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starrider 08-11-2006 08:51 PM

Flat roofs???
Hi Guys!

In this Bay city...most...practically all have a flat roof as this 80 year old house does. Most have the pea gravel on top. Whereas mine has what looks like a polyurathane or silver colour foam (no gravel).

I have been told that it is the newer way of doing roofs. while up on the roof...i noticed that it is continues to develop small cracks.

I have been filling these small cracks with 'roof patch' a black tary stuff in a can ...using a putty knive...

I was told this was NOT the right stuff to fill the cracks?

Would someone explain the pros and cons between the two types of roofing ...pea gravel vs. silver foam like... And since i have this silver roof ...what should i be using to patch these small cracks...what is done when you need to reroof this kind of roof?... Inotherwords do they just spray another layer of foam over the old stuff???

I can only see one drain spot where the roof grades down a little and drains the water out the side into a drain pipe running down the exterior wall...

And there is perhaps a small space between the ceiling...however i have not found any access to it...perhaps just a foot more or less...

Thanks!!! Your advice appreciated...! Starrider

asbestos 08-11-2006 10:41 PM

I am not an expert but there are "membrane" roofs made out of rubber stuff (EPDM) since these are made of a plastic/rubber material I think the asphalt in the "black goop" will degrade your roof. there are several products for newer style roofs. Is this silver colored foam the foil coating on those sheets of ridged PIC insulation? I would also look for manf.' s websites to see if you recognize what you have

starrider 08-11-2006 10:54 PM

Hi Asbestos!

It looks like silver paint and perhaps describing it wrong when i say it is hardened. It looks like it was in some semi liquid form when applied...and before i started to use the tar had already began to show small cracks from just the sun and environment i assume...

Thanks for your input...we'll look up those your suggestions...


starrider 08-12-2006 12:35 AM

Checked out the Epdm products...rubber membrane...and this doesn't look like what i have...although from what i read...seems looking into it as an alternative might be a good idea...


inspectorD 08-12-2006 06:06 AM

I hope there is at least a little pitch to your roof.:D

Stuff you have is most likely a spray foam insulation covered with silver oxide paint.The same stuff used on metal roofs. I have also seen the silver on asphalt shingles, this stuff lasts a long time.

If you have cracks I would change the roof, water gets into this type and takes forever to get out.Besides that you can never really tell the condition of it with tiny cracks all over.

The new style EPDM rubber roofs last much longer and are easier to repair when you do get a hole. No tar should be used on any of these roofs....eats em up.:)

starrider 08-12-2006 10:25 AM

Thanks InspectorD!!!..."silver oxide on foam"...ok good to know!

So when i get a new roof...what about the structure underneath...when my neighbor was up on it...i noticed he kind of bounced his weight on it to see how rigid the roof was...and was able to bounce a little...

Inotherwords...if the structure is ok...can the EPDM just be place over the old foam roof?

Thanks again...Starrider

manhattan42 08-13-2006 10:41 AM

EDPM usually cannot be installed over other types of existing roofing materials and codes prevent more than 2 layers of any type of roofing material at all.

Because of the structure's age, the 'bounce' may be caused by insufficiently sized rafters which could prevent the addition of another roofing layer without first stripping the old and may indicate the rafter's themselves need to be reinforced or replaced.

inspectorD 08-13-2006 10:59 AM

Like he said.....
EPDM needs to be installed over some hard fiberboard insulation and usually tapered to run water off.
The old stuff definitely needs to come off and inspect the roof deck for wear and tear.
Where you live dictates the sizing of rafters and such due to weather and snow loads. Your townie can help with that.

Get a couple of opinions and prices then post us and we'll do what we can to help.:D

starrider 08-13-2006 11:08 AM

Manhattan42.....Okay we'll hope that i don't need new rafters...however the house is old and if a reroof job is needed...perhaps it's better to just go ahead and get them re-enforced.

This house is about a mile or two from the pacific oceqn...and i feel like i am on an old boat that needs continual

InspectorD.....fiber board insulation ...Btw... there another way to go beside EPDM?....sounds like the stuff is pretty heavy in itself as a whole?

Yes ...Okay good 'run off' or 'pitch'....Thankyou Guys!!!...Starrider

inspectorD 08-13-2006 05:59 PM

Deep subject.....:eek:

Actually EPDM roofing is very lightweight compared to a Bitumenous or torch down roof with multiple layers.
The rubber actually floats on the substrate of fiberboard lightweight insulation. This is screwed down with washers and the rubber is connected at the edge flashings.

Check out for more info....or better explinations.:D

This is all I use for flat roofs now...most hassle free.
Best bang for the buck.:eek:

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