How to waterproof leaks the a.b.e.® way

When experiencing heavy rain, you might need to get some urgent waterproofing done.

Check for leaks

You need to inspect your roof – fixing a leaking roof is relatively easy once you have found the leak. Finding the leak is the hard part as evidence of the leak may not be where the actual leak is occurring due to the water flowing downhill before soaking into a wall or ceiling.

How to find a roof leak:

  • If you have water stains on your ceiling or running down interior walls, inspect your roof upwards from the stains, paying special attention to areas where flashings are used, such as around chimneys or satellite dishes. These may be directly above the leak or to the left or right of it.
  • Also look out for cracked or missing tiles, which you should replace immediately.
  • Go into your roof space with a torch and try and look for water stains, black marks or mould on the ceiling.
  • If you still can’t find where the leak is, go onto the roof with a garden hose and run water onto the area just above where the leak appears in the house, starting low down. Ask someone to go inside the house and wait for a drip to appear. Let the hose run for quite a while in one area and then move it up a little further.

If you have a galvanised iron roof, you need to check the roofing screws and make sure that the rubber or plastic washers are still intact. Ensure that roofing screws are secure. If loose, the roof sheets will lift when the wind is blowing and the rain will be driven by the wind under the sheets. Areas that have rusted through will contribute to the scenario mentioned above.

If any of your roof tiles have been knocked or blown out of place, you may just need to straighten them out. If a tile is cracked, you can just repair it.

For the abovementioned scenarios use bituseal plastic.

If there are areas on the roof that are allowing ingress of water, such as valleys or damaged flashings, a temporary solution is super laykold tape or super laykold paintable tape. You can apply this to the leak temporarily to prevent it from getting worse or from leaking more until you can undertake a more permanent solution. It is easy to apply, allows easy adhesion to many substrates, and is UV resistant, economical and it can be painted over.

If you need to repair old and leaking acrylic and membrane systems, hydroproof is ideal.

super laykold spray & seal is a rubberised waterproofing in a 400ml spray can, which is easy to use, flexible with excellent adhesion, can be applied to damp surfaces and painted once dry.

DIY long-term fix

For an effective, long-term repair, our acrylic (super laycryl) or bituminous (super laykold) waterproof coatings are available, which are used in conjunction with abe.®membrane. Both of these systems will provide long-term protection as long as they are applied properly to correctly prepared substrates. These coatings offer you product guarantees.

super laycryl is used for flashings, ridging, parapet walls and for sealing joints, laps and roofing screws. It is ideal for use around chimneys or similar roof projections where you need to waterproof around so that no water can sneak through the joints.

Use super laykold, a rubberised bitumen waterproofer, which is flexible and durable to waterproof flat roofs, flashings of roofs, gutter joints, parapet walls and sealing joints, laps and roofing screws. It can be used on its own or in conjunction with abe.®membrane. For added protection, allow the system to cure for two to three weeks before applying silvakote as a UV protective coat.

If you have slate tiles on your roof, try Slatex 2000 which is a reflective bituminised roofing felt laid under slate roofing tiles, providing a long lasting waterproofing solution.

Torch-on waterproofing is used mainly on flat or near flat roofs, which are more susceptible to leaks. Torch-on membranes (Unigum, abe.®torch-on) are bitumen-based and it is heat-fused to underlying substrates. This waterproofing system is  Fidia P / Unigum / VIS P applied by professionals with the correct equipment and experience. Surfaces must be primed with bituprime prior to the application of the torch-on membrane and afterwards painted over with two coats of a bitumen aluminium paint, silvakote or silvakote eco for UV protection and greater longevity.

If you already have torch-on applied and need to re-waterproof it, you don’t have to necessarily take the torch-on membrane off, the ideal choice would be to apply abe.®proof liquid membrane over.  It is also ideal directly onto a substrate for an easier waterproofing application than torch-on.

Remember if you have damp on the walls inside, it is due to a leak which requires waterproofing outside or on the other side of the wall.  Then ensure to use damp proofing solutions, for example like duraflex®. Or you need to do some drainage and use bidim.  duraflex® is ideal to use for both positive and negative side waterproofing and can be painted or tiled over. Especially on balconies, use duraflex® is ideal to use for both positive and negative side waterproofing and can be painted or tiled over. Especially on balconies, use duraflex® and/or abe.®peel & stick membrane.

abe.®peel & stick membrane can receive cementitious and water based acrylic, resin coatings and adhesive systems for counterflashing, under tiling on balconies to receive tile adhesive, and waterproofing.

Call in a professional waterproofing contractor if:

  • You can’t find the source of the leak.
  • There are multiple leaks.
  • You don’t have the right tools for the job or experience required.
  • The leak reappears after you have fixed it.

Visit our DIY website with step-by-step tutorials, video and shopping list for your next project.

Buy a.b.e.®products at your nearest hardware or builders merchant store.

Or contact us on 0860 223 773 or view all our DIY waterproofing solutions.