Plastic Bag Rugs
New material, meet old craft. Old craft, meet new material. Braiding rugs was, at one time, a thrifty way to use up scraps of old clothing and linens while warming the floor and cheering up the decor.
That concept can still be used, but the material is definitely modern. Plastic grocery bags have taken their share of blame for landfill problems, recycling problems and other environmental concerns. It seems that once they’re made and in your possession you can’t just throw them out without some guilt. There’s a solution to that problem!
Braided plastic bag rugs are a lot sturdier and last a lot longer than it would seem. After all, plastic bags are thin and sometimes tear just carrying a few groceries! Put them together, twist, braid and sew and they’re tough, though – tougher than most small cloth rugs you can buy.
Making Plastic Bag Rugs:
- Cut off the handles and the bottom of the bag.
- Cut straight across the bag, making a loop about an inch wide.
- Tie three loops together at one end, so that you can braid them together.
- Slip this over the spindle on your sewing machine or a chair rung or anything that will hold it steady. Try to even the ends of all three pieces.
- Start braiding these together firmly, but not so firmly that the braid twists or curls when released.
- When you come to the end of a loop, tie another one to it and keep on braiding.
- When you have a braid of about three or four feet, lay it on a flat surface and wind it into a flat piece.
- If you want an oval rug, start with a strip of 6 to 12 inches, then coil the rest of the braid around that.
- Using a blunt needle (darning needle), tie a piece of sturdy string or fishing line (floss works well!) onto the beginning of the braid and begin to sew the coil together in the shape you want.
- Use a lacing stitch, going back and forth between the inner coil and the one you’re sewing it on to.
- Slip the finished part over your spindle again and braid some more, then repeat the process.
- When your rug is as big as you want it, begin tapering off by cutting narrower loops and braiding them into the rug. Take the last bit of braid and tuck it under the last coil, sewing it down firmly.
You’re done with your plastic bag rug.
This plastic bag rug is great for the bathroom, kitchen, garden, patio or as a doormat – wherever water is found. When it gets dirty, rinse it under running water and throw it over a clothesline or shower rod to dry out. If your plastic bag rug gets really grungy, washing on a gentle cycle or by hand will brighten it again.
Combination Lock Picking
INTRODUCTION Hey, want to learn how to decode those combination Master Locks commonly used in high schools? Of course you do, well I’m going to tell you. Aren’t I just the nicest person you know? If you answered “yes” then you are correct and may read on, otherwise if you read on I assure you that you will die a horrible and strange death a short time after reading this.
Combination locks are the locks that have the dial on the face of them. The name “combination” lock is a foul name for the Master Lock co. to call it because it is not a combination that opens the lock. A combinationis a set of numbers, for example the combination 12, 3, 32 and 32, 12, 3 is the same combination, but only the right order of the numbers will open the “combination” lock. A much better name should be a “code” lock, this satisfies the fact that you have to know the order of the numbers as well as the numbers themselves. Nonetheless, I will be referring to it as a combination lock. Read more…
In general, a silencer will decrease accuracy, range, and velocity. And so it’s no surprise that people often wonder, “Why would anyone want to use a silencer?” One could argue that the advantage gained through intimidation and surprise outweighs the decreased performance. I even slip it on when in close quarters to cushion the shots a little. But the main reason I use on is because it’s just plain fun.
This document will present somewhat specific methods and materials for constructing a particular silencer. This is by no means a complete guide to silencers, nor will it produce the most effective silencer. It simply attempts to present an explanation of a project which can be completed by the average individual. You should, and are encouraged to experiment on your own and customize the silencer to your needs. If you are interested in learning more about the concepts behind silencer construction, there are books available which provide detailed information about actual gun silencers. You may be able to adapt this information to suit your paintball needs. You may also want to look into the basic principals of acoustics their application to muffler construction.
A) Inner Core1. Description 2. Construction a) Step 1 – Select the core b) Step 2 – Fit the core to the barrel c) Step 3 – Design the core porting d) Step 4 – Create the core porting e) Step 5 – Final touches
B) Outer Casing 1. Description
2. Construction a) Step 1 – Cutting the ABS to length b) Step 2 – Carving the end caps c) Step 3 – Finishing touches
C) Assembly1. Step 1 – Putting it all together 2. Step 2 – Finishing touches
Make a Paintball Silencer
When a paintgun is discharged, a burst of gas propels the paintball down the barrel. When paintball leaves the end of the barrel, the the sound caused by that discharge of gas also leaves with it, creating an audible “pop” when the gun is fired. A silencer works by absorbing the sound and gas generated by the discharge. So in essence, the more effective a silencer is at absorbing the excess sound and gas, the quieter it will be.
