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New Foam Roof - encasing over roof plumbing in it?

4 replies [Last post]
Joined: Apr 30 2007

Hi All,

I've got an Eichler with an old Tar and Gravel roof. We had to replace our plumbing last year and it's now going over the roof to our bathrooms.

We're thinking of replacing our roof with a new Foam roof. We've gotten several estimates, all within a couple of thousand dollars. But several have stated that they would encase the new plumbing in the foam, while others have said they would lift the plumbing over the new foam. Each insisting their way is the correct way to go.

I'd like to know what other people have done in this instance and what's the right way to go.


Joined: Mar 20 2003

Since you have the plumbing on the roof, I would encase it since your water pipes won't freeze and your summer cold water won't be hot. I'd think you would see lots of benefits.

I would of course make sure a good plumber check all the piping for leak integrity before hand and make sure the roofers took proper percautions before it was foamed.

Don't forget to check with your city before you decide on this. You will need it to pass the permiting code.


P.S. Don't forget to do everthing else you want to do to your roof before you foam it...bathroom fans, kitchen range hood, skylights, electricial wiring, phone, cable, doorbell, the list goes on and on. Remember there is no crawl space and no attic in your Eichler.

Joined: Apr 30 2007

Thanks for the info. We're thinking of replacing our bathroom fans, and would like recommendations for those as well. We're finding that most bathroom fans now have side ducting, whereas our current fans are going straight through the roof.

Joined: Mar 25 2003

I recommend getting a ceiling fan with a light and a heating element. I put in a quiet, strong exhaust fan when I did the roof, but it's so strong it sucks in cold air, making the mornings a bit nippy in the winter.

Joined: Apr 20 2006

WATER PIPES and ELECTRICAL on the roof -
1. When pipes and conduits are installed on a roof, be sure your contractor leaves at least six inches of clearance above your old roof. This way, your new foam roof can be installed without the trouble and expense of modifying or removing and replacing the pipes or electrical conduits.
2. When installing pipes and a foam roof together, channels can be cut in the old roofing material to make the top of the pipes flush and hide the pipes. This way, they won't show after the new roof is installed. It is a lot of expensive work to reinstall old pipes and electrical just to make them disappear, and not worth the expense.

Consider drainage - Lumps and bumps covering pipes and conduits buried in the roof can block drainage.

Consider condensation - a cold water pipe exposed to indoor air will be a great place for droplets of water to form and drip.

Consider cosmetics - You will be able to see where channels are cut into the old roof. A thick foam roof still telegraphs imperfections in the surface below.

Smart choices - Find someone that you know you can trust with the work, then follow their recommendation.

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