How to fix a leaking roof by Bitumen?

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Here, we will see how Bitumen Water Proofing is done on the terrace or roof and I will also tell you what are the advantages and disadvantages of Bitumen Water Proofing. So let’s start.

What is bitumen and why it is used for water proofing?

Bitumen is a crude oil and semi-solid petroleum which is black in colour and comes in semi-solid state. On heating it turns into liquid. This is the same Bitumen which is used in making Bitumen. There are two important reasons for using it for water proofing.

First it is a natural highly viscous material which can be found everywhere. Second it is a water resistance.  Let us now see how water proofing is done on the roof.

How to fix a leaking roof by Bitumen?

You will know very easily and soon how to fix a leaking roof by Bitumen. If you understand and follow the process of application.

Bitumen comes in solid state. So, First of all solid bitumen should be broken into small pieces and heated at high temperature in a big vessel. As bitumen is heated, it will automatically turn into liquid.

How to fix a leaking roof by Bitumen?

Till the time the bitumen or tar gets heated and turns into liquid, the cleaning work on the terrace or roof should be started. The roof should be cleaned properly with the help of a wire brush.

How to fix a leaking roof by Bitumen?

If you want to do water proofing on an old roof, i.e tiles or marble installed roof, then you  have to remove the tiles or marble at first and then waterproofing procedures should be started.

Now, after cleaning the roof apply primer on the surface. Primer is a paste which is made by adding diesel in bitumen. By adding diesel, the bitumen becomes thin and then is applied on the roof with the help of a paint brush.

Keep in mind that along with the roof, the walls should also be waterproofed up to at least one and a half feet.

Now after you painted roof with primer. In next step, we should place the bitumen sheet on the surface of roof providing appropriate lapping between the bitumen sheet.

Bitumen sheet is also called bitumen membrane. This member sheet comes in 1 mm, 1.5mm, 2mm, 3mm and other fixed size. They are flexible.  You can get its in one meter wide and 10 meter long roll in the market.

We can use different thickness of membrane sheet according to the intensity of rainfall, condition of roof slab and where the moisture sheet is patched by using a gas torch.

Here, we are going to seal the membrane with the help of hot bitumen. Now, all the construction joints in the slab should be sealed properly with the help of fiber mesh.

How to fix a leaking roof by Bitumen?

The hot bitumen is being applied on the joint and the fiber mesh is being pasted on it. Fiber mesh is also a types of bitumen sheet membrane. It’s thickness comes 2 mm. The fiber mesh is used for construction joints and vertical walls to prevent from hair cracks.

In the next step, The membrane is laid on the surface by the help of tar paste. Wear globes, mask and eye protection glass while laying sheet membrane and applying tar.

And then, after applying the tar and membrane sheet on the roof surface, we have to apply membrane at the side of wall by removing the upper layers of wall.

How to fix a leaking roof by Bitumen?

After that, we spread fiber glass on the membrane followed by tar paste . The application process is same as we lay membrane sheet above the tar paste. This fiber sheet gets stucked in the membrane sheet itself. It prevent cracks in membrane or concrete due to expansion and contraction.

How to fix a leaking roof by Bitumen?

In this way, six layer water proofing is completed. For testing, the roof is filled with water for a week and later a top layer protection plaster is applied.

How to fix a leaking roof by Bitumen?

As you read, in the first layer, primer was done. In the second layer, hot bitumen was applied. In third layers bitumen sheet membrane was applied. In the fourth layer again hot bitumen was applied. In fifth layers fiber glass sheet was laid and Finally in sixth layers protection plaster was applied.

Now let us tell you some advantages and disadvantages bitumen membrane water proofing. In the end, we will tell you how much will it cost per square foot.

First of all, the advantages of bitumen membrane water proofing is, it is flexible, high pressure resistance, easy application, and offer good water proofing properties.

If we talk about the disadvantages. Bitumen membrane water proofing is expensive and it It also causes pollution when it is heated.

Cost to fix a leaking roof by Bitumen per square feet

Next, the total cost per square feet is around Rs. 110 to Rs.120 in case of india. And $2 to $5 in case of USA, UK it depends on intensity of leakage on roof.

If you want to estimate the cost of the 100 square feet are, then it will cost around Rs. 11,000 to Rs.15000 i.e $110 to $200.

How to fix a leaking roof by Bitumen? – Summary

Bitumen is a semi-solid petroleum product, black in color, and used for waterproofing due to its natural high viscosity and water resistance.

  • Initial preparation involves breaking of bitumen into pieces and heating it to a liquid state.
  • After that the cleaning of roof or terrace is done thoroughly with a wire brush before application.
  • Apply a bitumen primer mixed with thinner on the terrace and walls up to 1.5 feet high.
  • Cut the bitumen sheets (membrane) to required size and applying them using hot bitumen.
  • Seal the construction joints with hot bitumen and a fiber glass sheet.
  • Apply hot bitumen on the roof or terrace and press bitumen sheets onto it.
  • Complete the process with a top protective plaster layer and test the roof  by filling the terrace with water for a week.
  • Advantages of bitumen membrane water proofing is flexible, high-pressure resistance, easy application,  and effective waterproofing. While  disadvantages of bitumen membrane water proofing is expensive, causes pollution.

I hope this article on “How to fix a leaking roof by Bitumen?” remains helpful for you. Please share this article and show love. Thankyou.

Read Also,

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How to fix a leaking roof from the inside?

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"Structural Engineer" with over 5 years of experience in estimation, structural design, and surveying. I am passionate about using my skills to create safe and sustainable structures. I am also a keen writer, and I enjoy sharing my knowledge and experiences with others.

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