Flex seals are among the best sealants for leaking roofs. They last for years without peeling, cracking, or losing their seal properties. However, this depends on the maintenance, coats added, and the environment. You should also seal the roof well for flex to be effective.
The main challenge you may face is pinpointing and sealing the roof.
This article will take you through how to detect a leaking roof, select suitable sealants for different roofs, and more facts about them.
How Long Does Flex Seal Last On A Roof?
A flex seal is a rubber-like liquid that gets absorbed when poured into the house of a roof. The duration of the flex seal depends on your environment. However, it lasts long for 20 years before your roof starts leaking.
You can also increase its duration by adding coats along with its high sealing properties. A professional inspection is also mandatory to know whether it is still in good condition, but this may happen after several years.
How To Seal A Leaking Roof Using Flex?
The following are the recommended ways of fixing your leaking roof using flex seal:
Step 1: Locating Where To Apply Flex Seal
To locate the exact area of the leakage, pour water on the suspected section of the roof and wait for the leakage from the bottom. After locating the leakage point, clean the surface to remove any substance that may block the flex seal before applying it.
Step 2: Prepare The Product.
Shake the container well to obtain a fine mixture. If you use a spray flex seal, stir it for 25 seconds. After ensuring that the mixture is fine, apply it to the area that allows water to drain through your roof using a brush with a liquid flex seal. For sprays, you have to do it evenly.
You can double-check it by using water and reapplying the flex seal when the leak persists. Please note that these methods work well for repairs requiring immediate attention.
Apply flex glue and tape for immediate repairs since they work faster, even on wet surfaces. Alternatively, there are other ways of fixing roof leaks in an emergency.
Emergency Roof Fixing If Flex Is Not Available
In case of emergencies, you may need to seal the roof without waiting longer. If flex seal is not available at that moment, you can opt for roofing cement. Caulk and silicone also work similarly as flex seals but are less effective in stopping the leak for a long time. A shingle is also better for replacing a leaking roof section when the flex seal is out of reach. Roofers also advise using rubber sealants because they work like flex seals.
Therefore, you can use it to make coverings that help to seal affected sections on your roof. Once more, these methods are unreliable and should only be used during emergency repairs. You can always consult a professional to repair the leaking roof for a better outcome. It is also essential to recognize the signs of a leaking roof before it gets to the extent of being an emergency.
Signs Of A Leaking Roof
Roof leaks are always conspicuous. To know whether your roof leaks, use a ladder or scaffold and get to the attic. The presence of mold is the first impression of a leakage. During the first few days, it might not be readily noticeable from the lower end of a house but becomes recognized in the form of irregular circles in the ceiling.
Often we confuse roof leaks when the problem is caused by plumbing and other drainage systems in houses. Another indicator that you have a leaking roof is the presence of wet ceilings after light showers. Occasionally, wood ceilings tend to become soggy when affected by water, hence easy to detect.
Depending on the intensity of the leakage, you can consider these factors to select the best sealant.
How To Select A Suitable Sealant For Roof Leaks?
Select the sealant for your roof based on the factors below:
1. Waterproof Capabilities
Most sealing materials have high levels of water-resisting abilities. Unfortunately, they become weak with time, and their efficiency is considerably reduced. The best sealing material should be 100% waterproof to prevent water from penetrating the roof and ceiling. Alternatively, sealing materials with double layers also prove efficient for this task.
Many sealants last between 10 to 20 years. Liquid sealants are known to last longer because they have to be applied by coating the leaking sections of the roof. Also, being careful to apply the sealant according to the manufacturer’s instructions will slightly increase its lifespan. A noticeable feature about these sealants is that their lifespan is reduced when applied to wet surfaces.
3. UV Light Reflectivity
The selected material should reflect as much heat and light as possible. It helps maintain a cool environment, mainly when you reside in arid environments. In addition, it will help to cut down the electricity bills since your home will consume less power to cool the house during summer. You can choose flex seal because it is rubber, hence high reflective capabilities. Likewise, silicone and acrylic have high reflective properties and can be good options for sealing holes in roofs.
Water-Based Or Solvent-Based Flex Sealants?
Both solvent-based and water-based sealers are components of concrete sealers for roof leaks. The difference between the two components is the amount of volatile organic compounds (VOC). Water-based sealants have lower organic compounds, less than 100g per liter.
On the other hand, solvent-based sealants have over 400g of organic compounds per liter, making them detrimental to your health during installation due to the gases emitted. Water-based sealants are the most suitable when sealing roofs requiring concrete.
It is hard to predict the final color of the coated surface when solvent-based sealants are used. They tend to change the roof colors and have many finishing complications like the unnecessary appearance of bubbles. However, both sealers share several similarities. They are robust to protect concrete, hence favorable for outdoor sealing.
What’s more, they offer maximum protection against stains on roofs and any other surface, regardless of where you apply them. If you plan to fix a roof leak by rolling or spraying, they are readily available in different forms where you can apply using a spray pump or rollers.
Like any other sealant, they are also easy to use and require little or no professional experience. Therefore, you can consider buying a flex seal that incorporates water-based sealants with low organic compounds.
Is Flex Seal Good For Metal And EV Roof Leaks?
Flex seals are almost used on every roof but may not be the best option for all roofs. Some misuse them by applying them on every roof, but it can only offer short-term protection on RV roofs. A problem occurring on an RV roof will require creating an ad hoc repair as this requires less maintenance.
However, flex seals work best on metal roofs, and it is among the best solutions to metal roof leaks. They help seal metal roofs by providing an impenetrable bond between the metals used to make the roof. Eventually, leaking is considerably reduced because water will hardly penetrate.
You can pour it as much as you want to enhance the thickness, but the most common is half an inch thick. Metals absorb heat quickly, and your seal will only require 8 hours to dry on a sunny day. Most importantly, apply flex seals in good conditions as most of them have a limited shelf life of 2 years.
Flex Seal: Facts, Do’s, And Don’ts
The time required for flex seal to dry will vary according to environmental changes like humidity and temperature. On average, a single can cover 12 square feet on a roof but may also be determined by the thickness applied. Applying thick layers makes it withstand the high pressure of torrents and snow as they fall on the roof but not extremely high pressure.
You can apply flex seal on a wet surface during emergencies, but this will reduce its lifespan. For that reason, apply it on dry surfaces when fixing roof leaks, which must also be clean. Also, liquid flex seal is highly recommended than spraying, although both serve the same functions.
N/B: Rainwater collected from the roof with a flex seal should not be used as drinking water.
Some flex seals have substances that are harmful to human health. Flex seal is also not made to withstand extreme pressure like tires and radiators and should be strictly used for mending roof leaks. Finally, flex seals should not seal inflammable surfaces like gasoline and petrol tanks.
Flex seals are the best for sealing leaking roofs. However, select the best sealant based on its properties and the type of roofing for your house. Also, maintain your home to avoid leakages and know when to apply flex seal and where it should not. Since you have more information about sealing roofs, you can try flex seals for a better experience.