This sound reducing, over-the-muzzle suppressor will only apply if the majority of the sound generated by a discharge of gas travels down the barrel. As with many blow back semi automatic paintguns, much of the gas escapes through the cocking port, direct feed, and various other ports. So unless you plan to enclose your entire semi in sound proof material, you might want to consider the posibility that a silencer may not be very effective.
Dremel MultiPro:A Dremel is a small, high speed rotary tool. There are various models available, but I prefer the MultiPro because of it’s variable speeds. The MultiPro has an adjustable speed of between 5k and 30k RPM and comes with a plethora of attachments. For this project, you’ll probably only be using the following attachments:
1/8″ drill bit Various Dremel Accessories Can be purchased at: Hobby stores or home centers. ————————
Over-the-Muzzle Silencer Materials Quantity Dimensions Description
|1||7″ 3/4″ PVC pipe|
|1||4-1/2″ 1-1/2″ ABS pipe|
|1||6″ x 6″ Screen mesh|
|1||6″ x 6″ Foam padding|
|2||-1/2″ ABS end caps|
|2||1″ OD 3/4″ ID rubber o-ring|
PVC Pipe (white plastic water pipe): PVC pipe is sold in all shapes and sizes. Most people will recognize it as the white plastic pipe that they used to install their lawn sprinklers. PVC pipe is available in several different “schedules.” The schedule refers to the thickness and effective pressure rating of the pipe. The most common schedule is 40. The higher the number, the thinner the pipe will be. PVC pipe can usually be purchased in lengths of between 1 to 20 feet. If you are fortunate, your local hardware store will allow you to buy a small one or two foot section of pipe. Can be purchased at: Most hardware stores.
ABS Pipe (white plastic water pipe): ABS pipe is not usually sold in diameters smaller than 1 1/2″ and is generally found as the schedule 40 cellular core variety. Some of you may recognize it as the black pipe you used to install your household sewer lines. ABS and PVC generally look exactly the same except for their color. The major difference is that ABS is *much* lighter than PVC (probably due to the cellular core), which is why I use it for the outer casing instead of PVC. Can be purchased at: Most hardware stores.
Foam padding: This is the spongy, sound absorbing material which is sandwiched between the inner core and outer casing of the silencer. There are various varieties of foam available, but it will generally be cream colored. The thickness you select will probably depend on the density of the foam. Can be purchased at: Fabric stores or hobby shops.
Screen Mesh: A screen door mesh should be wrapped around the inner core to prevent the packing from bulging through the core ports and interfering with the paintball. The type of mesh isn’t really important as long as it allows sufficient air flow and prevents packing from squeezing through. Can be purchased at: Most hardware stores.
Description: The inner core is the most important part of the silencer. It’s inside diameter is roughly the size of the outside diameter of the paintgun barrel. Holes are then created in the core to dissipate the gas coming out of the muzzle, thereby reducing muzzle noise. The number, shape, and pattern of the holes are all elements to consider when creating a silencer. Ideally, venting the muzzle gas should not affect the flight of the paintball. Depending on the particular silencer design, you may also have to modify the core to interconnect with the outer casing.
Step 1) Select the core
Select a piece of PVC pipe to use as the inner core. For a snug fitting over-the-muzzle silencer, select a pipe with an outside diameter which is at least 1/8″ larger than the outside diameter of your barrel. This will ensure that the wall of the core is thick enough at the muzzle-to-silencer junction to prevent accidental breakage. On a gun such as a PMI-1, the outside diameter of the barrel is 13/16″ at the muzzle. I would therefore select a 3/4″ schedule 40 PVC pipe (which actually has a 1″ outside diameter). And since the inside diameter of the 3/4″ PVC is about 13/16,” it’s ideal for Sheridan guns.
