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Roof defectologist: how to repair a soft coating

 Roof defectologist: how to repair a soft coating


Correctly mounted soft roof will serve for 15 years. However, her ideal condition must be constantly taken care of. After a certain period of operation, the soft coating may need emergency or current repair, and a little later - and major. To understand whether it is time to restore the roof, it will turn out only after a thorough visual inspection.

Roofing carpet diagnostics

To clearly comprehend how much work is foreseen, going to the roof and assessing the damage to the coating will help. When examining a soft roof, you need to investigate the appearance of problems such as:

  • material detachment in the area of ​​panel alignment;

    You can make sure that the soft coating is peeling off at the joints of the panels by carefully lifting the material

  • the formation of pits that are filled with water;
  • swelling of the coating in some places due to penetration of water;

    Bubbles or creases on the soft surface indicate that the material has not been able to press firmly against the substrate during installation

  • decay of the material, accompanied by the appearance of mold and mildew, which always become the result of prolonged exposure to moisture;
  • mechanical damage to the coating (cracks, abrasions, holes).

    Cracks in soft roofing are often caused by weathering.

After a critical examination of the soft roof, a decision can be made regarding the type of repair - emergency, current or major.

For emergency restoration of a soft roof, they are taken when they see that from 5 to 20% of the coverage area needs an ambulance to normalize operational characteristics. To restore the carpet to perfect condition, patches are put in places where leaks are found or may soon appear.

The patches will help to restore the soft roof if it has deteriorated by a maximum of 40%

Maintenance is necessary if 10–40% of the coverage has been damaged. It is expressed in partial replacement of roofing carpet or patching.

The overhaul of the soft pavement is a last resort. They resort to it, being sure that more than 40% of the roofing carpet is badly damaged.

Patches will not help a significantly damaged roof. With a significant destruction of the bitumen layer, deterioration of the properties of waterproofing and vapor barrier, they are struggling with a complete or at least extensive replacement of the material.

A roof with serious damage needs major repairs

Repair tools and materials

The set of tools for repairing a soft roof includes:

  • gas-burner;
  • sharp knife or special cutter;
  • spatulas;

    Spatulas of different sizes will be needed to apply mastic to the material.

  • broom;
  • work equipment (thick pants and boots, durable gloves);
  • wooden shovel (for repairs in winter);

    A wooden shovel is needed when repairing a roof in the winter.

  • roller (or hand roller).

Technoelast, bireplast and glass-elast are well suited for restoring the bottom layer of a soft coating. These materials are elastic and act as an additional barrier against the cold.

When repairing a soft roof, it is better to create the top layer of coating from uniflex, isoplast, isoelast or linocrome. With any of the listed materials, the roofing carpet will gain special strength and will last more than 10 years.

Different materials are used as the first and second layers of soft roofing

It is better to process the finishing layer of the roofing with hot bitumen-polymer mastic.

Hot mastic is prepared in a cauldron. Bitumen is used as the main ingredient. As soon as it heats up to 200 degrees, filler is slowly poured into it. The main thing is that when mixing the components, the temperature of the composition does not drop below 160 degrees, otherwise the mastic will turn out to be low-grade. The heated bitumen is poured into gasoline, after which it is thoroughly mixed with a wooden stick and immediately used.

Cold mastic is used to repair the inner layers of the roof.

A cold composition is prepared by mixing one part of the filler with two parts of bitumen heated to 180 degrees, and gasoline in the same volume. The components are connected to each other, waiting for all the water to come out of the bitumen in the form of steam. The finished mass is not used until it cools down.

To process the finishing layers of a soft roof, bituminous mastic is used, which can be bought ready-made or made on your own.

Emergency and routine repair of a soft roof

In order to qualitatively eliminate defects on a soft roofing carpet, you must act strictly according to the instructions.

How to patch holes and cracks

When the roofing carpet is torn, proceed as follows:

  1. The resulting hole or crack is filled with liquid bitumen, smearing the composition around the defect.
  2. A piece of roofing material is pressed to the mastic, which allows you to close the defect well from all sides. To do this, use a patch that is 20 cm wider and longer than the defective area.

