TPO roofing is a popular material for commercial buildings because it has a long life and a low risk of leaking due to its heat-welded seams. However, it's still possible for the roof to develop leaks, especially when the roof gets old. Leaks might occur around a skylight, rooftop HVAC, or even a seam that's working loose due to sun exposure. Unless the roof is too old, it's usually possible to repair a TPO roof and extend its life. Here are some steps a commercial roofing company may take to complete the repairs.
Assess The Age Of The Roof And Degree Of Oxidation
The type of repairs done may depend on if they'll be temporary until you can get a new roof put on soon or if the repairs need to be permanent and last for years. The roofer will check the condition of the roof and make a recommendation for the best way to proceed based on the overall condition of the roof and the amount of chalky oxidation on the surface.
Clean Off The Old Roof
Cleaning the old roof is an essential step in making repairs to TPO roofing. This entails scrubbing away oxidation, dirt, pollution, and stains so the roofing is clean and the patch material will adhere well. This may require the use of special cleaning chemicals and equipment to prep the old roofing properly.
Proceed With Repairs
If the leaky area is due to a seam that's come loose after years of sun exposure or improper installation technique, the roofer might make repairs with a heat welder. This melts the material slightly so it can be pressed together and form a bond that seals the seam. This is the same process that is used when installing the roof, and it can be repeated to reseal seams that work loose.
Your roofer might choose to use patching tape instead. This TPO tape can be put over seams to seal them, and the tape can be used to patch holes or close gaps around flashing. The tape has such strong adhesive qualities that it is considered a permanent repair method. However, for the tape to stick well, it has to be placed on a clean roof and applied with a small pressure roller.
Heat welding and TPO tape are two effective methods of stopping leaks in a TPO roof, but the roofer might also need to look at problems with water ponding that contribute to the leak. Water needs to roll toward a drain on a flat roof so it doesn't collect in puddles and increase the risk of leaking.