Finding the source of a leaking flat roof can be difficult, and symptoms inside the building may only become apparent some time after a leak has occurred. Make sure to check for the roof leakage only when the surface is cool and dry.
If the flat roofing is wet then it will be very difficult to see any leakage on it. The susceptible places for leaks to appear are the flashing, which is over the join of roof parts. Check to see if the pieces in any place are joined loosely or if there are any cracks or gaps, which have formed on account of wear and tear. The flashing should also be ideally integrated in such a manner that rainwater moves away from it.
Check for low-lying areas
Sometimes, the flashing may appear in perfect condition without any cracks or gaps showing. If you are unable to detect any flat roofing leakage around the flashing, check on lower lying areas or the roof. These regions tend to accumulate a lot of water and hence can develop cracks and corrosion easily. These resemble dirt rings with each ring diminishing in size as the water has evaporated. Check these lowest areas of the flat roofing for holes, cracks and splits.
One other place where you can find your flat roofing developing cracks is the seam area. Joints between flat roof sections can weaken over time and as the flat roof gets older, you may find water seeping into these seams resulting.
Using a hose
If a visual inspection has not identified any obvious cracks or splits in the surface of the flat roof, try running a hose over the roof a section at a time. After a few minutes you should be able to see if water is flowing towards a particular spot which is likely the source of the leak.
Fixing a leaking flat roof
Once you have identified the source of the leak, it should be straightforward enough to patch it using either EPDM or a bitumen patch. At Studley Roofing we have many years experience of identifying problem areas on flat roofs and advising on what is likely to need repairing and when. If you are concerned about the age of your flat roof and would like us to assess it for you before a leak occurs, just get in touch.