If you have a business with a flat roof and you notice that your roof is in a state of disrepair, then it is a good idea to invest in a new roof. There are a wide variety of commercial applications that are available, with rubber membrane and asphalt tar varieties amongst the most common. Foam roofing is an option, too, although it is not as common as other materials. If you are considering a foam roof, you should know that it is a good lightweight option for your business. However, you may believe some misconceptions about the foam material. Keep reading to understand the truth behind a few foam roof durability myths.

Myth—You Cannot Walk on a Foam Roof

When individuals hear the term foam roof, they think about insulation foam or the types of materials used to create mattresses. Roofing foam is similar to insulating foam. However, spray-foam insulation material is typically an open-cell type of polyurethane. Open cell materials utilize air to create a honeycomb type of formation. Large air bubbles remain open along the insulation. This helps to create a thick insulating barrier without having to use an excess of polyurethane materials. However, this also means that the insulation cannot retain much weight. This is also true if you opt for closed-cell insulation. While this material is stronger, large air bubbles are still present. These bubbles are enclosed in the polyurethane to add strength.

Roofing foam is a type of closed-cell material. However, it is much more dense and rigid than the type of polyurethane used for home insulation purposes. The nature of the material has to do with the polymers mixed together when the polyurethane is initially created or sprayed on the roof. This, along with the use of heat, helps to create strong bonds across the roof foam. When the foam material hardens, it is much more like the polyurethane that you find on the bottom of your shoes than the foam in your mattress. The material will be durable, long lasting, water resistant, and capable of retaining mechanical wear, much like your shoe soles. This means that you do not need to be afraid to walk on the roofing material. In fact, you should walk on it occasionally to inspect the roof for blisters and holes so they can be repaired in a timely manner.

Myth—Birds and Other Animals Will Destroy the Roof 

If you have birds, squirrels, mice, and other animals that live around your business, then you probably know that these animals will use whatever they can find to build nests. This may mean ripping off eaves, siding, and anything else that may appear suitable for a home. You may be concerned that your foam roof could be a prime target for pests looking for nesting materials. In fact, birds may peck at any exposed roof foam they can find. Luckily, you can prevent  or repair exposed foam by checking the roof regularly for damage.

Foam roofs are constructed in two stages. The polyurethane foam is sprayed across the roof in a thick layer first. The foam is allowed to expand and cure. Afterwards, the foam is covered with a thick sealer material or a coating. Most of the time, an acrylic elastomeric coating is applied. This type of sealer fully bonds to the foam underneath and creates a thick membrane over the top of it. In many cases, the membrane will be around 15 and 30 mils thick. Not only will the sealer be thick, but it will be flexible as well to keep damage at bay. 

The elastomeric coating on the roof will protect the foam and prevent animal damage. However, the coating will wear away over time. During inspections, make sure to look for areas where the coating may be thinning out. Contact your commercial roofing contractor to add a new coating when you notice this.

If you need a new roof for your commercial building, then you should consider a foam roof. The roofs are actually quite durable and lightweight. If you want to know more about this type of roof or if you feel as though you should explore your other options, then contact a commercial roofing specialist from a company like Patrick Miller Construction.