Step 2) Fit the core to the barrel
Since the inside diameter of the PVC pipe may not match the outside diameter of your barrel, you will have to modify the inside diameter of the PVC pipe so that it will fit snugly over the muzzle of your particular barrel. The best way to do this is usually by sanding the excess plastic away until the first inch of the pipe fits tightly onto the barrel. If you have a barrel with an outside diameter of 7/8″ or 1″ you may have to use the Dremel or similar tool to grind away the excess plastic. For slight changes, you can also try heating the PVC to its melting point and *stretching* it to fit the barrel. This, however, rarely produces good results and often creates a “crooked” silencer.
It is very important to ensure that the core is straight and follows the line of the barrel. If the alignment is slightly off, the silencer will probably cause inaccuracy and increased ball breakage.
Step 3) Design the core porting
This is the crucial stage of construction where you create the holes in the core which will vent the gas from the barrel. Take some time to consider the size, shape, and layout of the holes; their arrangement may very well alter the course of the paintball. Consider the design of the different barrels and muzzle brakes available. Should you create a spiralling, helical pattern to simulate riffling? Should you stagger the holes to maximize gas dissipation? What shape should you make the vents? These are all questions to be addressed when laying out the core baffles. I usually run six lines around the circumference of the core and stagger every other row of holes. To put it in other terms, if you were to flatten out the core and create a chess or checker board of six rows across the diameter, you would then drill a hole in each white square, leaving the other squares untouched. The space between holes along the length of the core is fairly arbitrary, but for a 3/8″ hole, I usually center the holes 1″ apart. (This spacing would give you a chess board with rectangular “squares” instead of a square ones. I know it’s confusing, but I’m trying my best.)
Step 4) Create the core porting
Once you have laid out the position of the porting, you simply have to create the holes in the core. For a round hole, simply drill a small pilot hole with a small drill bit and then use a hand drill to create the final hole. The pilot hole will help keep the larger drill bit from “wandering” when you’re trying to use the hand drill. You may wish to get fancy and shape the circular holes or create elliptical ports. Select a design which you believe will be most effective. I used the Dremel sanding attachment to create a gradual incline along the path of the paintball, the theory being that the gas would be “scooped” up into the foam.
Step 5) Final touches
You may wish to add special features to the core, depending on the design of the outer casing and it’s relation to the core. In the past, I have attempted to add o-ring grooves at the front and rear in an attempt to “lock” the outer casing in place with a snug o-ring seal. This is often more complex than necessary, and a snug cap-to-core connection works just as well (if not better). A crucial final step in core construction is to sand *everything* as smooth as possible. Nicks, burrs, and grooves can all cause future problems. Do your best to make the core as smooth and clean as possible.
Description: The outer casing is what protects the silencer and keeps the packing in place. This piece is also subject to various modifications. The casing can be something as simple as a piece ABS pipe with two end caps, to be slipped over the core for a friction fit, or a set of complex o-ring joints and threaded connections.
Since the friction fit construction is the easiest design to implement, I would suggest it to any first time gunsmiths. And since you will probably not want to force the end caps off once they have been forced on, you should go ahead and paint the entire silencer after it has been completely assembled.
Step 1) Cutting the ABS to length
Calculate the length of ABS needed to connect the two end caps andcut the pipe to length. You may want to cut the pipe a little longer than necessary because it’s always easier to make something a little bit shorter than it is to make it a little longer.
Step 2) Carving the end caps
If you are simply creating friction fit end caps, then create a hole in each cap which is slightly smaller than the outside diameter of the silencer core. Each cap can then be forced on and connected with the length of previously cut ABS. I have also tried to create more complex casings by altering the cap-to-core contact. By adding an o-ring groove in both the end cap and the silencer core, you may be able to create a “locking” connection which can be disassembled for cleaning and maintenance. This type of connection is generally much harder to achieve since it requires more precise machining than a friction fit.
Another alternative is to use a threaded plug, which can be drilled out much like an end cap and friction fit or permanently attached to the core. This allows the ABS casing to be unscrewed for cleaning and maintenance and provides a secure seal. This seems to be the most effective method if you plan on disassembling the silencer, while still providing adequate structural integrity. It does, however, add a little extra weight to the silencer.
Step 3) Finishing touches
The entire casing should be thoroughly sanded and smoothed (or slightly roughened if paint is to be applied. If you do not wish to be able to take the silencer apart in the future, you can go ahead and glue the pieces together and paint the entire enclosure.
Step 1) Putting it all together
Put all the pieces together and test it out. Will the opponent be able to hear you shots as you’re stomping through the underbrush?
