Did you know you can make a roof out of foam? Yeah!
Shingles and metal are no longer your only options.
Still, what’s the typical foam roof life expectancy, and what makes them so good?
To Start With, What Even Is Foam Roofing?
Foam roofing should be your first choice if you live in a hotter area.
Why? Roofers use a combination of polyurethane foam and elastomeric protective coatings to both resist degradation in the sun, repel water, resist damage, and insulate your house against the sun’s heat.
The polyurethane foam that roofers use is often rated at a very high density, allowing it to cover large areas without adding much height at all.
The Pros of Foam Roofing
Foam roofs offer many benefits.
We’ve already touched on some of them, so we’ll only briefly mention them here.
However, foam roofing offers bonuses that other kinds of roofing don’t, and we’ll touch on those new bonuses more in-depth here.
Like we mentioned previously, foam roofing offers high resistance to solar degradation (a foam roof’s average lifetime exceeds the lifespan of asphalt shingles) and high resistance to water ingress.
So what makes foam roofing so durable and long-lived?
Well, that all boils down to the approach that foam roofs take to dealing with damage.
Your typical asphalt roof functions like a car in a car crash.
Asphalt breaks and splits to absorb damage (acting like a car’s crumple zone).
A foam roof, by comparison, is much more elastic.
The high-density foam used works like a pool full of water.
When an impact is made (think hail), the foam ripples outward in a circle until the impact’s energy disperses.
Additionally, in the rare case, your roofing foam is punctured, the material is self-healing and will expand to fill in the damage.
All of these benefits should make foam roofing your next choice for a commercial or residential building.
How Do You Get the Best Foam Roof Life Expectancy?
As mentioned above, foam roofing can last you longer than a roof full lifespan of asphalt shingles with the proper maintenance.
So, what do you have to do to protect your investment and your home?
Here are our main maintenance considerations for foam roofing.
When You Should Recoat
First things first, redo the rain coating your foam roof came with after the first five years have passed.
Why? Well, after the first five years, the foam on your roof will have had a chance to settle, and imperfections in the first job will have started to show.
Think of this recoat like a tetanus booster.
You’ve already given your roof its first shot, but it needs a second shot of the good stuff to reach the levels of immunity you’re looking for.
Finally, you’ll want to get on a regular recoating schedule.
Recoat your roof every 5-10 years to keep your roof in tip-top shape.
This single step is one of the most important factors in the lifespan of any foam roof.
You can typically expect to pay 25% of the original roof installation cost to have it recoated.
(Learn more about getting the best foam roof repair)
Repair Damage Early
Next, be mindful of damage.
While foam roofing is reasonably resistant to punctures, it can still be peeled away or scraped up.
So, once a year or so, get up on the roof to look for damage.
If you find any, repair that damage with caulk to prevent any more damage and increase longevity.
If you end up finding a massive hole, don’t bother with caulk.
Instead, call the roofing company and have them do a patch and a recoat.
Other Regular Maintenance to Keep up On
Foam roofing is easy.
All you need to do is keep it clean.
Sweeping several times a year will have a significant impact on the performance of your roof.
After the first recoat, feel free to hose the roof down instead of sweeping it.
Finally, do your best to decrease traffic on the roof and keep any furniture far away.
This will avoid early compression of the foam itself and degrade the foam’s compression resistance.
Signs That You Haven’t Been Caring for Your Roof Properly
Another reason foam roofing is excellent is that it will tell you if you’re not caring for it properly.
In many ways, that makes foam roofs both incredibly easy to maintain and relatively unforgiving.
Here are a few signs that you’ve been neglecting your roof.
Your Roof Is Starting to Pit
If you missed your 5-year recoat, you’ll start to notice pitting in the foam of your roof.
Like any foam, once the polyurethane is exposed to the elements, it will begin to rot and degrade.
So, it’s essential not to miss your 5-year recoat.
Think of recoating your roof like putting on sunscreen.
You can put sunscreen on a sunburn, but it will always be more effective if you sunscreen up before any damage has been done.
Still, it can take several years for UV radiation to degrade your roof far enough to create leaks.
You’re Noticing Yellow/Orange Foam
Yellow or orange discolorations are signs of water damage and should be taken very seriously.
If you notice yellow or orange spots, these are either a sign that you didn’t monitor the roof regularly enough, that you missed a hole during your last inspection, or that you missed your scheduled recoating.
Seeing yellowing is usually akin to a death sentence for the part of the foam roof that it’s on.
First, you’ll need to have the whole area torn up to repair any water damage, and then you’ll need to have new foam installed.
Expect to see yellow or orange spots on your roof at between 15-25 years, depending on the quality of care you’ve taken.
Foam Roofs Are a Great Choice for Any Household
We always recommend foam roofs to anyone living with a flat roof because of the foam roof life expectancy, aesthetics, and functionality/excellent insulating properties.
When compared to other forms of flat roof roofing, foam roofing just can’t be beaten.
So, what are you waiting for? Book an appointment to get a foam roof installed on your house today.
Are you concerned about your foam roof? Call AZ Roofing Works today to get a Free Roofing Estimate! Find out exactly how your roof is doing. Contact us online or call our office directly at (602) 283-3383 to have your roof inspected.