually break through.  If there are underlying problems, repairs may not be feasible and it will be necessary to go down to the bare bones to fix the structural issues causing the leak.

It is always a good idea to inspect the roof after hail storms, heavy snow periods, electrical storms, high winds or other severe weather.  Spotting the damage early can mean preventing the water from penetrating the ceilings or walls and thus curbing costs from other repairs that will be necessary to the interior.  If these interior repairs are untreated, you can be facing the prospect of dealing with mold or mildew.  As this is a commercial building, it could affect the health of the employees, which could mean a slowdown, stoppage, or workers’ compensation claims.

If you do have an inside leak, measure the distance from the leak to the two nearest walls.  Using those measurements you can walk on the roof and locate the leak.  Even though it is a “flat” roof, there will be a slight slope so that the water can run down and off, so take this into consideration.  Look for rips, tears, punctures, worn areas, screws that are not securely fastened and at seams and flashings.  If  you can’t find the spot, call a professional.

The most common types of  materials for a flat roof are:

EPDM – Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer is basically a rubber made from these chemicals in the correct proportions.  It is like a tire rubber and is easy to repair.
Modified Bitumen – This is an asphalt combined with rubber and solvents.  Using heat, they are applied using a torch.  It is unlikely that this type of roof will be 100% back to original, but using coatings, it can be repaired.  Acrylic roof coatings are recommended.
BUR – Built Up Roofing is made from layers of bitumen and reinforced fabrics.  It is a tight membrane.  To fix it, lay base sheets onto the subsystem using roofing nails.  Then glue felt over the sheeting.  Finally cap sheets or gravel is installed and a layer of asphalt covers it all.
TPO – A single-ply roofing, this is polypropylene and ethylene-propylene fused together using polymers.  It usually is coated with a white membrane.  If the problem is only a puncture, you can install a patch.  It takes electricity, a hot-air welding tool, and patching materials.  It will also take a professional who knows how to use them.
PVC – Using two layers of PVC material with polyester in between, this is flexible, good against UV rays, and doesn’t tend to curl.  If you have a minor leak and are pretty handy, score the surface with a kitchen scrubber and then seal with M1 or another sealant like Eternabond.

If you are deciding whether to repair your roof or replace it, there are some things to consider:

If the damage is minor or only in a small area, it is better to fix than to replace.  A roof is designed to handle rough weather and under ordinary circumstances, it should last decades.
If you are trying to stretch a dollar, then repairs are probably the better choice.  A new roof will cost thousands of dollars and if your business is tight on cash, it would be the better choice to repair.  However, if there are numerous problems that recur, then you need to consider a short-term loan to get the building habitable.
If the roof was recently replaced, at least withing the past few years, it is possible that there was some fault in the material or workmanship.  Dig out the paperwork and ask for a warranty check.  
There are times when it would be impossible for you to shut down the shop in order to get a new roof installed.  Or because it takes time to negotiate a contract and find an installer and you just can’t afford to devote that energy.  Then repairs are certainly appropriate.  It will allow you to get through the crisis and have the new roof planned for several months or a year down the road.
Sometimes it is possible to replace only half the roof, which will save some expense.  It will depend on where the damage is and its extent.

There are benefits to repairing a roof:

You are maintaining an otherwise good roof.
Repairs can be scheduled on short notice.
You save money.

As a building owner it is inherent that you maintain a safe and code-compliant space for your employees to work or for your tenants to lease.  If you see or have reported leaks of any kind, contact a reputable roofing company.  Many will offer a free inspection.  After assembling several estimates, you can make the best decision about whether to repair your flat roof or have it completely replaced by a roofing team in Toronto.

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