One last construction job we had to do was get our roof re-sealed. It wasn’t leaking, but the interior ceiling paint was starting to bubble in a few spots, so dampness was clearly getting through. Rather than let it endure another rainy season and possibly start leaking, we decided to get it fixed now during the dry season.
Another issue we had with the roof was that when the house was built they didn’t quite get the pitch of the concrete right in one spot (which is fairly common apparently!) and so a lot of water tended to puddle in one corner. The original owner’s solution to this had been to drill a small hole through the concrete ‘lip’ that surrounds the roof to let the water drain. That was effective but meant we had a nice little stream of water hitting the ground behind the house every time it rained and for several hours afterwards!
One thing a lot of people told us was that the white roof sealing paint (like we had on our roof) isn’t that good and needs re-applying every year. Rather than get into a cycle of annual roof painting we looked around for a more durable solution.
Lebron from Sunshine Roofing came highly recommended by a couple of people we know and trust locally and he suggested using polyurethane foam.This amazing stuff gives a very durable seal and can also be sprayed thicker in certain areas to correct pitch problems. This sounded perfect for our needs. The quote wasn’t cheap but it is guaranteed for 8 years, so over time is probably no more expensive than re-painting the roof every year.
The actual execution of the job was extremely painless. A few days ago Lebron and a helper came in with their power washer and spent several hours thoroughly cleaning the roof. It was left to dry out and then yesterday he arrived with a crew of foam specialists.
We already knew that our 3 existing skylights weren’t raised high enough above the concrete, so once foam was added they would all be in depressions allowing water to collect. The contractor’s solution was for Miri and I to run out to the hardware store and buy 3 more glass blocks of the appropriate sizes. The guys then placed these on top of the existing skylights and used the foam to seal them into place.
The actual process of applying the foam was fascinating. They had a sophisticated setup in their truck with 2 separate pumps and a control unit. These separately fed the 2 ingredients of the foam from large drums through tubes within a heated pipe up to their special spray gun which combined them in a fine mist. As the foam hit the roof it would expand and harden very quickly (you could walk on it within 5 mins).
Three of the guys walked around spraying – the main man, Tony, was doing the actual spraying, one guy was carrying the pipe behind him and the other was holding a large piece of cardboard to stop the foam spraying over the side of the house! Another guy was keeping an eye on the equipment in the truck and the fifth was starting to ‘sculpt’ the already hardened foam around the drainage holes. Lebron was acting as supervisor to the whole process.
After they were done with the foam, they applied the final layer which was a grey silicone paint. They did this by hand around the edges of the roof and around the skylights and then sprayed it on the rest of the roof. The whole process from start to finish took about 5 hours, with no fuss and no mess. Our roof is now thoroughly water-proofed!
Lebron told us to wait 6-8 weeks to let the concrete completely dry out before scraping off the bubbling paint, sanding it down and re-painting the ceilings.
The funniest part is that up to this point we haven’t actually paid a cent! Lebron didn’t want a deposit beforehand and after the job was done he said he call us in a couple of days to come over and get a check once his secretary had prepared the invoice. He is clearly extremely confident in his work. I guess at the end of the day he knows where we live! 🙂