There are too many different types of roofing membranes to tailor emergency repair procedures for each. However, if literature cannot be located and/or if procedures are not detailed for emergency repairs, the following guidelines are suggested:
Protect the interior: Control the spread of water in the interior by collecting the water in containers or by using plastic sheeting to protect the building contents.
Remove excess water from the roof: Check roof drains and scuppers to be certain that they are open and functional. A frequent cause of roof leakage and roof collapse is excessive ponding on the roof surface due to clogged drains and/or scuppers.
Caution should be exercised when clearing debris from drains. Significant suction forces can be created by draining water, which can suck tools, hands, or arms placed within these vortices quickly into the drain.
Locate the source of a leak: In attempting to determine the source of a leak, locate the point on the roof surface above the area of leakage in the building interior. From this point, first check the condition of rooftop mechanical equipment, then check all flashings at terminations and penetrations. Second, if the system is ballasted remove ballast from the immediate leak area, then check the membrane surface for cuts, splits, or punctures. Finally, check the seams (laps) in the roofing membrane.
Perform emergency repairs: Once the source of a leak is located, the materials and procedures which will cause the least amount of damage to the roofing membrane should be chosen. Please refer to the following list of suggestions to perform emergency repairs by roofing system type.
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