Foam roofs

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Foam roofs

Postby vespamike » Mon Sep 01, 2008 9:45 am


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Postby Futura Girl » Mon Sep 01, 2008 9:55 am

Last edited by Futura Girl on Mon Sep 01, 2008 11:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Foam roofs

Postby Stephen » Mon Sep 01, 2008 10:32 am

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Re: Foam roofs

Postby Joe » Mon Sep 01, 2008 11:30 am


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Postby egads » Mon Sep 01, 2008 1:04 pm


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Postby JXBrown » Mon Sep 01, 2008 6:52 pm

Does it really keep the interior 10-15 degrees cooler it the summer?

Yes, indeed it does. It was expensive, but keeps the house substantially cooler and more comfortable. We open the house up at night to cool it down and close it up tight in the morning. We've also removed the carpet and have tile so that the floor which stays in the 60s year-round acts as a heat sink/source. Before the roof foam, the air conditioner would run continuously and the house would still heat up to only a few degrees cooler than the exterior. Now, on the rare days that we run the elderly AC, it has no trouble keeping the house at a uniform temperature and doesn't need to run more than a few minutes per hour.

The price of the roof was high compared to the cost of the electricity to run the AC -- in fact it probably won't pay for itself while we live here, but the comfort factor more than makes up for the difference.

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Postby redneckmodern » Mon Sep 01, 2008 9:10 pm

as jx pointed out, yep, it works... we're in concord where 100deg summer temps are pretty standard. last year, we had the original tar/gravel roof on and it'd be literally 10deg warmer in the house (and it'd smell like tar... ugg.)... the roof radiated heat for hours into the night.

we had and this summer, we've hardly had to turn the newly installed AC.

one of the nice things about the foam roof, at least here in the eichlers, is that it gives you the opportunity to run new services like data, cable, new electric, plumbing, etc... we also had a minisplit system installed and the foam covers all of the lines (as well as the data and cable lines we ran)...

our roof was about $18K, but we needed a new roof badly anyway...

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Postby Futura Girl » Mon Sep 01, 2008 11:38 pm


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Re: Foam roofs

Postby BOXOUTBM » Tue Sep 02, 2008 10:47 am


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Postby Chimay » Tue Sep 02, 2008 3:58 pm

We put a spray foam roof on our house to replace the tar and gravel roof that was there previously. It had four immediate benefits:

1. Insulation - the house is easily 15 to 20 degrees cooler in the summer, and that amount warmer in the winter. And it's not a subjective thing - It's easy to compare because most of our neighbors still have the tar and gravel (or asphalt tile), with no insulation and they are still sweltering just like we used to.

2. Weight - the gravel on the roof weighed several tons and caused a fair amount of stress on the roof. It could handle it, certainly, but the beam span is 8 ft. on center and there is some noticeable sag on the tongue and groove between them. The foam that replaced the tar and gravel weighs only a small fraction of the stuff it replaced.

3. Gravel - I got very tired of fishing gravel out of my pool and sweeping my driveway and patio every time it rained or the wind picked up. This solved that.

4. Repair - this is a lot more robust than tar and gravel, and a lot easier to repair when/if it does need it. Before, it was difficult or impossible to identify the leaks. I haven't had any leaks on the new roof, but if I do it should be easy to spot. And to fix it, I just spray some of that HILTI foam over the crack and call it a day.
Last edited by Chimay on Tue Sep 02, 2008 4:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby redneckmodern » Tue Sep 02, 2008 4:05 pm


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Postby Chimay » Tue Sep 02, 2008 4:12 pm

Friends don't let friends live in McMansions

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Postby vespamike » Tue Sep 02, 2008 8:33 pm

Wow. Thanks to all of you for all of the input. For those of you that have the foam roofs, did you have to strip off the previous roofing material? We currently have asphalt shingles on our roof. The roof was put on previous to purchasing the house 3 years ago. Some contractor websites say that tear off usually is not required. [/quote]

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Postby egads » Tue Sep 02, 2008 10:03 pm

I doubt a asphalt shingle roof would be compatible as a base for foam. Most of these folks have flat roofs that use foam. I think it's a little crazy to remove a 3 year old roof. If you needed a roof it would be different. Like I said, I'm getting by by venting. One strategy folks rarely use is to place a fan blowing out to remove heat when returning home. I also run my furnace on fan only. (no central A/C yet) I also have a portable roll around A/C unit. It cost about $500. It makes a big difference.

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Postby egads » Tue Sep 02, 2008 10:26 pm

Also, see the thread about Phantom screens:

http://www.lottaliving.com/bb/viewtopic.php?p=42023

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Postby BOXOUTBM » Wed Sep 03, 2008 6:25 am


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Postby mcmwws » Mon Sep 22, 2008 9:29 pm

We are just completing a major remodeling/expansion of our 1950 MCM house. The old roof was a built-up composition roof with gravel on it. It used to be like living in an oven during july and august! During the remodel, we did a number of things which have dramatically improved things.

First, all the new portion of the roof was decked with radiant barrier decking. Our contractor used LP Techshield - which looks like normal roof decking in 4x8' sheets, but has an aluminum foil-like layer bonded to the bottom of it. I agree with the above poster - this was huge. It really works. Needs a few of inches of air space under it.

Next, we looked at foam. But for various reasons, decided to try a 'membrane' roof. Basically a sheet of thick (90 mil, IIRC) vinyl, and white - so it is very reflective. Lifetime warrantee. Made by IB Systems.

A *lot* of venting under the roof decking. Probably 50x more than there was originally.

The normal fiberglass insulation above/behind the drywall.

Dual pane Milgard windows with SolarMax coating. It is a MCM, so naturally we chose black aluminum frames. The aluminum frames are not very highly resistant to heat transfer, so was a trade-off for looks. And on a hot afternoon, one can feel a pretty big temperature difference between the frame and the glass. But there is so much glass area vs aluminum that I think the trade-off was a good one. And the black aluminum frames really look great!

Bottom line is that the A/C almost never runs. Maybe a few minutes late on a hot afternoon.

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Postby MidCenTujunga » Sat Sep 27, 2008 10:45 pm

One thing you have to be aware of with foam roofs is birds love to peck at the foam to use it to make their nests. It's important to never allow the foam to become exposed because once the birds realize that there is foam underneath the coating they will continue to peck even if you recover the exposed foam. I always check mine from time to time to make sure that there is no exposure.

BTW is does reduce the amount of heat radiating in a lot.
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