Foam roofing provides great protection for flat roofs and competes well with other forms of flat roof coverings. Foam roofing, however, is not without some disadvantages as well, so it’s important to consider the pros and cons of foam roofing before making a decision on what to use on your flat roof.
Benefits of Foam Roofing
- Easily applied. Though this is not necessarily a job for a do-it-yourselfer, a roofer with the materials and protective equipment can spray-on a foam roof fairly easily. Not only is a foam room easy to apply, but the process is quick as well. The foam, usually polyurethane, expands and attaches on contact. Foam is also very lightweight, so it’s quite possible to apply directly on top of your old roof.
- Waterproof. While other roof coatings must be applied carefully to make sure no spots are missed, foam roofing expands on contact to fill in all areas. There is no seam involve, so there is no place for water to seep through.
- Natural insulation. Foam is a natural insulation product that helps to keep the sun out in the summer and to trap the warmth in your home in the winter. That means that you can save on your heating and cooling bills with the addition of foam roofing.
- Battle the heat-island effect. That’s where building after building in a city absorbs the punishing rays of the sun. This contributes to the carbon in the atmosphere and can heat your building nearly 100 degrees above the actual outside temperature. White foam insulation helps to bounce some of the direct sunlight back into the atmosphere rather than absorb it into the building.
Disadvantages of Foam Roofing
- Cost. Compared to tar and other roof coatings, foam roofing is perhaps the most expensive of the lot. Of course, supporters of foam roofing point to its many benefits as being well worth the cost.
- Maintenance. Flat roofs in general will require more maintenance than peaked roofs and foam roofing is no difference. First, a covering to protect the foam must be put in place. An elastomeric material is usually applied and can help the foam last 20 to 25 years. You also must inspect the roof regularly to make sure there is no debris that could lead to a leak, and the protective covering over the foam must be reapplied every 5 years or so.