Step 2) Finishing touches
You may decide to add a few coats of paint your creation after you’ve tested it to ensure that it is working. I’m sure most hardware and paint stores can recommend an appropriate type of paint for the job. Just be sure to get something that will stick to plastic. This may involve applying a few coats of primer before applying the finishing coats. I would suggest that you do not paint the interior of the core because it is difficult to apply an even coat of paint, and the additional thickness may prevent the silencer from fitting over the barrel.
As far as I’m concerned, paintball is sometimes a game of stealth. In order to increase your effectiveness in the game, it is often desirable reduce your gun noise. This presents a unique legal problem, however, because many legal institutions classify a paintgun as a firearm, when in actuallity, it is a piece of athletic equiptment. A paintgun should no more be considered a weapon than a starting pistol or laser tag gun. But whereas a firearm silencer serves no lawful civilian purpose and has been outlawed, a paintball silencer is a useful piece of sporting equiptment. So why do authorities find it necessary to prohibit its use? Because it may be used in conjunction with a real firearm? I find that a faulty argument at best.
There are legal issues to be considered if you plan to construct a paintgun silencer. State and local laws may vary, but in California it is illegal to sell, and as far as I can tell, to even own a firearm silencer. This is stated by the California Dangerous Weapons Control Law 1994 found in the state Penal Code (Part 4, Title 2, Section 12601) which classifies a “spot marker” as a “less lethal weapon.” Section 12520 of the Penal Code also states that possession of a firearm silencer is a felony. But is a paintball silencer illegal? Perhaps the only way to find that out is to hire an attourney to interpret your local penal code. Perhaps you know a criminal court judge who is willing to enlighten you. However, it is unlikely that you will find a reliable answer at your local police station. This is just not the type of situation that they encounter on a regular basis.
This article is provided as is without any express or implied warranties. While every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this article, the author and contributors assume no responsibility for errors or omissions, or for damages resulting from the use of the information contained herein. The author assumes no responsibility for your stupidity. Modification of this document is forbidden, nor may it be redistributed without the express written permission of the maintainer of this document. This will ensure that all copies remain current. Violators will be persecuted.
The contents of this article reflect my opinions only and are not necessarily the words of God. Consult a psychiatrist if divine communication continues.
If found in possession of such devices described in this document, you may be imprissoned or severly beaten by elderly ladies with heavy purses.
You must use this information for good and not for evil.
Try not to put your eye out.
make a paintball silencer. how to make a paintball silencer
First, because of extra weight requirements, driveway construction is often well-regulated by local building codes. Make sure you understand all code restrictions before you start construction. You also must have the proper building permits. For example, most municipalities have strict rules governing the steepness, thickness and width of a driveway-as well as the means by which it joins the curbing.
The first step, therefore, is to find out any code restrictions and then sketch out your driveway plan. Submit this plan to the building permit officials when you go to get the building permit for the project. Read more…
How to Install a Window Air Conditioner Unit – Installing
Before installing your window air conditioner, you need to know a few things. Usually, an air unit is hung in a double-hung window, which means one that slides up and down. It is more difficult to install a window air conditioner in a window that slides shut from side to side, as you will have to board up the area not filled in by the A/C unit. In addition, the window and its sash should be in good condition.
If possible, place the window unit in a window closest to the center of your room, and in one that receives some shade in the afternoon. In addition, try to place your unit close to an electrical outlet, as efficiency will drop the further away you are from your electrical source. Read more…
Why make inflatable bladders?
You can make inflatable bladders for pool toys, dolls, balls or even kites and it’s really cheap.I have been looking into this for quite some time now and this is the most cost effective way to make inflatable thingies. If you do want to make bladders for kites commercially, beware of the patents that exist on the Wipika kite. You wouldn’t want to go to jail for a thing like this, would you? Making inflatable bladder toys is fun!
Inflatable bladder – What you need
- Polyethylene sheet, available at your local hardware store. It is really cheap and you need the heaviest grade available if you want the bladders to be bomb-proof. You can use garbage bag polyethylene, too, but starting with the thickest material available will give you a better error margin. Starting with a thin material is asking for trouble.
- Polyethylene bottle caps + bottle necks (cut from any recyclable PET bottle).
- A soldering iron. I have a 40Watt soldering iron and it seems to have worked well.
- Masking tape (paper tape). Get the narrowest width possible. The tape I’ve used so far is about two cm wide, which is about 6 to 7 times the width of the soldering tip.