    The dimensions of the patch should be 20 cm larger than the dimensions of the defect in the roofing on each side

  3. A piece of material and the area around it are treated with liquid bitumen, spreading it over the surface in a thin layer using a roller.

Video: what to do with holes in a soft roof

How to re-glue the split joints

Between two pieces of soft flooring, a good joint can be made again if the following measures are taken:

  1. Lift and move the loose material to the side, carefully drying the surface under it with a gas burner.
  2. Apply bitumen to the area under the defective area of ​​the roofing carpet.

    The peeling edges of the soft coating must be separated from each other, dried and re-coated with bituminous mastic.

  3. Place the raised soft roof panel in place.
  4. Coat the joint between two strips of material with bitumen.

How to fix a bump on your roof

It is preferable to deal with swelling on a soft roof like this:

  1. Make a cruciform incision at the site of the bubble.
  2. Bend the corners of the resulting envelope in 4 directions.

    Fold back the edges of the envelope, dry the defective area with a gas burner

  3. Clean the debris and dry the surface in the area of ​​the defect, and then treat with mastic.
  4. Return the folded corners of the envelope to their original position and press them to the base.

    After treating the defect with mastic, the edges of the envelope are returned to their place

  5. Cover the cruciform incision with a large patch of roofing felt or other soft material in a roll.

How to remove a rotted coating

When the soft roof decays, perform the following work:

  1. The decayed areas are cut out, capturing the area around the affected area (at least 10 cm).

    When repairing the roof, in order to avoid the spread of decay, not only the affected area is removed, but also the area around it

  2. The resulting hole is cleaned, coated with mastic and sealed with a piece of roofing material. As a patch, a piece of material is taken that fits perfectly to the dimensions of the recess in the soft roof.
  3. A thin layer of mastic is applied to the repaired area and another patch is glued. Only this time a piece of roofing material is used, which will cover not only the area for removing damaged material, but also the area around it (15 cm on each side).

What to do if the material is peeling

If the soft coating lags behind the base, which usually occurs due to insufficient heating of the lower layer of the roof or laying the material on a dirty surface, then proceed as follows:

  1. The peeled-off cloth is lifted as far as possible, after which the debris is swept out from under it and the opened place is thoroughly dried.

    The more it is possible to raise the roofing, the better, because the surface under it will be able to dry thoroughly

  2. The opened area of ​​the base is coated with mastic, to which the strip of soft material moved aside is then pressed.
  3. On top of the canvas, for better adhesion of the roofing carpet to the base, a strip of material with a width of 15 to 22 cm is glued.

    Where the material left the base, an additional piece of soft coating is glued

Major overhaul

Roofing carpet overhaul measures are determined by the type of material to be used.

Overhaul with laying roofing material

Using the complete restoration of the soft roof with roofing material, do the following:

  1. The worn-out coating is completely removed. The surface under it is cleaned and carefully inspected. Pits and irregularities in the cement screed are removed with mortar. If necessary, the entire roof area is covered with a layer of cement, but before that it is covered with gravel or foam to provide insulation from cold and moisture.
  2. After a few hours, a thin layer of mastic is applied to the cement screed (new or repaired). When the cement-sand mixture hardens, a soft coating is rolled out on the roof. Within a day, it should take the necessary shape, get rid of folds and waves.

    The mastic is spread over the cement screed of the roof, creating a thin layer

  3. Roofing material is cut into strips, the length of which will allow you to close the roof in width from one edge to the other. The first piece of material is placed at the lower edge of the roof. The next strip of roofing material is glued to the surface so that it overlaps 10-15 cm of the edge of the previously laid sheet. For a reliable connection of the strips of material, bitumen mastic is applied to their edges.

    Roofing material is glued to the base of the roof, after cutting it into strips

  4. The installed coating is checked for blisters. Any bubbles detected are punctured by squeezing out air and pressing the material to the base. Areas of elimination of blisters are treated with mastic.
  5. After 12 hours, the second layer is laid on the first layer of the soft roof. New pieces of roll material are mounted so that they overlap the seams of the initial layer of roofing. According to this scheme, two to five layers of material are created on the roof.

