Why Doesnt A Hole In A Spray Foam Roof Cause A Leak
Spray polyurethane foam is closed-cell. Closed-cell means that if a hole occurs, the water will sit inside that hole and not go anywhere else.
This is different from traditional roofing systems that use polyiso board or other types of insulation, which, when water enters, the water can run horizontally and spread throughout the insulation.
The water keeps entering the same entry point, and further saturates the insulation until it has a chance to enter your deckand eventually enter your building, causing a leak.
Repairing Foam Roofs After Hailstorms
When inclement weather strikes the most important concern is for safety of life. However, the concern for property is always on the top of the list as well. In Scottsdale Arizona most of the bad weather that strikes the state is in the form of lightning, wind, hail, and sandstorm damage. These types of weather conditions have been known to cause extensive damage to property.
When hailstorms occur they can wreak more havoc on property than other storms. This is because it can cause damage to cars, roofs, windows and many other property items. Foam roofs in particular can take quite a beating because of this type of storm. The indentations and pockets that can be caused by hail on foam roofing can be problematic for a homeowner. While Scottsdale foam roofing has many advantages for homeowners, especially for homes in the Scottsdale region, there are problems that do occur because of storms such as hailstorms. These roofs tend to take a bit of a beating during a hailstorm. The good news is that the roof repair process after such a storm is usually pretty easy. However, if left unattended it can prove to be far more extensive of a problem later on.
Can A Spray Foam Roof Get Holes Or Punctures
Heres a strong statement to start this off.
Every single roofing system, metal, single-ply, built-up, spray foam, etc., they will all get holes and punctures.
But as a building owner, why should you care?
It would be nice to know the answers to a few questions, such as:
- How does a hole on a spray foam roof happen?
- Will this hole cause a leak in my spray foam roof?
- How does the hole get repaired?
- Is the hole covered under warranty?
And more and more.
In this article, we answer all the questions above, and more when it comes to spray foam roofs, holes, and punctures.
But why would you trust West Roofing Systems?
West Roofing Systems has been installing spray foam roofs since 1979. We also have a full-time service department that fixes holes and punctures on spray foam roofs every single day.
We know how holes happen, what happens if you ignore them, and how soon you need to have them fixed so that you dont cause permanent damage to your spray foam roof.
Lets get started!
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Spray Foam Cannot Be Installed Over A Roof That Already Has Two Or More Roofing Systems
Per building codes, the maximum number of roofing systems that a commercial roof can have is two.
If you already have two roofing systems, at least one system must be removed to legally install a spray foam roofing system.
NOTE: a good alternative for a scenario where there are already two roofing systems is a silicone restoration system.
If your roof only has one system, congratulations! You can install a spray foam roof with no legal worries.
If you arent sure how many roofing systems you have, during a roof inspection, a roofing contractor will pull core samples of your roof:
The core sample will determine how many roofing systems you already have.
How Is Spray Foam Roofing Installed
The installation of spray foam roofing is straightforward.
Spray foam roofing is one of the most popular types of roofing systems available today. It is affordable, durable, and easy to install. In addition, it can be used on a variety of different surfaces, including metal, asphalt, and concrete.
This makes it incredibly versatile and allows homeowners to use the same system for multiple different roofs.
And yet, one of the most common complaints that people have when it comes to spray foam roofing is that they are unsure of how it is installed. Are you among these people?
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About Causes Of Roofing Blisters
Blisters on flat roofing occur on any type of flat roof system materials , whether it is a membrane roof or a built-up one. Youll need guidance on how to fix blisters on flat roofing and methods for preventing roof blistering to deal with a blister area early.
Adhesion between Layers of Materials
Blisters are raised surfaces that occur in areas where there is a loss of adhesion between layers like bitumen. Generally, causes of roofing blisters have to do with trapped air or water within a flat roof membrane or built-up roof. Air or water fill up the gaps between the membrane system layers, resulting in bubble-like protrusions.
Trapped air or water bubbles in the membrane will expand in warm or hot weather while dry or cooler temperatures at night will cause it to contract. Apart from moisture in the membrane, they also happen because of poor installation and ventilation. Unless the bubbles burst, blisters can grow larger inside the membrane.
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Question #4 If Damage Occurs On A Spray Foam Roof Will Water Have An Opportunity To Enter My Building
Not on those typical situations.
Water can only enter the building if the damage penetrates all the way down to the original substrate.
