How to Patch a Hole in the Roof

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A common feature of older homes is a rooftop deck, which can be very nice, but does require maintenance to keep it a safe place to enjoy the outdoors. Patching a hole in this type of roof deck is sometimes required and it is an easy task that you can do yourself.

Patching a rooftop hole can be an easy DIY.
(Debbie Williams)

Things You'll Need

  • Roofing cement
  • Plastic putty knife
  • Adhesive drywall patch
  • Paint stir stick
  • Newspaper
Step 1

Clean the area of all dirt and debris and let it dry thoroughly. Using a paint stick, or similar tool, spread the roofing cement generously around the hole. The cement is very thick and sticky – just be patient and keep at it.

Spread the roofing cement all around the hole.
Debbie Williams
Step 2

When you have a good, thick coating of the roofing cement all around the hole, wrap the stick in newspaper or other waste paper to dispose of it before it is spread to other surfaces.

Roofing cement ready for the patch.
Debbie Williams
Step 3

Remove the protective paper backing from the adhesive drywall patch and place the patch over the hole. Lay the paper backing on the top of the patch to protect your hands as you push the patch into place.

Carefully push the patch into place.
Debbie Williams
Step 4

Make sure the patch is pressed into the roofing cement all the way around and has a secure seal.

The patch should look like this.
Debbie Williams
Step 5

Using the plastic putty knife, spread more roofing cement over the patch, extending beyond the original cement and tapering off in all four directions.

Spread another layer of roofing cement.
Debbie Williams
Step 6

The roofing cement should be slightly domed in the center and taper to nothing at the edges. Smooth the surface as much as possible and dispose of the plastic putty knife. Let the patch dry for 24 hours before walking on the roof deck.

The waterproof patch is complete.
Debbie Williams

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Tips & Warnings

  • Chose a time for the repair that allows you about 24 hours without rain to give the roofing cement time to dry completely.
  • Use caution when working above the ground, even with a railing present.
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