It’s Raining it’s Pouring and the Roof is Leaking… now what?

Willie from Sunridge Build It joined us in studio last week to give us useful advice on how to fix that leaking roof.

Step 1: Find The Leak

The easiest way to find the leak is to go up in to the roof while it is raining. Then you can be sure of where the water is coming in. Sometimes the puddle you see can be up to 5 metres from the leak in the roof.

You can also get in the roof when the sun is shining to see the light through the openings when you switch off your light.

When it is dry and you cannot find the leak, use a bucket or a garden hose to slowly wet the roof to see there the leak is. Always work from the top of the roof to the bottom else you might wash the water up the tile and therefore get a false spot.

Your light will reflect the wet and therefore make it easier to find the right spot.

Step 2: Identify the Leak

There are different reasons for a roof leaking and all of them have different ways of being fixed.

  • Cracked Tile
    Hairline cracks are sometimes so thin it is very hard to find.
    Getting in the ceiling to see the light and or drops of water is a lot easier.
  • Gradient of the Roof to Flat
    Tile roofs minimum is 15 degrees and flat roofs with sheeting on is 5 degrees. Wind can blow the water up the tiles when not at the right gradient and the overlap of the sheeting can leak when it rains hard and the water can’t clear fast.
  • Parapet walls and chimneys often leak where the flashing is not properly secured against the wall and onto the roof tiles or sheeting.
  • Objects like vent pipes going through the roof can cause leaks
  • Loose/cracked Ridging Tiles can cause leaks.

Step 3:  Repairs

You need dry weather to apply most of the materials to fix the leaks. Ensure no rain is imminent when work is commenced. All your hard work might wash away as most of these products are water based and needs to be dry before it rains.

  • Cracked Tiles need to be replaced, repaired or you can put waterproofing over it. Good epoxy glues are available to glue broken tiles if new once are not available.
  • Roof gradient to flat. On tiled roofs this is a major problem and professional assistance will be required, as you might have to redo the roof.
    Flat roofs with roof sheeting leaking at the overlaps can de sealed with a lap seal or waterproofing with membrane.
    Flat concrete roofs can be sealed with waterproofing and membrane. Ensure that the correct waterproofing is used if there is a chance of standing water on the concrete roof
  • Parapets can be sealed using waterproofing and membrane or you can install new PVC or metal flashings.
  • Roof ridging V-Tiles can be refitted using a mortar mix or you can also apply waterproofing and membrane.

Remember, the Build It waterproofing system is manufactured by Duram and caries an 8-year warranty if applied correctly.