A foam roof is a popular option for a flat commercial building roof. Although foam roofs are long-lasting and extremely durable, they aren't completely impervious to damage. Learn what damage can happen so you can take steps to prevent, or at least promptly repair, them.
Spray foam roofing is surprisingly resilient to hail damage, in part because the material is able to absorb the impact. This means that the foam itself is rarely damaged, but the harder coating shell that's applied over the top can rupture. Repair is simply — a fresh layer of coating is applied after the hail storm so that leaks don't form. If there are severe dents, they may be filled with a foam caulk before the coating is applied.
Punctures are typically the result of storm activity — a blowing branch or other debris punctures the roof and may even penetrate into the building. There is often little you can do to prevent punctures other than keeping trees on the property trimmed and making sure there is no loose debris before a storm. If a puncture does occur, it needs to be repaired promptly so that your building doesn't suffer water damages. The damaged section of the foam roof will be cut out, and then the new foam will be installed in the area. Once complete, the patch isn't visible and it is just as waterproof as previously.
Most commercial building roofs are dotted with appliances, including HVAC systems and vent stacks. Work, including general maintenance, on these appliances can actually damage your roof. The cause of damage is usually from items placed on the roof due to maintenance, including tools, the heavy access covers, or even the feet of the technician. The best way to avoid damage is to install sturdy surface pads, which protect the roof, near these appliances. If part of the foam is damaged, it must be cut out and patched before a leak begins.
Weathering damage is a result of ongoing exposure to rain, wind, sun, and other damaging environmental events. The damage is rarely immediate, instead, the roof begins to fade and slowly breakdown from the repeated exposure. You can minimize or slow the rate of damage by having a UV protectant applied over your foam roof. Over time, water can seep into the weakened outer layers, which results in sunken areas of foam as well as the chance for a severe water leak. Fortunately, the fix requires nothing more than a fresh layer of foam over the old as long as the damage is addressed early before leaks occur.
Contact a commercial roofing service for more help with your foam roof.