Although most homes have pitched roofs, some have flat structures covered by a simple built-up roof of BUR system. Although durable, the time may come when there are problems and you need roofing repair by experienced roofer services. Fortunately for some of the common and minor issues that affect flat systems, you may be able to provide your own basic repair.
The Anatomy of a BUR (Built-Up Roof)
The built-up tar and gravel systems used on many homes and buildings with flat roofs are easy to install and even easier to maintain. These structures begin with the same decking as any other installation. On top of the decking, roofer services install multiple layers of asphalt felt, each one being adhered using hot tar.
The felt layers are then coated with more tar onto which a layer of finely crushed gravel is applied. Combined, these layers make a water-resistant covering over the top of the building that is durable, withstands most weather conditions, and generally requires little in the way of roofing repair.
Fixing Two Common BUR Problems
Like any installation, BUR systems can begin to experience problems with aging. The most common things requiring roof repair are leaks and blisters. Following is some information regarding both issues:
- Leaking - It is not uncommon for a BUR system to develop leaks in a few key places, such as on the edges of the roof, near chimneys, and around the flashing that protects surface protrusions. Leaks can also develop anywhere the system has blistered or the protective gravel layer has blown off leaving the felt exposed. Simple leaks can be corrected by adding edge flashing and replacing or resealing damaged or missing flashing around vents and protrusions. Adding more tar and gravel to exposed areas can prevent them from leaking and causing widespread damage underneath the layers.
- Blistering - Blisters are areas on the top of the building where the layers separate and rise into the air or become water-filled pockets. They are caused by heat expansion and their presence suggests there is moisture under the layers of materials. Repair for smaller blisters is easy. Just clear off any loose gravel, cut the blister open, then patch the area to make it watertight again. If moisture is under the blister, the source of water must be located and repaired before a patch is applied.
When Is It Time Say You Need Help?
Small leaks and blisters are easy roof repair projects as long as you can determine the cause and fix it still minor issues. If you can't find where a BUR system is leaking, if there is widespread blistering, or whenever there is a lot of water within or under the blisters, it is time to call professional roofer services. These signs suggest it could be more than just a simple leak. There may also be more damage under the roofing layers than it appears to be.
As with any type of roofing, the key to preventing leaks and other damage that requires roof repair is frequent inspections and required maintenance. If a structure develops a minor leak or smaller blister, chances are you can handle the roofing repair yourself. Anything more substantial may require the attention of professional flat roofer services. They will diagnose the problem and get your roof back into proper shape!