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Hey, you're in the home improvement zone--YOUR HANDYMAN ZONE!

Roofs and Components Category: Flat Roofs


Roof area is damaged and in need of repair.

Tools / Materials (See Below for Applicability):

  • Roofing cement

  • Roofing membrane (asphalt-saturated fabric)

  • Carpenter's knife

  • Straightedge

  • Putty knife/joint knife

  • Stiff bristle brush



You find that your flat roof is suffering from a gash/deep scratch, abrasion or other relatively minor damage.  A quick way to fix this is to properly apply some roofing membrane over the damaged area like putting on a bandage, except it is permanent.

Caution: When dealing with chemicals in products, such as roofing cement, and sharp objects, such as a carpenter's knife, make sure you take precautions; read all product manufacturer instructions.

Repairing a damaged roof with the patching of roofing membrane can be done in a few steps, and here's how:

  1. Using a stiff bristle brush, brush clean the damaged area of the roof in preparation for its patching.

  2. Next, use a straightedge to help guide a clean cut around the damaged piece of the installed roll roofing material with a carpenter's knife.

  3. Once you finishing cutting the damaged piece of roof with a carpenter's knife, remove this cut piece from the roof if you have not done so already.

  4. Use this cut damaged piece as a guide to cut a replacement piece from a whole roofing membrane about three inches longer on all sides than that of the damaged piece. Then set the cut-to-size roofing membrane piece to the side for the time being.

  5. With a putty knife or joint knife, spread an ample amount of roofing cement over the exposed area of the roof as a result of the previous cut, making sure enough of this cement reaches under the neighboring edges of the exposed roof (given the previous cut, again) and that an ample amount ultimately covers the exposed roof area for later placement of the roofing membrane over it.

  6. Next, get a hold of the previously cut-to-size roofing membrane and place it over the exposed roof that's just been covered with roofing cement.  Make sure the placement of the roofing membrane is done squarely over the exposed area, and that the roofing membrane is gently padded down to eliminate any bumps or other abnormal spots; the roofing membrane should be left with as a smooth of a surface as possible, so as to conform with the rest of the roof as much as possible.

  7. Finally, apply yet another layer of the roofing cement now over this newly installed roofing membrane, making sure that the cement covering is level and that it extends at least two inches over the edges of this roofing membrane installation.

That's what it takes to patch a damaged roof.

Ed the Handyman


Your Handyman Zone Team


Find Local Roofing Services. Get Up to 4 Quotes Now. It's Quick, Free, and Easy!



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