How to Repair Concrete Roof Leakage?

Concrete roofs leakage are common as concrete surface is more susceptible to scaling, cracking, crazing , spalling or many issues due to various wear and tear it is exposed to.

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The issue keeps on coming when the concrete is porous and permeable, that finally results in concrete roof leakage. These may be due to poor quality concrete or construction or any other severe structural damage. 

How to Repair Concrete Roof Leakage?

This article takes you through the procedure you must follow to fix a concrete roof leakage.

How to Fix Concrete Roof Leakage?

Step 1: Roof Inspection

Concrete roof leaks can be caused due to various reasons. Its necessary to identify the cause for leakage and cure the root cause to prevent further issues. Roof inspection here includes:

  1. Looking for ponding water
  2. Inspection of plumbing lines
  3. Check sides of the building roofs, corners, drainage pipes, etc
  4. Cracks in concrete surface

Ponding water in roofs

Leaks may not be visible to our eyes in every case. As concrete is permeable, a water drainage issue or collected at one point can result in a leak at another point.

Step 2: Call a Professional

Concrete roof being one of the important part of any building structure, it is always advised to contact a professional who have expertise in checking the leaks and its main cause. You can surely do your homework on finding the roof leakage issues. But when it comes to go in detail or in a more complicated situation, we cannot figure out the issue, then a professional advice is a best choice.

Step 3: Repairing the Leaks

Once all internal causes of leaks like issues with plumbing lines or drainage issues exists, the it need the first fix. After which the porous or cracked concrete roof must be fixed.
Before performing any method, the entire roof surface must be cleaned using a pressure washer. 
There are several methods that can employed to repair cracks in concrete roof, which are enlisted one by one. 

  1. Sealing the cracks using mortar or roof cement.                                                        The cracks in concrete roofs can be filled using mortar or roof cement followed by a roof primer. Once dried, an elastomeric sealant can be applied over the cracks, holes, corners and other damaged areas. A second coat is advised to reinforce the sealant.
  2. Sealing the Concrete Roof Cracks Using Epoxy Resin or Acrylic resin
  3. Sealing the Concrete Roof Cracks Using Silicate-Based Sealant
  4. Sealing the Concrete Roof Cracks with expansion and construction joints using non-sag polyurethane sealants.
  5. Sealing using plasters or screed of 1:1 to 1:4 ratio mixed with waterproofing admixtures

Step 4: Waterproofing 

There are several methods to waterproof the roof surface. All concrete roof repair must be concluded with waterproofing on entire roof surface, regardless of where the leaks are found.
Concrete roof waterproofing methods include:
  1. Application of elastomeric sealant
  2. Application of Bituminous or coal tar layer
  3. Installing waterproofing tiles and marble slab using water seal joints
  4. Applying waterproofing layers or membranes
The figure below shows the typical cross-section of a concrete roof with proper waterproofing and sealants.

Typical sketch of bitumen waterproofing system
 Typical sketch of bitumen waterproofing system

Step 5: Maintenance

Lastly, we not only need to stop concrete leakage, but also prevent it from happening it again. This can be only achieved by proper and regular roof maintenance. A schedule atleast twice a year will do. Its advisable to a commercial roofing partner to monitor and study concrete roofing structure can bring solutions to all concrete roof leakage issues.

Concrete roof being a massive and important structure of a building, it is not advised to conduct any repair activity on it as a DIY project. But you can surely perform under the consent and supervision of a roofing specialist. Be safe while doing so, as professional have license, skills and equipment to operate, work and perform the task in much easier, and excellent way.

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