June 23rd, 2012
The two most common sources of roof leaks on a foam roof (or really any type of roof) is skylights and scuppers. Generally when a roof leaks it’s because of a failed penetration on the roof. Leaks are usually not found in the membrane it’s self. Curb mount skylights are the easiest type of skylight to change and usually come in 2 common sizes 2′ by 2′ or 2′ by 4′ and are avalible from home depot or lowes. It should be noted that they will carry single and double dome skylights, the difference being a single dome has one lens where a double dome has two lenses. If the space under the skylight is liveable space it requires a double dome, if it is not liveable then you only need a single dome. I recommend double dome sklights no matter where they are going it’s twice the protection for about $10 more.
In the picture below it shows a picture of a skylight that has been sealed shut and no longer functions correctly. This pretty common thing being done and it only woks in the very short term and should not be done. The time it takes to seal it up and the price you might pay someone to do this you could have replaced it for less.
- sealed skylight lens with failed coating.
In this next picture it shows how a skylight functions.
functioning parts of the skylight
In This last picture it explains how to remove the skylight
Be sure to remove all 8 nails or screws before removing
Removing and replacing skylights isn’t as hard as you might think. Find the nails or screws holding the skylight on remove them and the gently pull the skylight off. Once you have it off put the new one in place and push it down so that it’s flush against the top of the curb then nail it in place. You can probably remove and replace on of theses in about 15-20 min.
February 20th, 2012
In this tutorial I’m going to show you how to fix a small foam split next to a plywood seam. As a rule of thumb foam that is sprayed directly over plywood will not leak. This is because water cannot travel underneath the foam because it’s fully adhered to the wood. However there are some exceptions to this rule
1. A leaking penetration i.e. pipe , t-top, scupper ect.
2. A split at a plywood seam.
This split is only about 1 1/2 inches long but the damage it did inside was incredible.
foam split next to plywood seam
As you can see this is a very small split that can go unnoticed. Typically something like this would never leak. But what gives it away is the plywood seam right next to it.
1. First cut one side of the split in a V pattern
Split through to seam
2. Next use a polyurethane caulking to fill the crack. (It’s important you V it out don’t just caulk the top it will split again)
Caulk the hole
3. Tool the caulk with you finger or cardboard. Make sure you go past all the edges of the cut.
Tool the caulking
4. Now the repair is finished you can coat the caulking with elastomeric coating.
August 13th, 2009
Here is a good example of how a common oversite can cost consumers money. In this tutorial I am going to explain why this scupper failed. I am also going to show you how to do a basic repair that will stop the leak . And finally I’m going to show you the damage caused by neglect.
In the picture below you will see a failed scupper. The reason this scupper failed was due to the roofer not tearing out the old roofing from inside and around the scupper, before applying the new roofing material. Common practice for overlaying an old roof with a new roof is to what they call “divorce” the old roofing from around scuppers, pipes and other penetrations. The reason they do this is because these are weak areas and are often the source for leaks.
As you can see where the arrows are pointing are places the old mastic has dried out and seperated from the scupper. Had all of that old material been removed prior to the new roof installation this would have never happened.
Ok now that we can see where our leak is, how do I fix it? Go get a couple tubes of urethane caulking and a caulking gun apply the caulking in all the cracks and tool it with a piece of cardboard or putty knife. You can then apply some elastomeric roof coating over the top of that And the repair is finished.
This kind of fix is easy to do yourself. This type of repair is considered a permenent fix. However if your roof is under warranty call your roofing contractor and have him tear out the old material and redo it. If this happened at one scupper chances are all of the scuppers are the same way and need to be corrected.
Below is a picture of the damage this leaking scupper caused.
celing cave in
July 26th, 2009
In this tutorial we will learn how to properly repair a parapet wall split on a built-up or similar type roof system. The materials you will need are.
1. Caulking gun.
2. Urethane Caulking.
3. Polyester fabric (ty-tex tape)
4. Elastomeric roof coating and paint brush.
The first step is to clean the area of repair and apply the urethane caulking.
Parapet wall split
Step 2. Apply a heavy coat of elastomeric roof coating to repair area.
Apply elastomeric roof coating
Step 3. Lay the polyester fabric across the repair area make sure the fabric runs past the repair area at least 2 inches on all sides.
step 4. Apply 1 more coat of elastomeric roof coating on top of the polyester fabric and brush or roll the coating in.