- Lots of patience.
The materials for many inflatable bladders are really cheap. Yesterday I bought a 3m by 2m polyethylene sheet for about 3 bucks and finding a plastic bottle cap is the easiest thing of all. So I’d say the materials are dirt cheap… Don’t worry, the soldering iron costs less than 30 bucks and you might be able to get one from a friend (if you haven’t already got one).
Inflatable bladder – Preparations
- Find a recyclable bottle and cut it at the bottle neck, just below the cap.
- Unscrew the cap. Use adhesive tape to seal the side we cut from the remaining bottle neck. This will be the valve’s cap and the cap will become the valve.
- Sand the soldering tip with a file so that all sharp edges become round. The soldering tip should slide on the paper tape, not scratch it.
- Cut the two pieces of polyethylene sheet to shape. Mark the seams with paper tape.
- Locate where the valve will be put on the top sheet. Put masking tape on its inner side (the side which faces the second sheet). Cut a small rectangular piece of polyethylene and open a hole near one of its edges using the soldering iron. This small piece will be used to form the valve’s chamber.
Inflatable Bladder: First phase: Using the soldering iron to make the valve chamber
- Warm up the iron well before attempting to do any hot-gluing operations
- Take the bottle cap and put it on the outside of the first sheet, closed end facing the sheet.
- Turn the whole setup around, so that you can see the bottle cap behind the sheet, with the masking tape on top.
- When the soldering iron has reached a temperature that melts plastic, use it to press the masked tape part of the top sheet onto the bottle cap. This will make the bottle cap adhere to the polyethylene sheet. (Remember, these caps are usually made of polyethylene, that’s why they are the only thing that adheres to this plastic).
- Always press on top of the masking tape and try to make circles with the soldering iron. Tear the tape off after you’ve finished.
Inflatable Bladder: Second phase: Joining the valve chamber’s inner part
- Turn the sheet around. The cap should be on top now.
- Open a hole in the middle of the cap using the soldering iron. This is where the air comes in from.
- Put the small rectangular piece of polyethylene under the valve. Make sure that the cap is near the opposite edge of the piece, as farther possible from the hole on the small piece (see the third image). The bigger the distance between these two holes, the more difficult it will be for air to escape.
- Use masking tape to mark where the seams will be made which will stick the top sheet to the small piece.
- Hold the soldering iron and press it down on the two polyethylene sheets while moving it on the seams. When the seams close tear the masking tape.This part will take a bit of practice to find the best speed to move the soldering iron without either causing the material underneath to burn or not stick to the other sheet. The speed will depend on the power of your soldering iron and the thickness of the material. The masking tape put between the soldering iron and the plastic sheet protects the sheet from burning and sticking to the soldering tip.
- By now you should have a single layer of polyethylene with the valve and the valve’s chamber on it. The hard part is over now. Time to make this stick to the second layer.
Inflatable Bladder: Final phase: Joining the two plastic layers together
Using the method described in the second phase mask the seams on the top layer. Make sure the two layers are aligned well or the shape won’t come out as perfect as you had originally planned. Using the soldering iron press over the masking tape to create the seams. Once you have finished use a pair of scissors to cut excess material.
Inflatable Bladder – Making the valve’s cap
Ok now, if you’ve followed my instructions closely then you should have an almost airtight valve. The problem is that this one-way valve seems to work well and seal itself only for a certain amount of pressure, that usually is lower than what we expect it to be. Because the valve’s outer nozzle is a bottle cap, you can use the same bottle’s neck to seal it! Just cut the bottle’s neck right next to the part where the cap is screwed on and seal it with adhesive tape. Once screwed on the valve it will make it airtight!
Inflatable bladder: Inflating the bladder
Iit’s difficult to use a regular pump unless you come up with an idea how to make a converter to this weird valve system on the bladder. I usually inflate the bladders manually, blowing into the bottle cap. I’m sure there must be a better way though…
Deflating the bladder
Ha! It’s easier than what you might have though. Just take something like a rounded pencil and push gently the inside of the hole in the cap. This will cause the air inside the bladder to escape through the tunnel you’ve created. Don’t use sharp objects or they might brake the valve’s inner chamber material!
