Rubber Roof Repair Guide

What You'll Need
Silicone hand-roller
Plumbers probe
Ethanol/rubbing alcohol
Roofing, urethane-based sealant
Roofing seam tape
Roofing material substitute
Utility knife
Warm water
Rubber cement

Rubber roofing is a durable roof-coating option and rubber roof repairs are seldom needed. However, with aging and constant exposure to weather extremes, some maintenance-based issues may arise. Usually, rubber roofs present two repairing issues — roof leakage and roof cracking. Leakage in the roof may not be directly caused due to decreased durability or aging of the roofing material. Many underlying causes, such as stress-induced shifting of the roofing sub-layer, can induce seasonal leakages. Leaking is commonly found around the seams of the roofs. Sometimes, due to sustained moisture seepage, the cracked seam might break-off, creating a hole in the roof. This is very uncommon in rubber roofs since the rubber coating usually doesn't come-off, even after decades of aging. However, both the problems can be easily resolved. You don’t need to employ professional services to execute such repairs. They can be easily done, using some commonly available supplies, household tools and knowledge about roof-repair techniques.

Preparing the Surface

Ensure that the leaking seam and the surrounding area are thoroughly cleaned. Remove the debris and lose concrete bits using a broom or a mop. Use a plumber’s probe to ensure that the surrounding seams don’t have any moisture seepage. Scrape-away all traces of adhesives or roof coating deposits. Ideally, you should dab the leaking area with some warm water. This helps to stabilize movable concrete bits. Rub some ethanol around the cracked rubber seams. This is a great way to neutralize the stickiness induced by roof coating adhesives. When the water has been completely absorbed, break-off the cracked seam.

Tending Roof Leakages

Take out the rubber sealant from its packaging. The sealant is usually in a thick, fluid form. Don’t dilute it. Apply the sealant with a paintbrush. Ensure that you coat the internal parts of the leaking seam. Use a paint roller for uniformly spreading the sealant. Press down upon the sealant to ensure that it enters the minute crevices around the crack. Using a silicone roller, smooth the repaired seam. This rolling is needed to eliminate air bubbles that can hamper the bonding of the sealant. If you find any spacing between the repaired seam and its adjoining surfaces, bind them with a seam tape. Ideally, the seam tape should overlap cover the sealant to make it more durable. If there any protruding traces of the sealant or the tape, cut them with a utility knife.

Tending Roof Holes

If the cracked roof seam has taken the form of a cavity, it cannot be repaired by patching it with an adhesive or a sealant. It needs to be covered with new roofing material. Roofing substitutes are available at select hardware stores. You need to cutout a piece from the roofing replacement material that comprehensively covers the hole. A utility knife is best suited for this purpose. Secure the sliced roofing material upon the roofing hole with rubber cement. Allow this to dry for a day. Apply some caulk around the repaired patch to ensure that the crack is completely covered.