How to Waterproof a Roof - Tips to Keep Your Home in Top Shape

How to Waterproof a Roof - Tips to Keep Your Home in Top Shape
The process of waterproofing a roof starts with preparing the surface for application. It helps improve how the liquid membrane works to keep the water out.


Do you suffer from a leaky roof? Have you noticed wet patches on your ceiling and walls everytime there is a heavy downpour? If you’ve answered yes to both those questions, it’s time to think of a fix.

A leaky roof can be severely damaging. To start with, the stains are plain ugly. It causes the plaster to peel off, impacting the surface of the walls. It can damage structural elements especially frames, rafters and joints. For homes with ceiling-mounted lights, the mix of water and electricity is a disaster waiting to happen. And if that wasn’t enough, mold and mildew growth takes a toll on the health of the occupants too.

It is for these primary reasons that a leaky roof needs to be fixed. Replacing the entire roof might cost you an arm and a leg. Waterproofing your roof is a more practical and affordable option.

How to waterproof your roof?

The process of waterproofing a roof starts with preparing the surface for application. It helps improve how the liquid membrane works to keep the water out.

The first step is to clean the substrate. Dirt, dust and gunk will keep the membrane from adhering well. Hence, a thorough cleaning in the form of pressure washing will help get rid of all dirt or break down any previous coatings. It will also reveal the areas that need to be treated. Most experts follow this with a primer application. The primer evens out the surface and improves the adhesiveness of the membrane. The primer must only be applied to a completely dry surface.

The next step is to carefully examine the surfaces that need to be treated. Leakages could be caused by water collection in select areas of the roof due to poor drainage.

Check the gutters for positioning. Gutters direct the water away from the roof and thus help with hassle-free disposal. A wrong position could actually cause the water to flow backwards. They could also get clogged with leaves or other debri causing the water to pool and drip internally instead of draining. Use a leaf guard over vents to prevent the same.

Replace a broken or damaged roof shingle as a small crack is enough to let the water seep in. Inspect roof flashing fitted around chimneys and vents. Their primary function is to ensure that water does not accumulate around the hips.

The most important step in how to waterproof a roof is that of choosing the right material. Roofs could be made of bitumen, asphalt or tiled surfaces. There are several factors to consider. The waterproofing agent should be suited to the existing roof material else the natures of both the materials might clash and could aggravate the leak. Do compare the properties and prices of different waterproofing agents before you settle for one.

Waterproofing a roof presents you with several options. One can use rubber membranes and sealants or simply repair the leaky patch. Hence a thorough inspection is a must. It depends on how severe the leak is or the results you are targeting. Sealants are a quick and easy solution for a roof leak. Liquid rubber is ideal for larger projects and is known for its flexibility and durability. They create a thick coating over the surface that spreads out well over time without cracking or blistering.

Given that it will be exposed to the natural elements, the waterproofing agent should be able to withstand the sun, the rain and other inclement weather conditions. The agent should be resistant to UV ray damage. While it should not allow any water to penetrate, it should be breathable and not trap any moisture within. Consider the flexibility and elongation percentage as it determines how well the waterproofing agent withstands wear and tear.

Finally, you can proceed to applying the waterproofing agent to your roof. It acts as a protective layer and does not allow the water to penetrate. Depending on the roof structure, experts may first apply a roofing base sheet before the underlayment. The water-resistant material used to weatherproof a flat roof is different from that for a sloping roof. Consult an expert if you are unaware of the same.

When speaking of how to waterproof your roof, you also need to consider the best time to do so. We recommend completing repairs in summer or when the temperatures are high. Moisture and low temperatures negatively impact how well the liquid membrane settles. However, the best time to check a leak is immediately after a downpour that occasioned a leak.

If you don’t know how to waterproof a roof, do not hesitate to call in a professional. They will ensure you get the job done safely and in the best manner possible.

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