The spring is the best season to perform outdoor home improvements especially waterproofing roof. When the winter comes and rain or snow starts to fall heavily, the last thing you want to experience is a leaking roof. Even the tiniest cracks or holes on your roof shingles can cause water to penetrate through your house, causing water damage to different parts of your home. So when the weather is still warm and nice, you may want to start waterproofing your roof. There are several ways to do so and this guide will explain the process to you.
What to Do Before Waterproofing the Roof
Before you begin any waterproofing treatment, there are some important preparatory steps to make to ensure you get the best results.
- Prepare all the waterproofing materials. The materials you will need depend on the type of roof you have and the waterproofing technique you wish to apply. Some of the supplies you will likely need, regardless of your roofing type, are roof coating, polyurethane liquid membrane, and liquid waterproofing membrane.
- Clean and examine the area. Cleaning the surface area allows you to carefully inspect your roof and spot any hole, crack, and other sources of leaks. Cleaning is also necessary to remove dirt, dust, and debris that could affect the adhesion of roof coatings.
- Prepare the surfaces. After you prepare the waterproofing materials for the roof, it’s time to prepare and waterproof roofing surfaces. It is important to choose the waterproofing system that is most suitable for your roof.
How to Waterproof a Roof
After the preparatory steps such as cleaning the surface area and gathering the needed roofing waterproof materials, it’s time to get the job done! Roof waterproofing involves several steps which should be executed properly to achieve the best results.
- Prime the surface. After thoroughly cleaning the surface, the next important step is to prime it. This will ensure the superior adhesion of the liquid membrane. Priming is also necessary for preventing the bituminous oils from passing through the liquid membrane in your roof. Before applying the waterproofing membrane for roofs, you need to make sure that all surfaces are dry.
- Treat all details. All areas of the roof should be treated, such as the interior and exterior corners, pipes, vents, and drains. Since this is a very critical step, it is advisable to have it done by professional roof waterproofers.
- Apply liquid membrane on the roof. The last step involved in waterproofing roofing systems is the application of the liquid membrane. For best results, the roof should have two or more layers of coating.
Troubleshoot Your Roof
Another key aspect of waterproofing a roof is checking for any damaged or loose shingles as well as the flashing. Gaps between shingles can leave the underlayment exposed to sun, wind or rain, and cause it to deteriorate over time. Underlayment is the waterproof barrier material that is installed on your roof deck as an added layer of protection from severe weather. There are three types of underlayer: asphalt-saturated felt, non-bitumen synthetic, and rubberized asphalt underlayment.
The flashing, on the other hand, acts as a sealer in between joints of the roof. It is installed to ensure that water does not seep through certain areas of your roof and walls. Improper installation of flashing is the most common cause of leaks in roofing systems. It is important to seal parts of the flashing that has gaps, cracks or holes to fortify your waterproofing system.
Add Insulation to Your Attic
After working on the exterior part of your roofing system, it’s time to start working on the inside. Not only does it expose your home to leaks, but a poorly insulated attic can also cost you thousands on energy expenses.
So how do you insulate your attic? Here are the most important steps:
- Choose insulation material. If you’re doing it on your own, you will basically choose between loose fill or batt insulation. Both can be layered to existing attic insulation or added to uninsulated attics.
- Measure the area that has to be insulated. The insulation should be extended far enough to cover the tops of your exterior walls without blocking the soffit vents. Otherwise, the airflow in your attic will be restricted.
Cleaning the Substrate: Key Tips
You want to make sure that the substrate is clean, smooth and free from any contaminants. Improper cleaning of the substrate does not only affect the adhesion of the waterproofing material. It also affects the performance of the cured membrane. Below are the steps to follow when cleaning your roof substrate:
- Scrape and sweep away contaminants. There are various ways to do this, such as power washing, grit blasting, and mechanical abrading. Use appropriate detergents to remove oil and grease.
- Different types of substrate require different cleaning techniques. Before applying the primer, the cleaned substrate has to be thoroughly dried.
Waterproof Under the Shingles
If you’re wondering how to make a roof even more resilient against rain or snow, check the shingles. Roof shingles are made up of overlapping elements that cover the roof. Asphalt shingles are commonly used because they are inexpensive and durable. To ensure that your roof is fully waterproofed, the area underneath the shingles should be installed with an additional protective layer. Usually, acrylic asphalt sealant is applied, a process which might take a few hours. For minor cracks and leaks, waterproof tarps can be used to cover them. This is a simple and inexpensive DIY waterproofing solution that can help protect your home against water damage. That’s how to make waterproofing even more effective.
The roof is probably the most important part of any home or building. It doesn’t just keep you warm and dry. It also protects every other part of your home against costly water damage. Many homeowners struggle with how to waterproof roofing step by step. But actually, it is easier than you think. Hopefully, these DIY waterproofing tips should make the process much, much easier on your part.
In addition to the roofing DIY tips mentioned above, you will still likely need professional help to ensure that your roof is fully protected from water penetration. Always work with the best contractors for guaranteed results.