The Best Way to Clean Your Spray Polyurethane Foam Roof?

Greg PalyaSpray Polyurethane Foam Roofing

Facility managers have asked “What is the best way to clean my spray polyurethane roof?”

Cleaning your SPF roof is extremely important because left over debris can clog water drains. With water having nowhere to go, you can develop standing water, which cannot evaporate, causing long-term damage to your facility.

A roof without a maintenance package (which includes cleaning), can develop into a serious, more expensive problem. Comparing two similar roofs, one with a maintenance package vs one without, the overall lifecycle cost of the non-maintained roof was 30% higher.

The short story: you should be cleaning your roof just like any other appliance in your building (carpet, windows, floor, etc.)

In this post, we’ll be covering the best way to clean your SPF roof:

Why Does Cleaning Your Roof Matter?

Some facility managers take the approach, out of sight…out of mind.

But why?

Your roof is an expensive part of your building. It’s also the main driver in keeping your energy costs down.

Insight: A new SPF roof can pay for itself in energy costs in 5-7 years.

Your roof is exposed to the harshest weather environments; therefore, it needs cleaned on a regular basis.

Would you like to see what happens when a roof is neglected:

Like many solo facility managers, you might not have the time to clean every roof under your wing. But if you do…and you don’t have a maintenance package with your roofing contractor, we’re here to help.

How to Clean Your SPF Roof

Based upon a discussion with Greg “Barney” Hass, a 30+ year employee of West Roofing Systems, Inc. in LaGrange, Ohio, Barney recommends cleaning your SPF roof with 3000 PSI of pressurized water.

The pressurized water will get rid of most debris left on your roof.

cleaning a SPF roof

Pro Tip: 3000 PSI is the maximum strength to use on your foam roofing system. Anything more and you risk causing damage.

Let’s say you need to clean more than debris; say you have a grease or oil spill?

Barney recommends using a non-acid, non-corrosive cleaner. There is no preference of brand.

Pro Tip: If you use any cleaner with acid or corrosive materials, you risk damaging your foam roof.

After you’ve power washed the roof, you should also check for debris stuck in the:

  • Drains
  • Gutters
  • Scuppers
  • HVAC Unit
  • Other piping
  • Anything else hanging off the roof

Then there’s the general cleaning recommended for any roof.  Simply put, any foreign debris that accumulates on the roof needs to be removed to prevent drainage systems from becoming restricted. 

Additionally, there always seems to be screws and nails and general items that can be stepped on to damage the roof surface.  A thorough general cleaning of this type is recommended twice per year according the NRCA. 

Finishing Touches on Cleaning a Spray Foam Roof

And that’s it. Clean grease and oil off your SPF roof with non-corrosive, non-acidic cleaners (Dawn dish detergent is excellent) and use a maximum 3000 PSI of water for everything else.

Then check every other structure on the roof and make sure they’re free of debris.

If you have any other questions about cleaning your spray polyurethane roof, please contact us at anytime and we’ll be happy to help.

The Essential Guide to Spray Polyurethane Foam Roofing

About the Author

Greg Palya

Greg Palya is the Digital Content Manager of West Roofing Systems, Inc. He has a B.S. in Marketing from the University of Akron and an MBA in Marketing from Walsh University. When he's not trying to teach others about spray foam roofing and silicone roof coatings, you can find him on the basketball court or golf course.