How to Waterproof a Concrete Roof
Concrete rooftops are usually seen on business buildings, but lately, flat concrete roofs and concrete shingles have been gaining popularity for use on private homes. However, even if this material does afford a much longer life than other choices, it is as susceptible to the elements as any other. Adding a waterproof coating will help to offset this downfall and allow your roof to last that much longer. The article that follows will show you how to properly carry out this task.
Step 1 - Clean Your Roof
In order to successfully seal your roof, you first need to start with a clean surface. Use a push broom and dust pan to remove any dirt or debris. Take your time so you can do this thoroughly, as anything left behind can cause your sealer to not adhere well.
Step 2 - Carry Out Minor Repairs
Concrete can crack and produce leaks just like any other roofing material, but it is far easier to repair. These areas are prime spots for water to erode the concrete further, so first inspect the entire surface for any damage. Mark off any areas you find with masking tape so they are easy to find again. Then, use silicone caulk in a caulking gun to fill in the cracks, breaks, or holes. Use the putty knife to smooth out the sealant as well as to push it further into the area. Repeat this process until you are confident that the imperfection is completely sealed. Allow the silicone to dry before you move forward with waterproofing.
Step 3 - Use Seam Tape
Priming actually helps in the waterproofing process, but before you can add it, you will need to cover any seams in the concrete with seam tape if possible. Use a single piece wherever you can, and make sure it is centered over the seam when you put it down. Walk on the tape after it is laid to press it down further for the best hold.
Step 4 - Coat With Primer
Next, apply a coat of concrete primer to the entire roof. Start at one end and paint yourself into a corner; then, switch to a paintbrush to finish. Wait for the primer coat to dry completely before you determine whether you will need a second. The proper dry time should be indicated on your product label, so consult these instructions if you're unsure.
Step 5 - Spray on a Vapor Barrier
Pour your chosen vapor barrier into a paint sprayer after the primer is dry, and liberally spray an even coat onto the concrete roof. Work systematically from one end to the other, spraying in lines. Overlap the previous line every time you start a new one. Allow the vapor barrier to dry before you add a second coat. Then, after your final coat dries, you can choose to paint over it if you would like.