The author of the article strongly recommends laying roofing material in four hands. One person should be charged with the responsibility to operate the burner on the inside of the material, and the other should be required to roll out and press the panels to the base. Alone, it is bad to simultaneously perform two complex actions. In this situation, there is a great risk of moving off the straight line.

Video: overhaul of a soft roof with roofing felt

Overhaul using bikrost

If it is necessary to completely replace the soft roofing with bikrost, they act in the same way as when laying roofing material. The only difference: no mastic is used during work - due to the special composition, the bikrost, heated by a gas burner, sticks on its own.

Bikrost is glued to the base of the roof without the use of mastic

To properly cover the roof with bikrost, you need to know the following:

  • the material is laid on the roof from the bottom up;
  • the roll is rolled out, carefully heating and paying special attention to the corners and edges of the panel;
  • strips of material are glued to the base quickly, while making overlaps of 7–8 cm;
  • a soft bikrost roof is created in 2 layers.

Overhaul with corrugated board

The restoration of the roof with profiled sheets is carried out in stages:

  1. The soft coating is cleaned and dried, the damaged areas are cut out, laying roofing material in the formed pits.
  2. On the roof, lathing beams and counter-battens are laid out. For fastening, use a screwdriver and self-tapping screws. The result is a lattice with cells 45–60 cm wide and long.

    Having made a crate on a roofing felt or other soft covering, you can use corrugated board as a finishing material

  3. Holes for fasteners are pre-drilled in the corrugated board. After that, the material is fixed on a wooden lattice. At the same time, it is taken into account that there should be 7-8 self-tapping screws per 1 m² of profiled sheet.

Features of repairing a soft roof in winter

Trying to do anything with a soft roof during the cold season is almost a crime. You should not refuse to repair the roofing carpet in winter only if there are serious reasons for this.

For emergency repair of a soft roof, regardless of the air temperature, they undertake when the roof began to leak heavily, being damaged by a heavy object falling on it. The reason for the urgent restoration of the roofing carpet can also be the deflection of the coating as a result of the pressure of a large layer of snow or the formation of leaks due to thaw.

When repairing a soft roof in winter, you must be guided by the following rules:

  • restoration work should be carried out on a well-cleaned roof;
  • removal of snow and ice is carried out only with a wooden or plastic shovel and a scraper with a rubberized surface;
  • the material for creating patches should be taken out in the cold immediately before use;
  • you can not use a coating that breaks in frost;
  • additional lighting is a mandatory measure.

    Before repairs in winter, the roof is cleaned of snow with a wooden or plastic shovel

Video: repair of a soft roof in winter

Preventive measures and features of operation

To insure a soft roof against deformation and other damage, the following measures must be taken:

  • regular inspection of the coating (2-3 times a quarter), which will allow detecting defects before they develop into a big problem;
  • repair at least 2 times a year, since the rare elimination of damage is unlikely to be easy;
  • timely cleaning of snow and ice, because the accumulation of snow mass on the surface contributes to the formation of serious defects.

    Soft roofs need frequent thorough inspections

Caring for a soft roof in winter is very specific, since it involves performing tasks such as:

  • removing snow until a 5 cm layer remains on the surface of the coating, which will serve as additional protection against the negative effects of weather;
  • using only a wooden or plastic shovel for cleaning, which is incapable of scratching soft material, unlike a metal tool.

In the summer, the requirements for the operation of a soft roof are greatly simplified. In order to preserve the original appearance of the coating, it is enough to do only two things:

  • periodically remove debris using a brush or a brush with soft bristles, otherwise cracks will appear on the material;
  • wash the roof once every 2 months and wipe it dry with a rag.

If you do not be late for repairs and adhere to the requirements of operation, the soft roof will last no less than the manufacturer indicated. In this matter, it is important to make it a rule that the roll coating should be inspected as often as possible.


Do-it-yourself soft roof repair technology

Soft roofs are widely used in the construction of houses, baths and many other structures, so repairing a soft roof is an urgent issue.

Soft roofs are made on the basis of bitumen and fiberglass.

