One of the most basic ways to make a built-up roof is to place alternating layers of tarpaper and asphalt tar on your roof. With a covering of three to five layers, you can make an effective water barrier for your roof. If you are looking to save a little bit of money, an asphalt roof is one of the least expensive options on the market. On the other hand, the barrier created by an asphalt roof is not indestructible, so you will need to be ready to make repairs as needed. One of the most common repairs to a built-up asphalt roof occurs when the layers that make up the roof begin to separate. 

Why Do Flat Roofs Blister?

The reason for multiple layers of roofing materials is that it is not uncommon for the first layer of a roof to develop a leak. Each section of tarpaper will cover three feet or so of roof. When installers build the roof, they will put the seam between two sections of roof in the middle of the underlying section of tarpaper. Thus, if a leak develops at the seam between the first two layers, then it will hit the middle of the underlying layer and stop. On the other hand, water can begin to pool up between the layers and a blister will form. If left unchecked, a blister can cause the complete deterioration of a roof. 

How to Repair a Blister

The first key to a repair is to inspect your roof regularly so that you can catch the leak while it is small. The longer you leave a leak, the more serious the damage you have to contend with tends to be. When you notice that you have a blister, follow these steps to make your repair:

1. Scrape away the gravel that covers your roof. 

2. Sweep away any dust left behind.

3. Cut out the blister.

4. From a new roll of tarpaper, cut out two patches. One should be an inch or two larger than the section of blistered roof that you cut out. The second should be an inch or two larger than the first. 

5. Paint on a layer of asphalt tar. 

6. Place the smaller patch on your roof and make sure that the edges of the patch extend at least an inch on all sides of the hole you cut out of your roof. 

7. Paint on a new layer of tar, making sure that the tarpaper becomes completely saturated. 

8. Place the second patch over the first, making sure that the edges of the patch extend for at least an inch on all sides of the first. 

9. Paint tar over the patch so that it too becomes saturated. 

10. After the tar has had a chance to dry, push the gravel back in place. 

Patching an asphalt roof is not difficult as long as you catch damage quickly. As long as you have access to your roof, you should be able to take care of repairs on your own. For bigger problems, contact a company like West Plains Roofing.