Inflatable Bladder – Repairing the bladder
You can repair small holes in the bladder using neoprene cement. Neoprene cement can be bought from diving equipment stores and is normally used to repair tears in wetsuits. I have already repaired with neoprene two holes in the two bladders I’ve made up to now, using the method described above. Both holes were created by over-inflation, so try to avoid it! This material wasn’t ment to be used for balloons or anything the like, because of its low elasticity.
I hope you’ll like the pictures below. I shot them using my Video camera and the quality isn’t really good, I hope they will do the job however. Since making the seams with the soldering iron really is a matter of practice, I have only included photos showing the details of the valve system.
|The cut bottle neck with sealing tape over its cut end. Top view.||Bottom view. This side goes into the blue bottle cap, which is on the bladder.|
The valve chamber on the bladder. You can see the two holes, one in the blue bottle cap and one in the inner chamber. This setup allows air to flow in the bladder easily. When the air tries to escape the inner bladder membrane sticks to the outer because of the pressure difference between the two chambers, thus making it difficult.
To deflate use a round-edged pencil or a pen to push into the outer valve chamber hole. This will cause an air tunnel to be created between the two layers of the valve and air will escape quickly as you press the bladder.
Valve closed. No leaks.
There, 1 inflatable bladder done!!
Pickling Wood – Why?
Lots of people have an immense appreciation for the look of vintage, aged furniture. Antique furniture is a highly sought after home furnishing, but antique pieces can cost thousands of dollars. The alternative is to make new pieces look antique!
Faux painting methods are becoming more popular everyday as homeowners seek out ways to have the old world look without the modern prices. Pickling wood furniture is a great way to get that look, it can give new wood a charming aged appearance.
Years ago pickling wood was achieved by soaking galvanized nails in white vinegar for several days. The vinegar would dissolve the galvanizing off of the nails, after a few days the vinegar would be cloudy and it was then applied to the wood.
Pickled wood is becoming a very popular look again, but now you don’t have to wait days for vinegar and nails to create the solution! If you check your local hardware or paint store, you’ll find many paints that are especially for pickling. They’re usually available in either white or off white and can be either water or oil based paints.
Since they are considered specialty paints, they are generally higher priced than regular paint. But, you can easily make your own paint for pickling wood for a lot less. If you choose a latex paint you’ll need to mix one part paint to three parts of water. Oil based paints will work well to, but you’ll need to mix one part paint with three parts of turpentine or paint thinner instead of using water.
Pickling Wood – Making Your Own Pickling Paint
Making your own pickling paint allows you to add color to the paint. But, the whole idea of pickling is that you can see the woods grain through the paint. The traditional process using nails and vinegar gave the wood a off-white or gray color that left light and dark shades of the woods grain visible. So if you do decide to add color, use pastel or light shades of paint.
The type of paint that you choose is just a personal preference. But, oil paint gives you more control over the outcome. It dries slower than latex, so that if you don’t like the look you can wipe it off and start over, or just wipe some of it off. The main benefit of using latex paint is that there are less fumes. But, it dries quickly and you have to work fast to get the look you’re after.
Pickling Wood – Application
Once you’ve made your pickling paint, it’s just simply applied using an old rag. Make sure that your wear some rubber gloves to protect your hands. Use one rag to apply the paint, then use another one to remove as much or as little as you want.
Pickling Wood – Apply a Sealant
After you’ve got the entire piece of furniture done and achieved the look that you wanted, allow it to dry thoroughly. To protect the piece and your hard work, you should apply a clear sealant or coating. Use at least two coats letting it completely dry between each coat.
The best type of clear sealant to use is a clear water based formula. If you use a oil finish type you will end up with a gold tint on the piece that will change the entire look. You should also choose one that has a matte, satin or flat finish. If you use a gloss clear coat the different shadings in the woods grain won’t be as visible.
Pickling creates a dusty, washed out color that is just beautiful. And, for a more dramatic effect, choose woods that have lots of prominent grains. Something as simple as selecting wood pieces that have more visible grains can add to the spectrum of shades that will show through the pickling giving the piece even more old world charm!
Flat roofs are constructed of a series of asphalt roll roofing and/or asphalt building paper criss-crossed and “hot mopped” with hot asphalt liquid. A layer of gravel or crushed stone is embedded in the hot asphalt to finish off the surface. Because of this construction, flat roofs are usually installed by a professional roofer since the equipment necessary would be too expensive for a homeowner to buy-especially for a 1-time roofing project-or even for re-surfacing as wear and tear dictates. However, there are some maintenance flat roof repair that you can make, and these repairs are detailed in this article.
