Spray foam roofing is also known as Spray Polyurethane Foam or SPF roofing. It is a strong and lightweight flat roof solution. A spray foam roof should be inspected after any strong storm, but a full professional inspection is only required every five years.
Locating the Damage
It is easy to locate damage on a spray foam roof since the membrane is ‘closed cell.’ In a closed cell foam, each air pocket is completely surrounded by solid material. Alternatively, an open cell foam has air pockets which connect (think of a bath sponge.)
This means that it is unlikely that there will be a crack or hole through the entire SPF membrane. It is more likely that a chunk will come off or there will be a shallow crack. In fact, the only way an SPF flat roof can leak is if a hole is punctured through the entire substrate. This also means that water cannot move laterally on an SPF roof. This not only protects your home, but allows you to quickly locate a problem visually.
If you do have water leakage in your home, call a professional roofer right away. This indicates a major failing in your SPF roof system.
SPF Flat Roof Small Damage Repair
Spray foam flat roofing with small punctures can be fixed easily with caulking and some additional elastomeric coating to protect from UV rays. Firstly, the area around the leak must be cleaned of dust and dirt. Then an SPF compatible caulk needs to be pumped into the damaged area, and buttered onto the surrounding area to ensure water tightness. Then the same type of elastomeric coating originally applied on your roof must be applied overtop. The three usual forms are silicone, acrylic and urethane.
Spray Foam Roofing Repair for Extensive Damage
The elastomeric coating on a spray foam roof naturally degrades after time. This coating needs to be replaced. The foam itself will also degrade and laminate over time. A natural disaster or intense hail storm can also cause extensive damage to your flat roof. In these situations, it is important to contact a professional roofer as soon as possible.
A major benefit to spray foam roofing is that, even with extensive damage (provided the original installation was done well), the roof does not need to be replaced. Instead, it can be ‘rejuvenated’ through a process called scarification, and should only be done by a professional roofer.
Scarification is the process of cutting or planing off the upper surface of an SPF roof. This extends a minimum of a half-inch down to sound and stable foam. Your roofing professional will then ensure foam is removed well below suspected problem areas. The roof will then be cleaned and re-foamed.
A properly rejuvenated roof can be re-warranted, and you can enjoy an additional 30 years leak-free.