Apply one more coat of elastomeric coating
Now the repair is finished this is what it should look like.
Finished wall repair
Doing this kind of repair yourself can save you alot of money. The leak was obvious and now you can do it yourself. A leak like this can end up in hundreds if not thousands of dollars in damages. Regular roof inspections can and often find these kinds of problems before they cause any damage from water intrusion.
July 17th, 2009
In this tutorial I’m going to show you how to repair blisters on your foam roof. Foam roof blisters are not uncommon and are relatively easy to fix. There are many things that can cause blisters please refer to our F.A.Q for common causes.
Normally blisters are not that big of an issue to be concerned with. Unless you have alot of them , They are unusually big or they are broken. If the blisters are broken then prompt attention is needed to fix them because they can be a source for leaks. It should also be noted that blisters bigger than a baseball should be fixed by a roofing contractor who does foam roofing.
Blisters are fixed as a part of a routine roof re-coat.
In this first picture it identifys a golf ball size blister.
Cut the blister out using a razor knife (bread knifes work the best).
This is a golfball sized blister
Fill the hole with a polyurethane caulking. DO NOT use any other kind of caulking your repair will fail.
Use polyurethane caulking to fill the repair area.
Tool the caulking with a piece of cardboard or putty knife. Make sure you tool the caulking past all of the edges.
Tool the caulking
Coat the repaired area with an elastomeric roof coating. This is a permanent repair.
This is the same process a roofing contractor will use to fix blisters that are baseball sized or smaller and less than a 1/2 inch deep.
Below is a picture of a blister that you should not attempt to fix. If you have one that is broke and might be leaking you can caulk it then have it repaired later.
Volleyball size foam roof blister
July 16th, 2009
One thing that often damages a urethane foam roof is bird and bee damage. This type of damage is usually found near the edges of roofs or on top of parapit walls mostly on roofs with overgrown trees hanging over the top. What happens is birds peck holes in the foam and then the bees come and tunnel through the holes. This kind of damage is very easy to fix if caught early, but if left ignored it can cause extensive costly damage. I have seen complete walls and edges in need of complete tear off and re-foamed because this type of damage was ignored. The reason birds and bees do this is because one of the main ingredients in foam is sugar. Some ways you can help prevent this is by
1. Keeping trees cut back from the roof.
2. Place rubber snakes or plastic owls in the areas that are being effected.
In this tutorial I’m going to show you step by step how to fix this type of damage.
Things you will need:
1. Polyurethane caulking, DO NOT use any other kind of caulking they will not work (especially silicone) it will popout of the hole like a plug due to expanding and contracting.
2. A piece of cardboard or something similar to tool the caulking with.
3. elastomeric roof coating, disposable paintbrush and gloves
4. caulking gun.
Clean off the oxidized foam with a fingernail or brush.
Fill up hole with caulking.
Tool the caulking with cardboard or putty knife, apply a little pressure to make sure the caulking is down in the hole.
Apply a generous coat of elastomeric roof coating over the urethane caulking. This is very importantwith out this coating the suns uv rays will destroy the caulking and your repair will fail.
Your repair is finished. if you followed this tutorial step by step This repair is a permanent repair and no further action is required. This do-it-yourself repair can save you hundreds of dollars.
June 27th, 2009
This is how you make a basic repair this is commonly known as a 3 course repair. Materials you will need.
1. Asphalt Roof Cement or commonly known as “Wet patch , mastic”
2. reinforcment webbing
Doing a basic wall repair like this can save you a lot of money, and is very easy to do.
This is a standard method of repair and can be used on built-up or SBS modified bitumen systems.
Make sure the area is clean from dirt and other debris. If necessary scrape old roofing material off.
Apply a thin layer of wet patch to the area to be repaired approxamately 1/8 thickness (make sure to apply wet patch at least 2 to 3 inches wide around the entire area of repair).
Apply wet patch
Place the reinforcement webbing. Center the webbing with the split.
Apply reinforcement webbing
Apply another thin layer of wet patch on top of the reinforcement webbing.
Thin layer of wet patch
The final repair should look like this. You can apply some aluminum roof coating over the top if you wish, but its not nessecery.
The above pictures are for illustration purposes for a typical 3 course repair only. This type of repair is used on built-up or SBS modified bitumen systems. Or also known as “rolled roofing”.