CAUTION:Climbing up onto any roof can be dangerous. Be extra careful and follow these simple rules:
- Do not lap the extension of a 2-piece ladder LESS than 3 rungs.
- Set the ladder on even, firm footing.
- Extend at least 3 rungs up over the eaves of the roof. You want to step from the ladder onto the roof. Do not climb over the eaves and guttering onto the roof The extension hooks must be hooked. Check.
- Watch out for overhead power/phone lines.
- Climb the ladder one rung at a time. On the ground, the ladder should slope about one-fourth its length from the side of the house. Example: if the ladder is 16 feet long, it should be pulled out at the bottom 4 feet from the side of the house.
- Check the rungs for safety by walking on the rungs with the ladder flat on the ground.
- If the ladder even appears damaged, do not climb it under any circumstances.
Flat Roof Repair – Inspection
WHAT TO INSPECT: Since most flat roofs don’t have a crawl space under them, you can’t go into the crawl space on a sunny day and look for pinholes of light that detect holes. Therefore, on a flat roof you have to guess where the leak or damage might be. Water is very tricky: the leak could be 10 feet away from the damage causing the leak. That’s why very careful inspection is necessary.
Trouble spots involving flat roof repair include these:
- Flashing and roofing pulled away from chimneys, vents or tacks, and other roof projections such as skylights.
- Exposed roofing nail heads.
- Around roof drains where water goes into gutters, or downspouts or other drainage systems.
- Exposed roofing-that devoid of gravel/stone.
- Roofing seams or laps.
- At junctures with other roofs.
- At any valleys.
Pay special attention around small discolored spots on roof gravel or stones. Water often puddles in these spots (and discolors the stones) and causes leaks. Also look for blisters in the roofing. In these spots, the roofing has pulled away from the roof decking below. This is a normal condition caused by moisture between the decking and the roof membrane (building paper and/or roll roofing).
The very best time to make a flat roof repair inspection and repairs is on a fairly cool day when there is no moisture on the roof and no rain in the forecast for a day or so. If it has been raining, let the roof dry (it gets dry in a hurry under a hot sun). Make the inspection and then determine the tools and materials you’ll need and carry them to the roof at one time. This way, you avoid lots of ladder climbing and walking across the roof surface. We suggest that you wear thick rubber-soled shoes, for safety, even though the roof isn’t pitched.
Flat Roof Repair – Repairs
MAKING THE REPAIRS: The roof problem and flat roof repair solutions, as detailed above:
Exposed railheads- With a broom, clean away the stone/gravel from the repair area. Further clean the spot with a putty knife or scraper, being careful not to dig the sharp edges into the roofing. Just scrape away the dirt. Then sweep the area again. With a putty knife, dip into the asphalt roofing compound and smear a tad of the compound over the exposed nail head. Don’t skimp; use plenty of compound. Then throw a handful of fresh stone/gravel over the new compound and press it into the compound with the flat of the scraper blade. Don’t push down hard or fuss with it. You just want to sink the covering slightly in the asphalt roofing compound.
Pulled-away flashing and roofing- If possible, re-nail the flashing/roofing to narrow the gap. If not possible, use cartridge asphalt roofing cement in a caulking gun and fill the void full of the material so it oozes out the top of the gap. Then lightly trowel the compound with a putty knife to smooth it.
If the gap is really wide, the flashing/roofing might have to be replaced. Wide cracks often can be traced to the house settling on its foundation. Some settling is a “normal” condition. If the crack is really wide, or large cracks appear often, better consult a contractor.
Exposed roofing devoid of stone/gravel- This, too, can be a normal problem: heavy rains can wash the gravel into the roof’s drainage system and away it goes. This material must be replaced.
If the area is small, sweep it with a broom and then trowel on a very thin layer of asphalt roofing compound. Embed the new stone/gravel in the compound by pressing it lightly with the flat of a shovel so it sticks in place.
If the area is a large one, it is recommended that you thoroughly clean the roof with a broom and then, with a garden hose, wash away all debris. When the roof is dry, coat the area with reflective asbestos-aluminum sealer. The sealer helps stop leaks, and the reflective qualities of the sealer help keep the roof cooler during the summer months. You can add stone/gravel to the roof when the sealer dries-spreading it evenly over the area that you have coated with sealer.
