If you have a flat roof on the top of your commercial business building that is currently covered with a traditional type of material, then you should know that these materials are prone to leaks. This is especially true if asphalt shingles are placed over the roof. These shingles rely on gravity to move water away from them. Without it, water seeps in between the shingles and into the business. To prevent this sort of issue, invest in a rubber membrane roof to replace the shingle roof. To make the most of your installation, consider some of the tips outlined here.
Make Sure Circumstances Are Right For Adhesion
The adhesion of the rubber membrane to the base of the roof is essential in creating a waterproof barrier. Before you can start placing the membrane on the roof, you will need to make sure that you have a proper base. The adhesive used with the rubber membrane is a solvent-based contact adhesive that bonds the rubber to the base material underneath it. Shingles do not provide a solid base, and placing the membrane over asphalt materials, instead of removing the old shingle roof, can result in a loose membrane. Once the shingles are removed, look for a plywood substrate underneath. The rubber will adhere to this material, as well as metal and concrete.
Once the area contains the correct substrate base, you will need to clean it thoroughly so the solvent adhesive sticks. Dish soap and hot water scrubbed along the surface will work well. Rinse the roof and then allow the substrate to dry. Afterwards, check the forecast and continue with the project only if it calls for several days of dry weather. You will need one day to apply the adhesive to the base of the roof, and the material will need about 2 full days to cure. The presence of water during the curing process can cause a loose bond and leaks to form.
Also, use a roller when you place the solvent across the roof base, making sure that the adhesive is placed in a thick layer. Allow the adhesive to become tacky by letting the solvent evaporate for a few minutes. Afterwards, place the rubber sheets over the material and smooth them down.
Fill In Dips
Once your membranes are placed on the flat roof, the structure will angle a small amount to allow water to drain. There are several different types of drains that may already be installed on the roof. A central drain and roof that gently angles into the middle of the structure may be possible. A roof that angles down to the sides of the roof and allows gutters to handle water, and one that forces water to flow to the front of the roof are also possibilities. Figure out which type of drainage system your commercial roof has. Afterwards, use a hose to squirt a generous amount of water across the entire roof. Allow the water to drain and look for any puddles along the roof about 30 to 60 minutes later.
If you see a puddle, this will be a dip in the roof that must be filled in. Otherwise, water and ice can gather there. This will place pressure on the roof and lead to holes and leaks. To reduce this problem, you can fill in the hole with self-leveling roofing adhesive, epoxy, or flexible mortar patch material. All of these products can be purchased at your local home store. Use a trowel to place the compound in the dip. Allow the material to automatically settle into the opening. As you work, use a level over the area and stop adding the filling material when the dip is level with the surrounding roof area.
If you'd rather leave this work to the professionals, contact a local commercial roofing company in your area. They should be experienced in laying rubber membranes on flat roofs.