This means that the damage will have to pass through a topcoat of coating with embedded granules, a basecoat of coating, and at least 1 of spray foam.
Or, if damage is left untreated for years, exposed foam can degrade enough to get to the substrate which would eventually allow water to get into your system.
We wanted to highlight that one of the greatest advantages to a spray foam roofing system is its closed-cell, seamless, waterproof structure.
Closed cell spray foam is made of cells that are encapsulated and pressed tightly together to prevent air and moisture penetration inside the foam.
In English, water will not pass through foam and get into your building.
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Possible Overspray During Installation
Anytime you work with a spray substance there is the chance of overspray, and if there is any breeze or wind, spray foam roofing has the tendency to be carried away further. This can affect vehicles parked nearby as well as the neighboring buildings. There isnt any health risk, but cosmetic damage is possible.
Spray foam roofing in an ideal product for most commercial structures and has been used on residential structures with flat roofs too. Because of the white surface it creates, the reflective features keep the UV rays from heating up a building in the summer, ideal for structures located where the summers are longer and hotter.
For structures in areas where colder weather is more prevalent, spray foam roofing may not be the best option. An experienced professional commercial roof should be able to provide information that will help a building owner choose the right roofing material. Call today.
Question #6 Will The Warranty Be Affected If A Building Owner Makes Their Own Repairs
If the repairs are done properly, there are no issues.
It can become an issue if they use a non-compatible material to make repairs.
For example, they attempt to make repairs with an asphalt-based product and smear it all over the top of a silicone roof.
A roofing contractor would then need to remove those items and patch the damage properly.
Mistakes like this happen, but if they dont impact the performance of the product, the warranty will still be active.
PRO TIP: always keep in mind to use similar materials to make repairs
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Is Your Existing Roof Ready For Spray Foam
In this article, you learned that any existing roof could have a spray foam roofing system installed on top, as long as:
- There are less than two roofing systems already installed
- Theres no saturation
- The existing roof fully adheres to the insulation below
- The existing roof is dry, clean, and sound
Whats your next step in your journey to get your commercial roof fixed?
Since West Roofing Systems has been installing spray foam roofs over existing roofs since 1979, weve developed hundreds of articles designed to help building owners with their roofing problems.
Repairing A Foam Roof
When a foam roof gets minor mechanically induced damage from equipment or personnel, repairing the roof can be done with a caulking gun. Larger penetrations into the roof can be temporarily sealed with caulking as well, but it is recommended that the contractor should permanently seal the area with a new layer of foam and coating. Polyurethane Foam roofing can sometimes develop blisters, the most common cause of which is due to the presence of moisture. The majority of blisters do not pose a threat to the integrity of the foam roofing system. Unnecessary repair attempts can result in leaks and premature roof problems. If repairs are warranted, it should be left to the roofing contractor to properly repair them. However, when waiting is not an option, there are emergency foam repair kits available that can do the job nicely when used correctly.
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Is A Spray Foam Roof Easily Repairable
Yes. In many cases, it is. However, the foam roof must have been installed properly, and it must have had proper maintenance over time. Heres why. Imagine a foam roof has taken hail damage. Then a storm rolls through your area and water seeps into those damaged areas.
Closed-cell foam has almost 1 million closed cells per square inch. Its very tight & compact. Water cant migrate through these closed cells like it would through a sponge. Instead, the water will sit in the damaged area. The damage will stay localized. In this case, repairs would consist of removal of the wet areas until your roofer reached dry foam. Then he would reseal that area via recaulking, followed by a recoating for renewed performance.
The Conventional Approach To Dealing With Flat Roof Repairs
Most conventional, flat roof systems only have a lifespan of about 10-15 years and thats if the installer was really good at what they were doing 10 or 15 years ago. If youve just started the process of entertaining the idea of roofing bids, youll hear everything from 20 years to lifetime from the salesperson. This may be true, but its not 20 years to life when it comes to the actual workmanship and certainly not for leaks. These long-term warranties are for the product, not the service. A spray foam roof will literally last a lifetime if properly cared for and re-coated before the end of the warranty period. This could be the final flat roof repair you ever need.Until recently, there were few choices when it comes to flat roof products and flat roof repair. Probably the most popular is tar & gravel. A tar & gravel roof that was installed in the 60s & 70s is a much different flat roof system than they are today. In fact, youd be hard pressed today to find a company that will install tar & gravel, simply because flat roof products have changed over the years and have been pushed into a corner by environmental laws.