This type of roofing has a number of advantages: ease of installation, excellent heat and waterproofing.

Do-it-yourself repair of a soft roof is easy to do.

But in order to make a high-quality repair of the soft roof of a garage or house, you need to have some knowledge about the materials used and know the repair technology.


What is bituminous mastic

The simplest bituminous roofing mastic can be made with your own hands.To do this, you need to mix the heated bitumen resin with used engine oil, a fatty organic solvent, for example, a solvent, and a filler: chalk or organic fiber. This must be done carefully, since mixing a boiling resin mass and a solvent is a rather dangerous procedure.

Industrial bitumen-latex roofing mastic includes various modifiers that significantly change the physical properties of this building material. In particular, to increase the plasticity, rubber is introduced into the mastic. And to increase adhesion and frost resistance - thick inorganic oils. The filler serves to save the main components, and in some cases - to increase the strength and reduce the brittleness after solidification.

The composition of the roof mastic is one-component and two-component.

  • One-component mastics are immediately ready for use. But, after opening the sealed package, you will have to use all its contents, since this material quickly thickens and dries.
  • The two-component polymer mastic has a very high storage juice. Its components can be stored separately for up to 12 months. Gradual hardening begins only after mixing the parts in the right proportions.


Roofs are covered with a variety of roofing materials. As it is not difficult to guess, the rules for their installation are very different. This also applies to the implementation of repair and restoration work. The season also dictates its own conditions, which must be taken into account.

Thus, the repair of the garage roof in winter should be carried out taking into account the following nuances:

  • first, you should take care of your safety. It is very easy to fall from an icy roof, so a safety belt should be used
  • secondly, all materials used must be free of snow and ice. If possible, they should be stored indoors at room temperature.
  • thirdly, it is not recommended to carry out repair work when it snows. It should not fall under the roof, even in a minimal amount. You should try to carry out repair and restoration work in calm weather. It's safer and more convenient this way. For example, sheets of slate or metal shingles have good wind resistance and will be difficult to put in their intended place. In addition, if one element of the roof is removed in windy weather, others can be torn off by a strong gust.

The rules listed above are relevant for all types of roofs, but special attention should be paid to a soft roof, which is highly undesirable to repair in winter. It should be discussed in more detail.

Repair of soft-roofed roofs in winter according to building codes

Building codes and regulations regarding the repair of soft roofs were developed back in the seventies of the last century. According to them, repairing a soft roof in winter is unacceptable. This is due to the fact that a full-fledged repair can be performed only after the complete dismantling of the site that has become unusable and its drying out. Only after completing these measures can a new roof be laid, which is guaranteed to last a long time, and will not become unusable in a short time.

At the time of the adoption of the above rules, the advanced technologies available to builders have not yet been introduced. This also applies to building materials with tools that are available to modern craftsmen. In this regard, carrying out such work was deemed inappropriate.

From the foregoing, it becomes clear that it is unlikely that it will be possible to qualitatively repair a soft-roofed roof in winter. In this regard, it is worth refraining from carrying out repair and restoration work until spring. As a last resort, you can repair the roof of the garage, but not the apartment building.

What to do if repairs are needed?

If water is pouring from the ceiling and there are puddles in the house, then in any case you will have to take measures and carry out repairs. Its quality will not meet the required, but at least the roof will stop leaking.

It is worth noting that repairing the roof of a garage in winter is much easier than restoring the roof of a house. This is due to its small area and the ability to complete the work in one day, which will avoid possible flooding.

Since the adoption of SNiP, technologies have stepped forward a lot, in this regard, homeowners have the opportunity to repair a soft roof in winter by inviting specialists in this area. They will be able to patch up a leaky roof without removing the old coating.

As a rule, not all construction and installation companies specializing in roofing work are ready to give a long-term guarantee for repairs carried out in the winter. Honest builders warn house owners in advance that the work done will only allow them to spend the winter without fear of flooding.

Repair in winter can be performed if the thermometer does not drop below -15 degrees. Otherwise, the roofing material will not fit properly. It should be borne in mind that the repair of a soft roof in the winter is carried out using expensive rolled PVC membranes. Therefore, the work will cost a pretty penny.

