Spray Foam Roofing Maintenance
Summertime is a great time for roofing installation and maintenance. Both homeowners and commercial facility owners take advantage of the better weather to get their roofs repaired, restored or replaced. When it comes to fixing spray polyurethane foam roofs, or full replacement of existing roofs with a spray foam system, there are some important guidelines to remember.
Spray Foam Roofing Maintenance
Spray Polyurethane Foam on the Roof
Spray polyurethane foam (SPF) roofing is a high density, rigid and closed-cell spray foam which is applied over new and retrofit roofing substrates. SPF acts as a protective roofing layer, a thermal insulator, air barrier, vapor retarder, and a waterproofing solution. These systems are cost-efficient and can be applied to any shape and substrate in roofing. When applied professionally, spray foam roofing locks every portion of the roof into place and creates a monolithic membrane which eliminates the need for mechanical fasteners. The material is durable and lightweight while delivering a compressive strength of 40 to 60 pounds per inch. As one of the most affordable roofing options, spray foam protects the structure from water intrusion, hail and wind uplift. It also acts as a high-performance insulator, preventing heat transfer through the roof deck, which minimizes the escape of conditioned air, resulting in reduced energy bills for the life of the roof.
Spray polyurethane foam systems are ideal for a wide range of commercial, agricultural, industrial and residential applications. It is especially useful when the roof is an unusual configuration or shape or when a sloped application is required for controlled drainage.
Because of its material characteristics and ability to adhere and seal during the application, spray foam works well in situations when the substrate includes numerous penetrations. The foam’s resiliency also makes it ideal for regions where significant rain or wind occurs.
Spray foam roofing must be coated once the installation of the SPF is complete. The elastomeric reflective roof coating serves as a protective barrier over the SPF to help maintain the integrity and improve the performance of the roof by protecting it from UV radiation and the elements.
Replacement vs. Restoration
Existing roofs in total disrepair require either total replacement or restoration. Two common factors, weight and cost, determine the choice made. Full replacement is cost-prohibitive which makes restoration a more appealing option. Because spray foam may be directly applied over an existing roof there is no need for removal, making it a cost-effective solution to the problem. It is lightweight and is thus ideal for structures unable to bear excessive loads.
Maintenance of Your SPF Roof
The roofing industry standards recommend that SPF systems undergo roof inspection two or more times per year. Gutters, scuppers, and drains should be reviewed during inspections to ensure dirt and debris are not restricting drainage and that there are no cracks in the coating.
Rooftop units and penetrations also need to be checked to ensure flashings are all properly sealed to protect against weather. Condensation from HVAC units should be piped to drains, skylights should be checked for a proper seal, heater stacks must have rain caps and seams in the units should be sealed with caulk. The surface area of the roof system must be regularly inspected for damage caused by objects, vandalism, foot traffic, and blistering. Finally, inspection best practices call for a review of any defects potentially present in the roof, such as erosion of the coatings of the spray foam, moisture penetration, cracks or pinholes. Spray foam is a self-flashing membrane that is cost-effective and easily maintained. Repairs are generally easy, so long as you watch for are collecting debris, drainage issues, foot traffic damage, and the degradation of the reflective roof coating. With regular inspections and preventative maintenance, your roof will give you long life and return on your investment.