Publications by New England Metal Roof

How to Repair a Flat Roof – Identifying and Stopping Flat Roof Leaks

Flat Roof Leaks

Many homeowners struggle with flat roof leaks on their low slope / flat roofs that are supposed to be protecting their homes, but instead, fail miserably and cause much aggravation to the homeowner and water damage to the house. If you are reading this flat roof repair guide, then chances are that you are one of the many homeowners suffering from flat roof leaks and you want to find a way to repair your roof. In this guide, I am going to show you how to repair EPDM rubber roof yourself.

Roofing tools and materials you will need to buy:

In order to do proper flat roof repair, you will need to do some shopping for the right roofing tools first. You will need to locate a roofing supply warehouse near you. You can grab your local yellow pages and look for Beacon Supply, Bradco, Alside, or Harvey’s Industries. When you do find a company near you, go there and buy the following materials:

  • Roofing Seams Probing tool


  • Roofing Hand Roller tool


  • Roofing Membrane Cleaner
  • EPDM rubber glue
  • EPDM peel and stick roofing tape
  • Appropriate Ladder with ladder stabilizer

– Cheaper to buy at home depot

  • Paint brush used to spread the glue
  • Bucket of warm water and clean towels

Now that you have completed your shopping for roofing supplies, it is time to get to work!

Locate and mark roof leaks

Set up your ladder securely and climb up on the roof. Get all the tools and materials you will need on the roof as well. Most of the time EPDM rubber roof leaks occur because the seams subjected to elements such as standing water, and water undergoing refreezing cycles turning it into ice, begin to come apart creating a path for roof leaks. Use the seam probing tool to identify places where roofing seams have come apart. Mark all the bad seams you find.

Fixing bad roofing seams


Use warm water and towels to clean up the area where roofing seams came apart. Then separate the seams and pull top seam away from the bottom so that you can further separate the seams by a foot in each direction.

Now use roofing cleaner to remove the old glue from inside the seams, Be sure to thoroughly clean up both top and bottom seams. Let it dry so you can apply the rubber roofing glue to repair the seams.

Use paint brush to spread the rubber roofing adhesive to both top and bottom seams. Be sure to go at least six inches deep and get the adhesive deep on the inside of the edges of the seams. Now use the roofing roller to connect the seams nicely. At this point, your seams should be properly glued together and you should let it dry for twenty four hours before testing the seams with seam probing tool. If you find that some seams are not glued to perfection, then you will have to repeat the steps until you get tightly-joined and water-tight rubber roof seams.

If you do not want to mess around with the glue and wait 24 hours for it to dry, you can use the pill-and-stick rubber roof tape by placing it in between the roof seams to adhere the top and bottom seams together. You could then use another 9 inch wide, one sided tape to go over the seams to provide an extra layer of protection.



Be sure to properly secure your ladder and safety yourself in, when working on the roof. Get a friend to help you out and be there for you in case you need to call for help.

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