Finding leaks on tar and gravel roofs is not an exact science. But once you have found them what is the next step? In most cases it is raining out or the roof is wet so you can’t put down a permanent patch. That means you have to put something onto the split or roof hole that will stop the leak and works on wet surfaces. The two most common tricks of the trade are either using a Portland cement or a Bentonite clay mixture. I choose the clay. Here’s why. They both stop the leak initially. But the cement forms and solidifies into a clump that does not change shape. So once it’s formed it stays that way. The problem being is that when it completely dries it releases it’s grip in the roof and becomes separate. Thus the leak or roof deficiency is now open again and prone to further leakage… Except it’s got a clump of cement over top of it! The clay works differently. It too does dry and somewhat release it’s grip on the roof over time but it reactivates with the next rain and turns back into the thick slurry that stopped the leak the first time. Essentially it is reusable on the same leak. But to be completely honest… you need to get that roof leak upgraded to a permanent patch as soon as possible. Don’t leave the temp patch on too long and test it’s performance abilities. We dropped some clay on a roof leak in Richmond and also in Burnaby today. This is what it looked like.
You know you have a roofing issue when the roof has “caved-in”. That’s what I saw today in Vancouver. Now this just didn’t happen over night either. This has been progressing for a couple years. There has to have been some clues about what was going on overhead. When not heeded, the costs can mount.
Preventative maintenance might have nipped this in the bud.
It is what it is. Now the gutter and drains are the most critical areas of the roof because that’s where all the water goes. Our new torch on membrane systems recognize this requirement and spec additional layers of membrane along the gutter edges. It only makes sense. My sense is that this home owner will have that soon enough.
Finding a leak on a tar and gravel roof is usually not too difficult for an experienced roofer like myself. Most times it’s easily found but once in a while it can be tricky for even a seasoned veteran. Persistence is the key. However, difficult was not the case today in Ladner. After sweeping the roof area near the drip location and using our secret tool to find the splits ( I can’t publicly tell you the secret or others roofers might start to use it and gain a bit on our success rate and thus gain on our market advantage too) we found more than we bargained for. The splits kept coming and coming the more we expanded our search area. How was this roof not leaking more than what showed up inside? The answer had to be in the vaulted ceiling and it’s ability to shed the leak water away from the inquisitive home owner’s vision. The photo attached shows the proper way to prep a roof before application of the patch. Yes. Those were some major splits.