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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Default SPF / Foam Roofing ??

    Is any one familiar with inspecting SPF or Foam roofing? I attached a couple pictures that I took on a walk through of a commerical building (no inspection completed yet)? My initial concerns with a just a quick glance are ponding water area and "bubbled" or "blistered" areas of foam?

    Any information, things to look for, known problems associated with this type of roofing, or opinions on this type of roofing are appreciated.











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  2. #2
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    Default Re: SPF / Foam Roofing ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Kolar View Post
    Any information, things to look for, known problems associated with this type of roofing, or opinions on this type of roofing are appreciated.
    Andrew,

    That is one horrible looking sprayed on foam roof - that looks like the applicator had no idea of how to apply that foam.

    No ponding water, the top coat is not intended to have ponding water, the foam will be damaged if/when the water soaks into it, the roof would need to be replaced or all the wet areas cut out and re-done (not an easy task).

    The finished surface should be sloped to drain water and not have any ponding water areas (i.e., be flat in-plane).

    In my opinion, there is no acceptably good reason to install those roofs - too many problems and too difficult to do it correctly. Those roofs take trained applicators and the use of material which is not outdated (not past the expiration date), and the top coating is seldom (if ever) applied properly or thick enough.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: SPF / Foam Roofing ??

    Thanks Jerry.

    That was kind of my gut instinct... without knowing much about it.

    What is the recommendation going forward to the person who does or will own the building?


  4. #4
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    Default Re: SPF / Foam Roofing ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Kolar View Post
    What is the recommendation going forward to the person who does or will own the building?
    That the roof will probably leak and fail MUCH sooner than would otherwise be expected ... and that you have NO IDEA when that will happen, only that it will happen SOONER ... that would otherwise be expected.

    Was the top coating in good condition, or had the rain, wind, birds, etc., already began to deteriorate the top coating and expose the foam to the weather? Once that happens, it will fail even sooner ...

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  5. #5
    Frank Suchodolski's Avatar
    Frank Suchodolski Guest

    Default Re: SPF / Foam Roofing ??

    Advice to the future owner... Put a real roof on. I've seen only one of these roofs, as Jerry said, highly trained applicators needed, they're just not around. I've heard that SPF (PUF) roofing has had limited success down in Arizona (when it isn't raining), but I wouldn't use it somewhere where it rains or snows. It really isn't a well thought out product.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: SPF / Foam Roofing ??

    They use it a fair amount here. If the roof has the proper slope, it seems to work pretty well. A big if, though. The top layer seems to blister a lot. I almost always am recommending that the roof be re-coated because there are so many blisters and bubbles popping open. It also seems to be pretty susceptible to hail damage, which is a problem here. I don't think I would use it on my house from what I've seen so far.

    Last edited by Jim Robinson; 03-04-2011 at 01:35 PM. Reason: clarity
    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  7. #7
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    Sep 2008
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    Texas
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    Default Re: SPF / Foam Roofing ??

    I've seen quite a few of these roofs. Thet have all looked like this. In my opinion there is not anyone that can apply a roof like this where there won't be any ponding.

    The bubbling and blistering is caused from the area not being properly prepped. You need a dust free, oil free, water free base before the foam will adhere correctly.

    The thing to look for are area where the application abuts curbs for AC units. If the curbs weren't high enough then the installers may have sprayed too much foam too close to the curbs allowing water to enter the area where the units are.

    The blisstered areas will eventually get brittle and when walked on the area will crack, allowing water to penetrate and cause more delamination of the foam.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: SPF / Foam Roofing ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Carlisle View Post
    I've seen quite a few of these roofs. Thet have all looked like this. In my opinion there is not anyone that can apply a roof like this where there won't be any ponding.
    Wayne,

    I can attest to the fact that it can be done ... just not easily.

    Out of the possibly 100 or so of these roofs I've seen, only one ... yes, ONE ... was applied properly - starting from a substrate pull test to make sure the substrate (residue from previous built-up roof) was sufficiently adhered to its substrate (it was not, so it was ground down to the concrete deck, then the concrete deck scarified to create a surface to which the foam could adhere to.

    Each lift was applied, then the low areas filled slightly more , and prior to the last lift being applied, the surface was ground down with a special grinding machine to create the flat in-plane slope required, then the final lift, final grinding, then the top coating.

    ONE TIME in all of those roofs I've seen was it done properly.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  9. #9
    Frank Suchodolski's Avatar
    Frank Suchodolski Guest

    Default Re: SPF / Foam Roofing ??

    I've seen it done right once...in a video! Or maybe they just had good editing. Point is, "Is this roof worth it?" And right now the answer is NO.


  10. #10
    Thomas Thayer's Avatar
    Thomas Thayer Guest

    Default Re: SPF / Foam Roofing ??

    UV rays are the enemy of SPF roofs. The white acrylic top coat must be in good condition, no blisters, no pin holes, no delamination. Check the ponding areas. Once the foam is exposed to sun light its all over...


  11. #11
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    so so, California
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    Default Re: SPF / Foam Roofing ??

    wow, I thought that was snow!!

    The MAZZA INSPECTION GROUP
    www.mazzainspections.com
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