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Foam Roof Repair

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What is a Foam Roof?

Although most residential homes have sloped roofs, some homes have flat roofs. Foam roofing is usually used on commercial buildings, but also used for residential purposes as well. Foam is a lightweight roofing material, which means that homes do not need extra structural supports.

Many homeowners like foam roofing because of its low installation cost, low materials cost, overall insulative qualities and energy efficiency. Spray foam roofing or SPF is seamless and applied as a liquid but dries as a strong dense layer. Foam roofing consists of top protective coating layer with granules, base coat and an inner foam layer. These roofing materials are built over the roof deck, flashing and drains.

Potential Problems for a Foam Roof

Foam flat roofing is not normally recommended in areas with lots of snow or rain. A foam roof can also have certain problems that need repair, such as blisters because of the presence of water. Foam roofs are prone to leaking, especially if the flashing and underlayments are not correctly installed or if the top layer never adhered properly.

Drains and downspouts should also be built in to a foam roof to drain any excess water from the roof and to avoid water retention. Ponding is when water stays on a flat roof surface for more than 48 hours; it can quickly deteriorate a roofing surface.

Repair an Older Foam Roof

The longevity of the flat foam roof can vary, but the entire lifespan of a foam roof is from 10 to 15 years. All foam roofs should be inspected every 6 months. Since flat roofs sometimes retain more water than sloped roofs, finding these problems early is crucial.

An older foam roof can be fixed by finding, cleaning and patching the roofing membrane. The underlying roof deck may also need to be repaired, if it is damaged. Another option is to recoat the roof with a new acrylic/elastomeric “cool roof” coating in a light color. This coating can further weatherproof and repair minor leaks in a flat foam roof. These coatings also extend the lifespan of a foam roof to about 30 years.

Although these repair methods can extend the roof’s lifespan, they should only be done if the roof is still structurally sound. Otherwise, the entire roof will need to be replaced. Homeowners should find a local roofer who has worked extensively with foam flat roof repair and installation, and ask for references.

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