Flat Roof Repair – Seams
Seams, junctures, and valleys- You may be able to just coat the area to stop the leak. Try cleaning the spot with a broom and scraper, removing all debris around the crack or worn area. Then trowel on a thick coating of asphalt roofing cement, feathering out the edges with the trowel. Sprinkle stone/gravel over the spot and embed the stone/gravel with the flat of the trowel. Easy does it; press down lightly.
If the spot feels spongy or the crack is large, chances are the roofing has pulled away from the roof decking and needs to be replaced. Use roll roofing or asphalt building paper for the patch. Or, you can use fiberglass screening the same way. We recommend the barbed nails for this job.
Nail pops- These are common. Drive the popped nail flush with the roofing surface, and then drive a new roofing nail next to it. Cover both with asphalt roofing compound for a weather-tight seal.
Flat Roof Repair – Skylights
STOPPING FLAT ROOF LEAKS AT SKYLIGHTS AND PARAPETS:The flashing around the curb of a skylight on a flat roof seldom has to be replaced, but the flashing can pull away from the curb due to the expansion and contraction of the wood that forms the curb. This causes leaks. If the gaskets sealing the skylight are okay, look for the leaking problem at the flashing.
You will have to remove the skylight (probably) from the curb to get to the flashing. Once the skylight is off, the job is easy. Clean away all debris with a broom.
With roofing nails, reset the flashing against the curb, driving the nails flush with the flashing and asphalt building paper and roll roofing that is lapped up against the flashing. Just drive the nails flush to the surface of this material. Then trowel asphalt roofing cement over the area in a fairly thick coating.
If the roofing is damaged where it “folds” or laps up against the curb, you may be able to replace it with a patch. Clean away the stone/gravel next to the curb and lay a piece of asphalt roll roofing in a fairly thick bed of asphalt roofing compound. Fold the roofing gently and lap it up the curb. Then nail it in place. Cover the patch and nails with the compound. Then add stone/gravel and embed it slightly into the compound with the flat of a trowel or shovel.
The wooden curb could be rotted, causing leaking. If this is the case, the curb has to be replaced along with the flashing and the roofing that overlaps both. This is really a job for a professional since the curb may be tied in structurally with the roof framing.
Flat Roof Repair – Parapet
PARAPET FLASHING: If the roof has a parapet, chances are the parapet is flashed along its top with metal (although sometimes the flashing is just roofing lapped up and over the top).
If flashed and the flashing is damaged you can replace the damaged section easily.
- Remove any stone/gravel from the area.
- With a prybar padded with a piece of scrap wood which also acts as a fulcrum, loosen the nails that hold the flashing into position. Then pull the nails. You should be able to lift off the flashing cap now.
- Clean the area under the cap.
- Cut a piece of asphalt roll roofing for a patch to fit under the flashing. The patch should overlap the spot that you are repairing at least 4 inches. Embed the patch in roofing compound troweled on fairly thickly. Press the patch in place.
- Cut another patch that overlaps the first patch by about 6 inches. Coat the first patch with compound and press the second patch in place. Add extra compound at the joints. Use plenty of compound.
- Replace the flashing over the patch. You’ll probably have to bend the flashing for a tight f roofing nails and then seal the nail heads with roofing compound. Replace the stone/gravel to complete the project.
Flat Roof Repair – Vent Stack
VENT STACK FLASHING: If the flashing is leaking around a vent stack, you may be able to replace this flashing with new flashing you can buy at many building material outlets and home center stores. The cost is not prohibitive.
- Remove the stone/gravel around the stack. With a utility knife, cut the roofing membrane at the old flashing. You’ll be able to see the outline of it through the roofing. Then with a prybar and scrap wood fulcrum, remove the old base plate of the flashing.
- With a piece of roll roofing (or buy pre formed), make a patch to cover the area of the old base plate. Cut a round hole in the patch ing material to fit down over the stack. Make this hole a tight ft so the roll roofing laps up the stack slightly. Cover the patching area with compound and embed the roll roofing into it.
- Now slip the new flashing over the stack, embedding the base of the flashing in a thick layer of compound. Nail the flashing to the roof decking and with pliers crimp the top of the assembly into the opening of the stack. Coat the base of the flashing with plenty of roofing compound and replace the stone/gravel around the repair.
Flat Roof Repair, Major Flat Roof Repair