How to Fix a Hole on a Flat Asphalt Roof
If you have a commercial building with a flat asphalt roof, you might end up with a hole at some point. This could be caused by deterioration of the asphalt material, a crack due to extreme weather conditions, or a hole caused by old shingles lifting from their position. Here are some tips for locating and fixing the hole.
Gather the Materials
The first step to any roofing project is to gather your materials. If you have done DIY roofing repairs before, you probably have many of these items already. Others can be picked up at your local hardware store. To repair a hole in a flat asphalt roof, you will need:
1. Caulk gun
2. Dust brush
3. Utility knife
4. Pry bar
6. Roof cement
8. Reinforcing fabric
9. Asphalt primer
Also make sure you have the right gear, including non-slip shoes and a ladder that reaches the top of the roof. You should be able to walk off the top of the ladder onto the roof, as opposed to having to climb up.
Get the Roof Ready
After gathering the necessary tools, you will need to find the holes if you haven't done this already. If you have a leak inside your home, it should be relatively easy to locate the holes. Make sure when investigating your asphalt roof, you look for worn or cracked asphalt, not just the main hole that was giving you the problem. These other cracks have the potential to get worse and should be repaired along with the main holes that were causing the leak.
When you have located all of the holes you want to repair, clean those problem areas. This will help the patch to stick better to the asphalt surface. If you are trying to repair a hole on an asphalt roof that has gravel on top of it, you might need to scrape some of that off to get a smooth surface. Your pry bar will help you remove the gravel from the surface. Just be careful not to cause any more damage to the roof. The asphalt should be swept thoroughly, then cleaned with warm water and mild dish soap. Rinse it well and wait for it to dry before continuing.
Add the Primer
Your next step is to add the primer to the roof surface. This will act as a glue for the fabric patch you will be using for the holes. You can use a paintbrush or paint roller, depending on your preference and the size of area you need to add primer to. Apply the primer liberally to the area being patched, working quickly so it doesn't dry. If you are repairing multiple areas, it is best to do just one at a time so they don't dry before adding your fabric. Cut two pieces of fabric to fit over the hole, with one being slightly larger than the other.
Finish Fixing the Hole
With the primer still wet, apply the asphalt cement to the area that needs repairs. Place the smaller fabric piece directly on top of the cement, allowing it to cover the hole. Get out your trowel and use it to push this fabric into the cement. Now add more cement to the area, and use the larger fabric piece. Apply the asphalt mastic on top of this to complete the patch. Repeat this process with any other holes.Tech Corp LLC
handles commercial roofing for clients in the Ohio Tri State area. Thomas Joseph is President and has been involved with roofing for over 30 years.