Is A Foam Roof Worth It?

Posted on: 2 February 2017

If you're in the market for a new roof, you may have heard about foam roof coatings. There seem to be a number of myths floating around about this roofing type, but it's actually a great choice when compared to the alternatives. Here are some of the more common questions answered so you know if investing in a foam roof is worth it.

How long do they last?

This is where foam roofs really hold their own when compared to the competition.

Asphalt shingles are touted to last 20-40 years. But in reality, most companies only warranty them for 15-25 years.

Wood shingles can be expected to hold up for close to 30 years.

Steel roofs can last 50 years, while clay tiles can endure the elements for up to 60 years. Slate and concrete take the lead in longevity, as they could stick around for up to 100 years.

Rubber roofing can survive for up to 50 years. However, most manufacturers of this roofing type only offer warranties for 10-15 years, so it likely won't last half a century.

Your foam roof can be expected to last up to 35 years, but that's if you don't even bother with maintenance. If you are diligent and re-coat as needed with professional guidance, you are essentially getting a whole new roof over the original one. Therefore, you can expect it to last up to 70 years or even longer if your roof spends most of its time in the shade.

While some of the other roofing types may last longer, there are other variables to consider. For instance, tile roofs—whether you're dealing with clay, concrete, or slate—are very heavy and prone to cracking and breaking. And metal roofing, while having a great life span, lacks the insulating properties that foam roofs have.

Are foam roofs more expensive than the others?

Actually, no. A foam roof will cost you about the same as an asphalt roof, which is typically the least expensive roofing type. There will be some variation on price depending on location, size of the job, and how much preparation needs to be done. Basically, you're looking at somewhere between $3-$12 per square foot.

Are foam roofs more energy efficient?

This can be a critical factor for many people: choosing a roof that is energy efficient and could possibly save you money. You'll be glad to know that, when installed correctly by a professional, a foam roof will save you money on your electric bill. In fact, you could save 30% or even more when compared to other roofing types. This means that in about 5 years, your foam roof has pretty much paid for itself.

Foam roofs have a high R-value, which is a measurement of its thermal resistance. A high R-value means a roof is very resistant to heat flow. Translation? Your home will stay warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer—a true win-win.

Are they waterproof?

Even if you live in a dry part of the country, the last thing you want to worry about is having a roof that's prone to leaking. Shingles and tile roofs can crack and break, while metal roofs can rust, leading to water leaks faster than what you can expect with a foam roof.

Foam roofs expand upon application, extending into any existing cracks and crevices, where it hardens and forms a seal that will last for years. Because of this, foam roofs are incredibly waterproof. Also, the professional roofer can create a slight slope as they're spraying the foam, allowing water to easily run off during storms. This prevents ponding that commonly occurs on flat roofs.

Foam roofs also work as an air barrier because of their closed-cell properties. So they protect the inside of your structure from moisture problems that can lead to deterioration of the property. 

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