Pros and Cons of Foam Roofing

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Pros and Cons of Foam Roofing

We know you have many options when it comes to roofing for your home or business. No matter what type of roof you have, it is more important than ever to make smart and long-lasting, yet cost-effective decisions for your business and its related commercial structures in today’s economy. 

Maintenance of your facilities and buildings can be costly over the years, especially roofing repairs and systems replacement.  There are many types of roofs available when you have a roofing need, and the decision you ultimately make for your roofing may depend on the style of your roof, your environment, and of course, your budget.

One increasingly popular option for commercial building roofs is Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) roofing, also known as Spray Foam Roofing. Below we’ll provide a breakdown of the pros and cons of this method of protecting your roof.

Pros to Spray Foam Roofing

One of the first things to like or pros to this roof protection method is the easy installation of the coating. Applied as a liquid, the roofing system product is sprayed onto your existing roof, where it will be allowed to expand over time – filling in cracks, crevices, and gaps in your existing roof.  

This method also makes this polyurethane foam roofing a good option for uniquely shaped or sloped rooflines as well as for a hard to maintain flat roof. The SPF roofing material can be installed on top of any roofing configuration at your home or business.  Additionally, Spray Polyurethane Foam can be applied on top of any existing roofing systems including shingles, metal, concrete, wood, and asphalt, making it an environmentally friendly option as well – reducing waste.

Of all the roof systems, a foam roof is incredibly energy efficient as spray foam has an ideal R-value per square foot. This will work as insulation, protecting your roof against the elements. In fact, there is no better product for your commercial roofing needs when it comes to reducing energy costs. SPF roofing essentially serves as a layer of insulation to your building, reducing your overall heating and cooling costs throughout the year. Saving energy also makes this a more environmentally friendly option. 

Additionally, SPF roofing resists UV light and heat absorption over time and serves as a highly effective moisture barrier for your roof. Due to the nature of the expanding spray foam, it is incredibly rare for a foam roof layer to leak.

Finally, maintenance is incredibly easy on this type of roof system. If you inspect your roof over time and notice issues such as cracks or gaps, the new foam can simply be reapplied over the existing roof. However – the good news is that your foam roof will require very little maintenance, likely lasting for decades.

Cons of Spray Foam Roofing

There are very few “cons” or limitations to an SPF roof. One of the most important variables and something to research thoroughly before hiring a contractor is training. The Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance has a particular training protocol and certificate program, properly training contractors to apply the product. An in-depth understanding of the chemicals being used and how to precisely apply the spray is key to the longevity of your roofing product.

Additionally, there are some other unique factors to consider when applying your SPF roof coating. The most challenging aspect is the weather and your environment while the product is applied. There can be zero signs of moisture on your existing roof during the application process, which, for some climates, takes entire months of the year out of the possible window of application. 

Application of Spray Foam Roofing can also be messy. There is always the potential for overspray around the edges of the building, and as a result, vehicles, a nearby home, or other parts of your building may need to be protected during the application process.

Spray Foam FAQs

If you’ve never had a new roof system installed in your business, you likely have questions regarding the system’s durability, maintenance, and application process. We’re here to answer many of our client’s most frequently asked questions about this commercial roofing to be sure that you like your roof type for years to come.

How Long Does Spray Foam Roofing Last?

If properly maintained and installed, this roofing system can last up to 50 years. 

This long-term durability does not come without a routine inspection schedule. Your roofing material should be inspected twice a year by a certified contractor that is also qualified to make any necessary repairs. Spray Foam Roofing can only viably be repaired by applying additional silicon to the existing, clean, dry material. 

As a result, it’s important not to hire an untrained contractor to perform an inspection or make alternative repairs. Any repairs can be easily made by reapplying spray to the cracked, damaged area.

Common causes of damage to foam roofs include repeated bird “pecking,” sudden impact from storm debris such as fallen branches, and improper installation or excessive moisture at the installation time. It is essential to ensure your roofing is installed right the first time.

How Do You Spray Foam A Roof?

First and foremost, a Spray Foam Roof should only be applied by a trained, certified professional contractor.  There are many types of professionals in the roofing industry, but it is important to find an experienced contractor to install your coating.  It is also very important that your roof foam be applied during specific weather conditions. There should be zero standing water or pooling on the existing roof and no chance of rain prior to or during the hours following the spray foam’s application. 

While a Spray Foam Roof is easy to apply during regular business hours and you don’t need to empty your office or home for the process – it is critical to protect from overspray. Try to schedule your application window during a time of day that is not expected to be excessively windy and also notify your neighbors and employees of proper parking distance to avoid overspray onto nearby vehicles.

The actual spraying process will occur in several layers with time in between each to expand and dry. It is essential to use a 3-pound spray during the process for optimal roof protection and to clean and dry your roof as much as possible before the spraying.

What’s the biggest disadvantage to Spray Foam Roofing?

The biggest disadvantage to spray roofing is the distinct conditions that must be present to apply the spray foam.

Unlike a shingle or metal roof, you cannot just replace pieces quickly before the rain comes. Spray foam roofing offers many commercial business owners unmatched durability and low maintenance; however, the application process takes time and is incredibly dependent on the environment.

In conclusion, Spray Foam Roofing is easy to install, incredibly durable, and a long-lasting roofing option for your business. When you use a certified and properly training contractor, installation should be easy, with very little disruption to your operations.

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