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Should You Install a Foam Roof?

Should You Install a Foam Roof?

It Insulates and Protects

Usually, a polyurethane foam roof costs about equal to a Built Up Roof (BUR) with underlying insulation. However, foam roofs are unique because they are the only roof type that both insulates and protects against leaks with a single monolithic barrier.

Different Materials to Consider When You Install a Foam Roof

There are a lot of flat roofing materials, but all are not equal in quality. An EPDM (rubber roof) or single ply roof, sealed either by tars or adhesives are not as high quality as a typical BUR roof. The reason is they usually last less than 10 years, while a higher quality BUR roof may last a lot more than 10 years. Usually, a BUR roof is built with a few semi-flexible membrane layers, and then water-proofed with water resistant modified bitumen.

Remember, coal tars are a known carcinogen (not as severe as asbestos – otherwise, this would be more widely known). Modified bitumen, however, comes from oils, refined at much lower temperatures than coal tar, and is a much safer substance. The fluctuating prices in the cost of a barrel of oil gets passed on to the roofing industry. As the costs of asphalt roofing materials continue to increase, and the cost of a high quality polyurethane foam roof remains more steady, that makes SPF or foam roofing more affordable for consumers.

Compare Costs Before You Install A Foam Roof

Cost, of course, can vary due to a lot of factors, like geographic location, and size and type of the project. Prices might be estimated anywhere between $3-$12 per square foot, and this can be effected by several other factors – the quality of the materials used, the labor costs to install these materials, and any associated warranty, contractor insurance, or bonding costs which will get passed on to the customer.

Initial Cost Factors:

  • Roof Size: for example, large projects are often cheaper per square foot due to installation efficiencies gained with economies of scale.
  • Roof Penetrations and obstructions: if your roof has a lot of obstructions – skylights, pipes, and AC equipment for example, you can expect higher installation costs due to increased labor requirements.
  • Materials Used: EPDM and Single ply roofs are cheaper materials that won’t last as long. Higher quality roofing such as polyurethane foam may cost a little more, but it will insulate more efficiently and could last the life of the building. In contrast, a roof, such as Tar & Gravel, with insulation will expense about the same as an SPF roof.
  • Location: Is your property in a convenient local location, or will your contractor’s crews have to drive a significant distance to reach your property?
  • Condition of Existing Substrate & Roof: Can the current roof membrane be re-used, or does it need to be torn off? Is asbestos or other harmful substances under your roof membrane that have to be dealt with? Is there dry-rot or other failing materials. Do drains, vents, skylights or other roof penetrations need to be replaced or repaired?
  • Are you thinking of installing solar power or replace your vents & drains, etc? It’s a lot more cost effective to do all of this at once. What if if your solar power installers caused a leak in your roof, and neither contractor (roofing or solar) wanted to fix the issue because they each blamed the other. If you’re thinking of installing solar, now would be a good time to coordinate the two installations simultaneously.

Long Term Considerations

If you’re going to install a roof, it’s good to think about the long term cost impact. If you have decided to install a foam roof, the insulation factor can pay off big in the long run. Also, think about adding cool roof coatings; just by changing the color of a roof to something reflective can lower summer cooling bills by 30% or more. Medium Density Sprayed Polyurethane Foam Roofing conforms to a roofs corners and angles and usually has an R-Value around 6 to 8 per inch of thickness. In layman’s terms, one inch of foam is as effective as 6 to 8 inches of solid wood.

In reality, due to things like vapor trapping (foam forms a barrier), and the density of foam (it is light, but heavier than air–of course), foam can be 4 times more effective than fiberglass. If you have lived in an older, poorly insulated home, you know that heating and cooling bills can really get out of control with a poor insulation. This is just one final cost factor which should be considered when you’re comparing an insulated roof like SPF with other roofing materials, like EPDM, Single Ply, or BUR, with no insulation.

Emergency Roof Repair Contractors

Mikku and Sons Roofing has been helping residents throughout Phoenix since 2001. Our experienced and friendly crew members can inspect your roof and help you get it ready for the monsoon season to help you reduce the risk of damage. If your roof has damage from monsoon storms, we are ready to help you with quick and complete roof repair. We have experience in all types of commercial and residential roofs, including tile, shingle and flat roofs. We are fully licensed and insured and make it our mission to provide quality workmanships and exceptional service.

Call us today at (623) 465-1068 to find out how we can help you prepare your roof for the coming monsoon season or to repair it after a storm.

Request Your Free Estimate

Tips for Foam Roofing Maintenance

Tips for Foam Roofing Maintenance

It Has Great Advantages

  1. A Tight Waterproof Seal
  2. Superior Insulation Qualities
  3. Very Durable
  4. Environmentally Friendly
  5. It Is Attractive

More than likely it was the advantages that convinced you to choose a foam roof originally. However, just like any other type of roof, foam roofs also need to be properly maintained.

Tips For Foam Roofing Maintenance
That Should Make Things Easier

Remove Any Objects You Don’t Need

Some property owners put furniture and other such things on the surface of their foam roof. While this might be a good way to take in a view, keep in mind that these unnecessary items could also damage the very material you’re depending on to keep your property watertight. Putting it bluntly, the less you use the roof as a platform, the less the foam is likely to need expensive repairs or more than normal maintenance.

Make Sure to Keep it Clean

Every roof needs to be kept clean, so this should go without saying. Every year, you should go up and take a look for yourself to see whether any obvious maintenance is needed. If you can, though, you should go up on your roof once every season just to be careful. It’s also a good idea to check the roof after any major monsoon storm, just to make sure nothing got blown on top of it or damaged anything. The good news is that the cleaning can probably be done by you yourself. Clearing bird’s nests, leaves, tree branches and other debris can easily be done by hand and will help protect your foam roof.

One thing a foam roof won’t attract is pests like rodents and insects, so you won’t have to worry that cleaning it also means you’ll have to deal with these little nuisances.

Check for Color and Texture Issues

When you’re up on your roof, check to see if any areas look like they’re beginning to get discolored discolored. You should also check the texture. This is why you want to do more than just cleaning to properly maintain your foam roof. You should walk over the whole structure to make sure it still has a texture that looks something like an orange peel. Anything else should make you concerned. Typical problem signs are textures that might resemble popcorn of scrambled eggs, strangely enough. Either one is probably a sure indication that your foam roof has been damaged in some way.

Obviously, if you notice that the roof is being exposed in any way or its showing signs of deterioration beyond the texture issues we just spoke about, you definitely have a problem.

Don’t Re-coat the Roof Yourself

Foam roof maintenance is something that can be handled by the property owner, but re-coating the roof most definitely is not. The process may look simple and easy, but it involves a specific and critical form of cleaning using the correct materials in specified amounts. If you decide to try re-coating the roof on your own, you’’re going be inviting more expensive problems in the future. You should leave repairs and re-coating to qualified professional flat roofing contractors.

Emergency Roof Repair Contractors

Mikku and Sons Roofing has been helping residents throughout Phoenix since 2001. Our experienced and friendly crew members can inspect your roof and help you get it ready for the monsoon season to help you reduce the risk of damage. If your roof has damage from monsoon storms, we are ready to help you with quick and complete roof repair. We have experience in all types of commercial and residential roofs, including tile, shingle and flat roofs. We are fully licensed and insured and make it our mission to provide quality workmanships and exceptional service.

Call us today at (623) 465-1068 to find out how we can help you prepare your roof for the coming monsoon season or to repair it after a storm.

Request Your Free Estimate

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