What is foam roofing?

foam roofing

Commercial Foam Roofing

Yes, exactly what is foam roofing? Doesn’t sound like something that you would want to depend on to protect your business does it? However, it could be the best protection for your business according to foam roof experts. They tell us for foam roof vs TPO, that foam roof benefits may far outweigh typical roof coatings.

Foam roofing comes in a liquid form of polyurethane. The contractor will spray it onto rooftops and then expand, creating a solid layer over the existing roof. Experts of this material claim that for a commercial building with tough roofing challenges, foam roofing can be the answer, inside and out of your structure. We have conducted our own research for using foam for roof coating and have found answers to commonly asked questions, which we will share with you here.  

Are foam roofs any good?

In today’s economy, what business owner doesn’t want to get the most bang for their buck with anything and everything? This includes to roofing system for your commercial structure, including roof coatings. So, what is all this foam roofing all about and is it any good?  We offer you the following pros:

Installation

Foam roofing is easy to install, which will save you money because it won’t take the contractor as much time to install. Even better, your business’s daily routine won’t be interrupted during installation, a money saver for sure. This foam roofing material is a polyurethane material that is sprayed onto your roof. It expands and conforms to the shape of the roof, no matter how irregular the shape. Contractors can apply it to asphalt rooftops, concrete roofs, metal, or wood.

Efficient

Foam roofing, aka SPF roofing, delivers barriers that will provide your commercial structure air, moisture, and thermal insulation equal to the highest R-value rating per inch. This is a better level of insulation, which will save you money on energy expenses.  A foam roofing will keep the summer heat out while keeping the heat in during the winter. It has a UV light resistance, providing emissivity.

Maintenance

Once foam roofing is installed, there is minimal preventative maintenance required. If the roof is properly maintained, repairs are few and it can last over 50 years, another money saver in the long run. Experts of foam roofing systems recommend semi-annual inspections, once in the spring and one in the fall. Should any event happen, such as an earthquake or hailstorm, experts of foam roofing recommend an additional inspection. If a re-coating is required, the existing materials do not be removed, and the roofing contractor can apply the new coating over the current roofing material, another money and time-saving feature.

Seamless, Waterproof

Foam roofing is seamless, which eliminates a source for leaks. Because foam roofing is a liquid that is sprayed on, it eliminates that vulnerability and will fill any cracks, gaps or seams that the current roofing may have.  Because of how this material is applied, the contractor can level it, thus decreasing any possibility of water ponding. Because it will contract and expand with the building and the exterior temperature, it reduces the possibility of cracks and splitting.

Renewable, Sustainable

During the lifetime of foam roofing, there is almost no waste. Because there is little to no stripping of the pre-existing roofing materials, there are environmental and financial savings from the very beginning. Other factors that support foam roofing’s renewability and sustainability:

  • ODP – Potentially Zero Ozone Depletion
  • VOC – Volatile Organic Compounds
  • CFCs – Chlorofluorocarbons Free
  • GWP – Potentially Ultra-Low Global Warming

Can spray foam rot your roof?

This is a reasonable question and a frequently asked one. The simple answer is:  No spray foam does not rot your roof. Foam roofing is breathable, allowing air and moisture to flow through. This ensures that any water that seeps in will not sit there and create rot. Because the foam roofing is an open-cell material that is spongy, when water encounters it, it can pass on through.

Can you walk on a foam roof?

According to the SPFA (Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance) and the NRCA (National Roofing Contractors Association), foam roofing can handle up to 50 pounds PSI (per square inch). So, the short answer is yes, you can walk on foam roofing.  If your HVAC repair tech or the plumber needs access to your building’s roof, it is perfectly safe for them and the roof.

However, it is like any roof coating, foam roofing can be compromised by sharp objects, like hailstones. This refers to our earlier statement, after an event like a hailstorm, a visual inspection is recommended, and recoating done immediately.

How do you repair a foam roof blister?

If your building has foam roofing, you know that regular inspection, proper maintenance, and occasional repairs may be needed from time to time. During inspection, if there are any bubbles noticed, call a roofing contractor.

Those bubbles, which look like rounded domes, are sometimes referred to as blisters and are a sign that it has trapped moisture inside the foam roofing. The polyurethane that is used for foam roofing is two different materials mixed, creating the closed-cell material. That material has air bubbles locked inside, and moisture can collect there. Most of the time, that moisture will work its way out, but occasionally, it doesn’t.

Foam roofing will wear away, like any roof coating, and need re-coating or replacement. A professional contractor that is experienced and knowledgeable with foam roofing should always do this. 

a flat white roof

How long do foam roofs last?

Spray foam roofing is approximately 50 years old as a roofing system and is in an ongoing improvement stage, with drastic improvements all along since its first introduction. Testing is still being conducting regarding weathering, but in the right climate, we estimate foam roofing to last 80 years or longer when properly installed and maintained.

When looking at roof coatings for your commercial building’s flat roof, we should consider foam roofing. Depending on the environment you locate your building in, foam roofing could very well be the best investment you make. Call 775.358.7663 today for your foam roofing installation in Sparks, NV.