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Does cold, wet weather prevent a leaking flat roof being fixed?

John Conlin / 20 February 2018

A reader suspects the builder's excuse for not fixing their leaking roof is implausible and writes to John Conlin for clarification.

Flat roof being repaired with bitumen
A reader is concerned they are being fobbed off by their builder


Because of leakage we had a flat roof recovered last November but we continue to suffer leaks. The builders have returned several times but have still failed to make the roof watertight.

They say that it is because of standing surface water due to inadequate falls preventing the seams in the felt bonding properly and we will have to wait for hot dry weather.

Is this plausible?


To blame the falls of the roof does seem to be a poor excuse as I assume that the roof had been trouble free for many years prior to last autumn.

Working with roofing felt in cold, damp weather requires certain precautions. Hot bonding, using bitumen based adhesives applied with a flame gun, protecting the roof with tarpaulins while cold adhesives cure or coating the felt with an acrylic roofing sealant are three options.

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