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Foam roofing – Distinctive features, costs, maintenance requirements

Choosing a new roof for your residential or commercial property can be challenging due to a great variety of options on the market. Spray foam roofing can be a good solution if you need a roofing system notable for its performance, water resistance, and longevity. This material possesses unmatched insulation and waterproofing properties, increasing the overall energy efficiency of a house and reducing annual energy bills. In this comprehensive guide, we tackle various topics surrounding foam roofing, including its properties, lifespan, upkeep requirements, and installation costs. By the end of this article, you will be able to make a thought-out decision about whether SPF is suitable for your home.

Foam roofing – Distinctive features, costs, maintenance requirements

Table of contents

1. What is foam roofing?
2. Spray foam roofs - The primary merits and downsides
3. What does spray foam roofing installation look like?
4. What are the average foam roofing costs?

What is foam roofing?

Spray polyurethane foam is created by mixing polyol and isocyanate with heat and pressure. These components are sprayed on a cleaned roof surface, creating a solid and fully adhered roofing membrane. The liquid can expand up to 20 times in volume, covering the roof with an insulation layer that makes it waterproof and energy-efficient. 

SPF can be used for commercial and residential buildings with flat roofs. This material is lauded for its long service life, low weight, and simple installation. Heat resistance makes SPF advance the house’s energy efficiency and lower spending on electricity. Besides, spray polyurethane foam prevents water accumulation on the rooftop. Professionals recommend applying more foam in vulnerable roof areas to form a thicker layer that enables water to drain. 

Lifespan and maintenance 

The lifespan of spray foam roofs depends on the quality and thickness of the foam applied and the material used for top elastomeric coating. As a rule, manufacturers provide a standard 20-year warranty for SPF roofs. But the practical lifespan can be higher, especially in the case of regular maintenance.

You may extend the longevity of a foam roof by renewing the top coating. First, you have to inspect the roof for leak-prone areas and damages. Then you should apply a new silicon or acrylic coating. Once the new layer of foam roof coating is installed, you may expect it to last the next 20 years, not bringing you any headaches. The updated coating ensures better resistance to moisture and temperature drops. 

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Spray foam roofs - The primary merits and downsides

Pros

  • Easy installation

SPF seamlessly conforms to any roof shape despite its irregularities and ridges. This material is flexible and can be applied on flat and pitched roofs. 

If any signs of damage appear on a foam roof, they can be easily eliminated by recoating the damaged area. Thus, you don’t need to replace the whole roof.

  • Energy efficiency and insulation

Spray foam roofing enhances home insulation, keeping the heat in during the winter and preventing its penetration into the house in summer. By reducing the load on air conditioners and heaters, you can save on energy bills while maintaining the comfort of your home.

  • Sustainability

Spray foam is one of a few roofing materials that bring zero waste during their lifetime. SPF installation requires minimal stripping of the existing material, eliminating the need for costly roof tear-offs and waste.

  • Longevity

With proper installation and regular maintenance, foam roofs can be efficient for up to 40 years. To keep their long-term performance, you just need to recoat the roof every 15 years to prevent the foam layer from degrading. Thus, you can cut costs and avoid the need for frequent roof replacement.

  • Waterproofing

SPF has excellent waterproofing properties and improves roofing performance in several ways. Firstly, since a foam roof is installed in one layer, it is seamless, which means it has no nooks for water seeping in. Secondly, it's commonly covered with closed-cell foam for better moisture-resistant properties. And finally, proper installation of foam roofing allows slight slopes that direct rainwater to the gutters.

  • Lightweight

SPF is extra lightweight and suits roofs of any construction and pitches. This material does not put much pressure on home walls, so it can be successfully used even on the roofs of antique houses.

Cons

  • Specific weather conditions needed for roof installation

To ensure the efficient installation of SPF roofing, you need specific weather conditions. The spray is not recommended to foam at low temperatures or when it’s rainy or frosty. Spray foam roofing installation should be performed on dry and warm days only.

  • Overspray potential

When you install a foam roof by applying a spray, there’s a risk of droplets falling onto the surrounding area. Take precautionary measures before work commencement to reduce the overspray risk and minimize its potential impact.

  • Maintenance

Foam roofs should be inspected at least twice a year to identify and address the existing issues. It is also recommended to conduct visual check-ups after hurricanes and storms. Small cracks and punctures can be eliminated by applying an elastomeric sealant compatible with the spray foam system.

What does spray foam roofing installation look like?

SFP roofing installation is a complex process that includes three main stages:

  • Preparatory work. This stage involves cleaning the existing roof from dust and debris and preparing the foam by mixing its two key components.
  • Foam application. The spray should be foamed on the existing roof surface. Once sprayed, chemicals will enter into a reaction and start expanding and filling cracks or gaps on the roof. After a while, the foam will get solid and form a waterproof and seamless layer.
  • Finishing work. Coat the surface with the elastomeric silicone or acrylic layer to protect the roof from UV light, bad weather conditions, and other factors that can lead to roof damage.

What are the average foam roofing costs?

The national average cost to install 1-inch SPF roofing is $275 per square. If you need to cover a standard 2.500 square foot roof, you should expect to spend around $10.500 for material and labor. Nevertheless, the final cost can vary depending on the thickness of the foam layer, the roof structure, its condition, and the material used for the top layer. Plus, it’s essential to consider local labor rates. 

If you want to get accurate spray foam roof costs, consult your local roofing professionals. Besides, you can always refer to reputable contractor-matching platforms like HomeQuote to get quick price quotations from verified roofers. 

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