In the San Francisco bay area a residential roof should be inspected every ten years. For most of you, if your roof is only 10 years old, it is still under warranty. It may be difficult however, to get the contractor (the one who installed the roof) to offer a free inspection within the warranty period. You may need to pay someone to inspect the roof. Some San Francisco bay area foam roofing companies require a re-coating at 5 years in order to keep a 10 or 15 year warranty, which is absurd when you look at this logically.
When the spray foam (SPF) roof is installed, it is under the same specifications as all the other estimates you got while researching contractors. Typically, this means 1.5″ of SPF roofing and 3 gallons per 100 square feet of coating. This is a standard specification for Northern California. So, you tell me… If I offer you a 1.5″ thickness of foam with 3 gallons of coating and the manufacturer states that this will last up to or beyond 15 years, then why is it that if another company is putting out competing bids, they offer the same specifications, but require you to re-coat in 5 years? Because, it’s a lot easier to remember to contact you in 5 years and collect another $4 per square foot for coating than it is to contact you in 10 or 15 years only to see that you’ve got another 5 years of protection left.
An SPF roofing system is easy to self check in order to know if you need an expert to look at it. Here are a few things to look for.
- Gray coating showing through a white or tan topcoat (unless your roof is top coated with gray, then this indicator won’t work).
- Blisters forming. If you have a few blisters on a foam roof that are less than 8″ round, it’s normal. All flat roofing products release gases over time due to surface heat. If you have multiple (more than 5) small blisters, you should contact your installer if under warranty or an expert who can take a look. If you have large blisters, more than 8″, you should also call an expert.
- Exposed foam. Typically, foam will burn fastest on the edges of your roof. This is because the edges have more exposure to the sun and the edges are rolled on, not sprayed. The reason for this is to prevent dripping and mess below the roof, however there is no way to gauge the thickness and your crew person might not have been paying attention during the installation. Other exposed foam areas can occur throughout the roof system once the sun takes it’s toll. You would be looking for a yellow or brown color which is very different from the top coat colors. (I’ve attached some pictures to this post for your convenience).
- Peeling coating. If you see coating peeling away from a lower layer of coating, call an SPF expert.
I hope this article helps to know why some companies say re coat every 5 years and some don’t. It’s really a money grab, unless you only got a 5 year warranty in the first place and after 22 years in the SPF business, I’ve never heard of such a thing.
If you have any questions regarding the condition of your foam roof, I am always willing to look at pictures, listen to descriptions or come take a look at your roof to find out the condition and I do this absolutely free of charge.
Please give me a call or email. (925) 433-1192
Foam Roof Solutions