We are well into May in the Northeast, which should mean warmer weather, sunshine and outdoor projects to prepare for summer activities. However, the spring rains continue along with the potential for leaks caused by damage from winter weather.
There are numerous roofing and waterproofing products available, many of which are cheap and low performance and some that are complex and very expensive. One of the most common, easy-to-use and cost-effective products is repair tape.
Every year these tapes capture a larger portion of market share -- so much so that we now have “as seen on TV” budget products that further increase consumer awareness. Evidence of this phenomenon is the all to common “Oh like that flex stuff…” response when discussing one of 4EvaSeal’s sealant tapes.
Tapes are easy-to-use and when applied properly, can stop and prevent leaks. High-quality products with proven track records (as opposed to the “as seen on TV” versions) can provide long-term and even permanent sealing solutions. It doesn’t matter if you are an avid camper, an RV owner, the family handyman, or a professional roofer, these tapes all deserve a place in your toolbox.
There are several ways to make repairs, but one of the simplest and most effective is to seal the area with a self-adhesive tape designed to repair roof leaks.
Rubberized flexible sealant tapes can be used for
- single ply roof repairs (EPDM, TPO, PVC),
- sealing gutters,
- sealing skylights,
- window and door flashing,
- tarp repairs,
- patching holes in vinyl, such as boat tops, awnings or party tents
- repairing RV roofs, camper roofs and slide outs
- quick roof repairs,
- temporary or permanent repairs that will be exposed to extreme weather conditions (high wind rain, strong UV or sub-zero temperatures),
- assembling patch kits kept with your camping supplies.
Waterproofing tapes are designed to be easy to use. Follow these steps to make your repair:
- Using a cleaner or detergent, clean the area that requires repair. Clean well beyond the repair area to assure all surfaces are clean and free of contamination at the point where the waterproofing tape will be applied. Use clean fresh water to remove any soapy residue after the cleaning process is complete. The area should be completely dry prior to the application of the tape.
- Measure and cut the waterproofing tape to size. The tape should extend beyond the hole, tear, seam, etc. a minimum of 2-4” in all directions.
- If necessary, use clean dry rags to wipe the surface with a solvent, such as xylene, MEK or acetone. Allow the solvent to flash off, or dry.
- Remove the release liner from the adhesive side of the tape and carefully install it. There MUST BE NO wrinkles or air bubbles present in the tape. Wrinkles will be pathways for water and must be avoided.
- Using a roller, apply firm pressure and roll over the tape several times in different directions (north/south, east/west) to ensure good contact with the surface.
- If the repair is being made in cold weather (typically below 40°F), use a heat gun to warm the tape and surface during steps 4-5.
It is always recommended to test the bond strength of the repair. Follow the instructions from this blog to learn more about how to test adhesion on your project.
Related Article: Testing the Bond of Waterproofing Tapes in 6 Simple Steps!
Some common repair mistakes that lead to poor bonds are
- failure to clean the surface,
- applying the waterproofing tape to a wet surface,
- incorrect tape selection,
- use of oily solvents, such as paint thinners or mineral spirits when prepping the area, and
- failure to use heat gun in cold temperature applications.
If you want to know more about how to use 4EvaSeal tapes for roofing repairs or you’d like to receive a sample to test adhesion to your roof, click here