PVC membranes are used because the use of mastic in winter is impractical. It simply does not dry out, even if you dry it with a construction hairdryer.

As mentioned above, all materials needed to repair the roof must be stored in a room with a positive temperature. Roll membrane materials are no exception. Their storage temperature should be at least 15 degrees. The material should be delivered to the roof gradually, based on 1 hour of work. The membrane is fixed to the roof by hardfacing.

Work technology

Using the membrane material described above, you can carry out minor roofing repairs yourself. The work carried out will allow for the winter, and in the spring it will be possible to carry out repair and restoration work more thoroughly. The technology for repairing roofing in winter is as follows:

  • the first step is to localize the place of roof leakage and clean it of snow and debris. As a rule, damaged areas are swollen, depressed or cracked.
  • if there are bubbles, they must be opened crosswise. It is unnecessary to touch other damage
  • if there are deep cracks, then put mastic in them. Before that, it is unnecessary to warm it up.
  • then a piece is cut off from the roll material, which is enough to cover the damaged section of the roof
  • using a hair dryer, you need to dry the roof area that needs repair. The ideal result is unlikely to be achieved, but it is better than nothing.
  • after that, the prepared roll material is thoroughly heated with a gas burner and placed in the right place. It should overlap (about 10-15 centimeters on each side)
  • the last stage of repair is membrane leveling. During this procedure, you should carefully press the film against the roof.

It is much more difficult to repair a soft roof in contact with vertical roof elements, chimneys, ventilation shafts, etc. However, this is possible with some experience. Carrying out such work, you should not cover the vertical roof element with foil. This is unreliable.

Pipes and other structures should be threaded through the membrane, in which a trapezoidal cut is previously made. Its sides should be fused directly onto the protruding elements. Thanks to this, water will not flow under the roofing material.

Carrying out such work, certain precautions should be observed. This primarily concerns the use of gas burners. If possible, it is better to replace them with building hair dryers. The supplied patch can last for several years, but it is better not to risk it and, after the cold weather leaves, perform a thorough roof repair.


Defective statement

Drawing up a defective statement is necessary in order to justify the decision on the need for repair roofing work. This decision is made by the head of the management company, housing department or homeowners association.

The defective statement must be drawn up by a technical specialist (engineer) of the utility organization, who received the appropriate task on the basis of an application from the tenants.

In the item "Name of the object" of the defective statement, the full address must be entered, which includes the name of the street, the number of the house, apartment, as well as the designations of the premises in which the damage is to be repaired.

The column "Type of work performed" is filled in as follows: the exact location of the damage is indicated and the methods of repair are listed. For example: “Nursery, the ceiling is leaking to the right of the window, leaking onto the wall. It is required to restore the plaster layer, replace the wallpaper ”.

In the column "Description of damage to structural elements" all defects discovered during the survey are recorded in detail, while their location and extent of damage are specified. The description of defects and shortcomings is carried out in an arbitrary form.

If in the process of visual inspection of the premises, damage to structural elements is revealed, in the future their presence must be reflected in the contract for the repair of the roof (with the attachment of photographs).

Column "Note" serves to reflect the nuances, specific to a particular case.


↑ How to replace the roof of a wooden house with your own hands

This question arises when old structures become unusable, or the roof needs to be updated for aesthetic reasons. When renovating fairly old houses, it is likely that the roof covering will have to be removed.

    When examining the frame, special attention should be paid to the condition of the rafters. The roof is quite maintainable - any part is replaceable. In this case, additional strength clamps are used. For this, boards are suitable, with which you can temporarily connect existing beams that cannot be dismantled. After that, you can safely remove low-quality rafters, since the frame will definitely not collapse.Mauerlat requires no less attention. If signs of decay are found, the damaged parts must be cut out and new ones inserted and securely fixed with plate pads or using tie bolts. In principle, the Mauerlat can be completely replaced with a new one, carefully dismantled in parts and replaced with new ones around the perimeter.Having repaired the roof frame, the covering is re-laid.


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