2 years ago, we replaced our tar & gravel roof with a foam roof (the
foam roofing company went bankrupt shortly thereafter and was
discussed at length on this forum - I'm sure you can guess the name of
It seems as though this now defunct company did a good job with the
roof installation (we've had no leaks or issues in 2 years); however,
a recent conversation with an electrician (who was doing some work at
my house) has me concerned.
I mentioned that we had considered having the electrical wiring, in
the roof, replaced when the roof was replaced. However, that would
have entailed more work, since the foam roofing company left the
original insulation that was under the tar & gravel roof. While they
removed the tar & gravel covering itself, they claimed that by leaving
the existing insulation, we would end up with a better insulated house
(overall) after the foam roof was applied on top of the existing
insulation. The electrician in question said he had never heard of
applying a foam roof this way.
So can someone tell me if there is a problem in how my foam roof was
applied? If so, what are the consequences? What would the remedies
and is cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter than neighbors who only have a foam roof.
They had too many layers of T&G, so according to code, had to take it down.
Code still allowed one more layer of roofing for mine, so I had them leave the 3" or 4" layer.
This did create a problem and it's with the edges. Water falls all over the house where the roof is pitched. The water over flowed the edging. I had to glue on aluminum angle iron that angled the flow towards the flat portions. Also glued an alumium angle iron along the edge where the pitch dumped.
If I had to do this over again, I'd have installed a 2x8 gutter/curb to that portion at the bottom of the pitched sections. Then have the spray the foam over that. 20x20 hinde sight.... :)
The sound level from the roof is almot non-existant, but I have a 4'x4' operable skylight in the living room so sound does come in via that triple paned dome.
VERY happy with the installer, who is one of the advertisers on this forum (too bad I can't name names...it's against the rules)
Hopefully Randy will jump in on this one. He is the best qualified to advise you on your question.
I got exactly the opposite advice; I suspect roofers propose or discourage stripping the roof depending on whether they think they can correctly estimate how hard removing the existing roof will be. An unnamed foam roofing company that went out of business a couple years ago suggested stripping our roof; we did it, and they had a miserable time because we had at least two layers more of tar and gravel than they expected. They spent three days stripping the roof, and because of the delay, we got flooded when a brief rainstorm hit our unprotected roof. I'd suspect the extra cost of tearing off our roof encouraged the unnamed company not to propose tearing off your roof.
Another company (still in existence) didn't think we needed to strip the roof, but was *very* concerned at how close the new roof level would be to the level of our clerestory windows opeing into the living room. They insisted we needed a carpenter to raise the windows up above the foam, or else they'd have to spray foam a few inches up the window. We declined.
Regardless of the flooding, I'm happy we removed the roof. We had an awful lot of weight up there (two layers of tar and gravel, one acrylic coating, one layer of soggy insulation board). We also found that a previous owner had spliced wires to light fixtures in the roof with wire nuts, wrapped the connections in electrical tape, and buried them in the roof. Bad.
Any roofing company who said they would spray "up and over" onto a skylight would never have my business, nor recommendation.
The *ONLY* way to solve that is to raise the skylight above the foam roofing and transition to the skyligth lip protected by the over hang of the skylight flashing.
"Soggy" insulation has to be removed regardless of roofing type. With any type of roofing that is basicly "sealed" and doesn't "breath", soggy will turn into mold/mildew/etc and rot to become a health hazard.
A "good" foam roof will have vents placed according to code or spec (I don't know what that is). The vents should have the area directly underneath it drilled through the "old" layers of roof to allow an escape routing.
Any roofer who doesn't ***KNOW*** whether to leave or take off old roofing is over their head. There are codes governing and engineers who consult on these matters. No guessing for anything I'll ever do.
They should also know how hard it is to take off old roofing. Maybe newbie in the market, but then that is the risk isn't it? Even then, they should have enough experience to handle any unexpected and there will always be a potential for the unexpected. Adapt and telling on their knowledge and free associative skills to bring their knowledge base to bare.
Your foam roof may be OK if the old foam boards, under your tar roof were backed with tar paper. The foam boards under tar roofs will absorb water. Residual moisture immediately affects the connection between sprayed foam and the old foam boards. A weak connection can later become evident and create all sorts of problems on the way to failure.
Eichlers have a big advantage over other styles of roof design. The gaps in the ceiling boards allow materials under tar roofs to breathe quite well. Testing on other types of structure has shown that saturated insulation has little chance of drying when ventilated to the outside by tiny roof mounted vents.
Eichlers weren't designed for modern, thick insulating roofs. The short vertical windows called celestory (and clear story) are often too low where they look out over the roof. There is not enough room for an insulated roof. It is very expensive to remove, raise and replace these. In several hundred cases, we have installed the foam roof about an inch up this glass. A white foam roof delivers much more light through this narrowed window. This doesn't create any cosmetic problems; The wide window curb usually hides this when viewed from inside.
The curbs at the edges often need to be raised to keep water from spilling over. We raise edges more now than we did years ago. (sorry Ben ??) We have learned that taking chances always costs more than playing it safe. We will require temporary pipe removal on roofs more than anyone else. Cosmetics are very important to us. If something looks lumpy or poorly done, it will look like that for decades. It will look like that when you go to sell your Eichler and cost you plenty.
Roofing doesn't attract technically minded contractors. (Who really wants to be a roofer ?) There will always be knowledgable, quality-minded people with money-saving methods, a 'special nozzle' and a reassuring manner. Sometimes the worst job was the priciest. When I make a purchasing mistake, I feel worse about the decision than the time and money I'm losing. What's really scary is when I realize that in the same situation I would likely do the same thing again.
between a skylight and a "celestory".
Now do. Tough one and know Randy researches for his companys work well.
Yes, I was an "early" one and had the "water fall" problem. Solved now and admitt it's a bit "busy" up there with the angle glued on to channel the water. Not noticable unless you are up there.
Dang, just found some leakage from the chimmney top and showing inside on the fireplace. Now have to go up there this summer (if it ever stops raining) and reseal the top area.
I'll try to buy some of the sealer from Randy's company, if they will sell it. Found some stuff on the internet, but it's always a gamble. Most of the information comes from the eastern seaboard and all around hurricane alley.
To seal chimney masonry, a penetrant like Drylock soaks deep into the surface and keeps water out. Minor cracks can be sealed with any good quality exterior caulk. If a leak starts near the chimney only after a couple of weeks of rain, chimney masonry is a likely suspect. Look to a chimney sweep to find out if your chimneytop masonry should be repaired or replaced. Some Eichler owners have a metal cap made to cover the chimney top.
Ben might be referring to a layer of our white coating to re-seal his chimney. We think it's better to use a good penetrant instead of a thin layer of coating. Of course, if you already have a coating on the masonry a penetrant won't work. We don't think our technicians are qualified to work on masonry, and avoid this kind of work. If you wrap your chimney with plastic and the leak stops...it's probably not the roof that leaks.