Some of your more modern flat roof applications are bitumen, TPO , PVC, torch down & sprayed polyurethane foam . When I say modern, I mean all of these flat roof applications have been around for more than 30 years. Tar & gravel just hasnt been able to keep up with the environmental requirements, so is fast becoming outdated.
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Spray Foam Roofing Repair For Extensive Damage
The elastomeric coating on a spray foam roof naturally degrades after time. This coating needs to be replaced. The foam itself will also degrade and laminate over time. A natural disaster or intense hail storm can also cause extensive damage to your flat roof. In these situations, it is important to contact a professional roofer as soon as possible.
A major benefit to spray foam roofing is that, even with extensive damage , the roof does not need to be replaced. Instead, it can be rejuvenated through a process called scarification, and should only be done by a professional roofer.
Scarification is the process of cutting or planing off the upper surface of an SPF roof. This extends a minimum of a half-inch down to sound and stable foam. Your roofing professional will then ensure foam is removed well below suspected problem areas. The roof will then be cleaned and re-foamed.
A properly rejuvenated roof can be re-warranted, and you can enjoy an additional 30 years leak-free.
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Not Purchasing Enough Foam
If you buy a spray foam roof repair kit from Home Depot, it will come with some foam. But be sure to measure the area that needs repair ahead of time, and check your kits packaging to find out how many square feet it will cover.
If you need to repair a large area of the roof, you might have to purchase some extra foam to cover it.
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How To Repair Foam Roof Blisters
Sprayed polyurethane foam insulation systems are self-adhering, two-component materials, that are applied directly to roof decks, and may be used as an insulation and air barrier when applied to the underside of a roof deck, or it may be used in combination with one of several types of protective coatings as the primary roof covering.
Low odor, high rise roof insulation adhesive designed to bond approved roof insulations to a buildings roof deck, base sheets, and a variety of roofing systems KEE-Lock Foam High-performance foam adhesive engineered to fully adhere Garlands KEE-Stone®roof system.
What are the disadvantages of a flat roof? Draining: The biggest disadvantage of installing a flat roof is the danger of water and other debris gatherings, which gradually can make the roofing material break down or crack. Maintenance: This is a significant factor when considering installing a flat roof, as they require many. Lifespan: The average lifespan of a flat.
Make sure you install waterproofing that prevents condensation inside the house, and insulate underneath the roof with the foam insulation. Taking these steps will create a thermal break and keep heat and cold from being transmitted rapidly, which can cause condensation, or even leaking or ice dams.
Measuring Humidity And Radon
- Temperature and humidity data showed abnormally high wintertime relative-humidity levels almost 50 percent in the homes conditioned attic and even higher in the living space.
To monitor the homes temperature and humidity levels, I installed a couple of simple UEi THL1 data loggers . I mounted one high up on one of the vaulted ceilings in the living space, and another in an attic area. Using software that came with the data loggers, I charted the data over a period of two winter weeks in December 2009 and found that the home had relative humidity levels that ranged from 40 to 48 percent in the conditioned attic but rose as high as 56 percent in the living space, even with the ERV operating.
Given the homes unusual earth-bermed construction and the high radon levels in our area, radon testing also seemed like a good idea. As it turned out, the home had levels exceeding 38 picocuries per liter , much higher than the EPAs 4 pCi/L action level. So my clients installed a radon mitigation system basically a continuous duty fan that depressurizes the subsoil under the ground-level vapor barrier and exhausts radon-containing soil gas to the outside. With the new radon system installed, radon levels dropped below 3 pCi/L later that winter. As an added benefit, the installer reported that RH levels in the house had dropped beneath 30 percent, a more normal wintertime level.
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Final Word On Spray Foam Roofs And Damages
If theres anything you should take away from this post, its this: damages happen to all roofs, and when they do, use similar materials to make the repairs.
Now that you know how spray foam roofs get damaged and how you can repair them, youll probably be interested in other popular questions we often hear, such as:
How To Prevent Roof Blisters
About West Roofing Systems, Inc.
West Roofing Systems, Inc. was established in 1979 and now has locations in Ohio and Georgia. Holding over 18 industry awards and having installed over 50 million square-feet of commercial, industrial and municipal roofing, West Roofing Systems, Inc. is the only roofing contractor youll ever need. For more information visit westroofingsystems.com.
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