Foam roofs are an excellent choice for flat roofs. They significantly increase the insulation of your house and can drastically lower your heating and cooling costs.
Foam Roof Maintenance
Foam roofs can easily last 25 years with the proper maintenance. Foam roofs generally require a recoat 5 years after they are first installed. Your foam roof will still look new and be in good condition but this doesn’t mean you can skip a recoat. Recoats perform much better when added early rather than later. If you recoat late there will be additional expenses because of additional surface preparation and it won’t likely last as long. Just like sunscreen, coating works best before you get a sun burn. Recoating your foam roof will cost about 25% of the original cost. A second recoat is generally necessary only 25 years after the roof’s installation.
If small holes to the foam roof occur because of equipment or damage from people walking on it, you can usually calk it to prevent it from spreading. Larger holes will require a recoat to ensure that your foam roof lasts a long time.
Foam roofs do not require much maintenance after the first recoat. Keeping your foam roof clear of debris by sweeping it or spraying it off will a hose will help increase it’s longevity. Also, keeping foot traffic to a minimum and not putting furniture on it will also help you maximize its lifespan.
What Happens If I don’t Maintain the Roof
If you do not maintain your foam roof it will slowly deteriorate. Small pits will start to form on the foam where the coating has worn out. You can easily see these holes on the roof’s surface. They look like small little dark spots. UV rays will slowly expand the holes making them deeper. Because the foam will degrade slowly, it could take a few years for the hole to create a leak.
When you have surface damage to your foam roof, you can no longer recoat it. The whole roof will need torn off once you have a leak. Generally, these holes will start to develop 15 – 20 years after your roof is installed. If you have yellow or orange foam that you can see on your roof, you have waited too long to recoat it.
When Should Foam Roof Maintenance Be Done
Foam roofs should not be recoated when the weather is below 65 degrees or your foam will not properly set. If the weather is too hot the roof will set too fast leading to difficulties attaining an even surface. Usually two people are needed to recoat a foam roof. One person will apply the foam while the other will even it out.
If you live in Phoenix, the best time to recoat your foam roof is in late March, April, May, early June, October, or early November.
Overall foam roofs are a great choice for flat roofs. Although they are expensive compared to other types of flat roofing, the added insulation will save you money over time. They do require more maintenance than some roofing options as well, but after your first recoat you are typically good to go.