Tips for Maintaining a Polyurethane Spray Foam Roof

The Benefits of Commercial Spray Foam Roofs

Polyurethane spray foam is a versatile roofing material known for its excellent insulative properties and seamless application that leaves virtually no room for leaks. Its cost-effectiveness and long lifespan (30-50 years when well cared for) make it a popular choice for commercial buildings.

A polyurethane foam roof offers several advantages over traditional roofing materials, including:

  • Good insulation: The foam has a high R-value (a rating of a roof's resistance to heat flow), keeping your building cooler in summer and warmer in winter.
  • Durability: When well-maintained, a foam roof can last over 50 years due to its ability to expand and contract with temperatures.
  • Waterproofing: The seamless nature of spray foam application results in a watertight roofing solution.

This type of roofing is installed by spraying a liquid mixture that expands into foam, creating a solid layer across an existing roof. Once the foam has cured, it is coated with a protective layer of elastomeric coating to improve its durability and waterproofing properties further.

Common Issues with Spray Foam Roofs

Despite their strength and resilience, foam roofs are not immune to issues. Over time, exposure to the elements can lead to several problems. In particular, we must contend with heat, sun, and rain damage.

Three of the most common repair issues associated with spray foam roofing include:

  1. Cracks and blisters: Caused by thermal expansion and contraction.
  2. UV damage: Sunlight can degrade the outermost layer.
  3. Pooling water: While foam roofs are generally good at draining water, poor installation and a lack of maintenance can lead to ponding.

Keep reading to learn more about how to take care of your building's polyurethane spray foam roof.

Routine Inspections

The best defense is a good offense, and when it comes to your roof, this means regular inspections with a professional roofer. At Lyons Roofing, we can't stress enough the importance of this preventative measure. We recommend getting a roof inspection at least twice a year for commercial properties.

A professional eye can catch budding issues like small cracks or degrading areas that might go unnoticed but can turn into significant problems. This proactive step can save a lot on potential repairs down the line.

Signs your spray foam roof needs repair or maintenance:

  • Visible cracks or tears
  • Discoloration or fading
  • Soft spots, sagging, or depressions
  • Increased energy bills or signs of heating and cooling loss
  • Water pooling, water stains, or signs of leaks

DIY Maintenance Tips

So, you've got your bi-annual maintenance visits scheduled; now what? Taking care of your commercial spray foam roof doesn't stop with professional maintenance. Between visits, you can contribute to preserving your foam roof in several ways.

DIY spray foam roof maintenance tips:

  • Keep it clean: Remove debris like leaves, branches, or dust. This can prevent drainage issues and the growth of mold or algae.
  • Patch small cracks: Use a compatible sealant to fill in any hairline cracks or smaller issues. For larger concerns, though, call the professionals.
  • Ensure smooth drainage: Check that your roof drains properly. While foam is applied to prevent standing water, elements can shift over time. Ensure drains and scuppers are clear of obstructions.
  • Reapply the coating: Depending on your roofer's recommendation, recoat your roof every 5 to 10 years to maintain its reflective surface and ensure UV protection.

In addition to these preventative maintenance steps, there are several things you should not do with your spray foam roof, including:

  • Don't walk on the roof unnecessarily: Foam roofs are durable, but walking on them can cause damage. Only do so if needed and with care.
  • Don't delay repairs: Small issues can escalate. If you notice a problem, contact Lyons Roofing immediately.
  • Don't DIY everything. Some tasks are best left to professionals. When in doubt, contact us to handle the complexities of foam roof maintenance.

Foam roofing systems offer incredible benefits, and with diligent care, they can perform well past the average roof lifespan. For more information and tips or to schedule your next roof inspection, visit our website or send us a message. We're here to ensure your roof stays in peak condition, rain or shine.