spray foam roofs with multiple recoats

How Long Does a Spray Foam Roof Last?

 

One of the first questions we get asked by property managers is, “How long will a spray foam roof last?”.

The answer is that a spray foam roof will last indefinitely if you keep up with the maintenance and recoat schedule.

We have proof. One of the first spray foam roofs we ever did was at Playhouse Square in Cleveland, OH in 1972.

spray foam roof on playhouse square

The foam was sprayed over Playhouse Square’s State Theatre Auditorium Roof in Cleveland, OH 50 years ago, and it’s still performing as it did in year #1.

Here are other spray foam roofs that have lasted 25+ years

Here are some other roofs that have lasted more than 25 years:

Firelands High School

  • Spray foam roof installed – 1988
  • Recoated in 1996, 2006, and 2017

Firelands Middle School

  • Spray foam roof installed – 1986
  • Recoated in 1996, 2006

Vermilion Middle School

  • Spray foam roof installed – 1990
  • Recoated in 2000, 2022

Perkins Township Fire Dept

  • Spray foam roof installed – 1996
  • Recoated in 2009, 2019

Some roofs have 10-year warranties, some 15, and some 20. Some roofs have multiple sections where each area has a different warranty.

We have many, many more examples. If you ever want to know more about them, contact us anytime!

How does a spray foam last indefinitely?

So, when we install a spray foam roof, they can come in a 10, 15- or 20-year warranty.

For example, when you get a 10-year warranty, you’ll get 10 years’ worth of silicone coating overtop of the spray foam, usually 20 mils thick.

During years 1-10, we came out 2x/a year to perform simple maintenance on the roof. This maintenance is recommended but not required to maintain the warranty terms. Tasks performed are:

  • Visual roof inspection
  • Cleaning of drains, strainers, and gutters
  • Cut out any defective areas, make sure they are clean and dry
  • Apply caulk/sealant to defective areas and smooth out
  • Provide a roof inspection report

 

But on year 11, when the warranty has run out, the original 20 mils of silicone coating, you might be down to 9 or 10 mils, maybe even less. It depends on where the roof is located, the harsh weather, and the amount of foot traffic.

In year 11, there’s no need for a roof tear-off. All that needs to be done is to pressure wash the roof, provide simple repairs and install new coating.

At this time, you can choose a new 10, 15- or 20-year warranty, whichever works best for you.

What happens during the spray foam recoating process?

Step 1: Pressure wash the roof

Step 2: Walk the roof and fix any mechanical damages, such as blisters, holes, or areas of wet foam

Step 3: Apply the new coating

How much does a recoat cost?

The average recoat will cost about 1/3 to 1/2 of the original installation cost in today’s dollars. The cost can vary depending on the following:

  • the distance from the contractor
  • how many repairs need to be done before the recoat
  • how long of a new warranty is desired (longer warranty uses more product)

Performing preventative maintenance annually ensures your recoat will be on the lower end of the recoat price range.

 Sample Lifetime Cost of a Spray Foam Roof
 
Sq. Ft. = 20,000
YearWork PerformedCost
1Installation in Fall 2019 ($5/sq. ft)100,000
2Maintenance in Spring or Fall (0.03/sq. ft)600
3Maintenance in Spring or Fall (0.03/sq. ft)600
4Maintenance in Spring or Fall (0.03/sq. ft)600
5Maintenance in Spring or Fall (0.03/sq. ft)600
6Maintenance in Spring or Fall (0.03/sq. ft)600
7Maintenance in Spring or Fall (0.03/sq. ft)600
8Maintenance in Spring or Fall (0.03/sq. ft)600
9Maintenance in Spring or Fall (0.03/sq. ft)600
10Maintenance in Spring or Fall (0.03/sq. ft)600
11Recoat ($2/sq. ft.) in Spring40,000
12Maintenance in Spring or Fall (0.03/sq. ft)600
13Maintenance in Spring or Fall (0.03/sq. ft)600
14Maintenance in Spring or Fall (0.03/sq. ft)600
15Maintenance in Spring or Fall (0.03/sq. ft)600
16Maintenance in Spring or Fall (0.03/sq. ft)600
17Maintenance in Spring or Fall (0.03/sq. ft)600
18Maintenance in Spring or Fall (0.03/sq. ft)600
19Maintenance in Spring or Fall (0.03/sq. ft)600
20Maintenance in Spring or Fall (0.03/sq. ft)600
TOTAL*150,800

*This is a general cost. There can be many variables that increase/decrease this amount

The point I’m trying to make is that once you have a spray foam roof, it’s basically a maintenance item. A foam roof is more cost-effective than a traditional roof that needs to be torn off and replaced after its warranty is over.

Conclusion

In short, a spray foam roof should be the last roof you ever have to put on. After initial installation, it’s a maintenance item that can always be under warranty.

Throw in the energy savings of having a spray foam roof, and it instantly becomes a cost-effective option.

The spray foam roofing cheat sheet - download now

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. You can find him on the basketball court or golf course when he's not trying to teach others about spray foam roofing and silicone roof coatings.

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