Foam Roof

See also: Flat Roof

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Dec 2010

Has anyone had a foam roof installed on a flat roof? Did it help insulate against heat loss from the house? How did the cost compare to a regular reroofing? Who does these roofs? Any recommendations for whom to call? Thanks. Linda Foust linda

Hi Linda, I've rarely spec'd foam roofs, but I did contact Armstrong a couple of years ago. They were helpful. If it is just the insulation factor you are after, this will be an expensive option, but if there are drainage issues which develop on flat roofs, this is the way to go. Good Luck with this! AB

April 2007

Does anyone have experience with foam roofing? We live in a house with NO insulation in the ceiling, and no possibility of installing any, due to the way the ceiling is built: it's just tongue-in-groove wood with flat roofing materials directly on top. I'm wondering if foam roofing would provide some insulation. Also, how long does a foam roof last? Is it more expensive than regular (flat-roof) roofing? Do you know of a good roofer who installs it? Any problems with it? Thanks. Linda

HI Linda,

I had a foam roof in my last house. I had a flat roof with tar and gravel, and during the summer heat, it was like living under a hot tarmac. With a foam roof, the contractor put in sheets of foam first, then sealed it, then some sheeting, then tar and gravel. This allowed the roof to also be molded to some degree to allow water to drain properly.

Sadly, this was in Sacramento, and I don't know of anyone here. I was able to get an R-26 rating from the foam, so it made a huge difference, and my air conditioning bills showed it. So did my heating bills in the winter. Foam works. Just need to seal it well.

One thing, it's hard to detect leaks in foam... you never know where the water is entering and coming out. So.. make sure your contractor's references are checked and double checked. _R

We had a foam roof installed two years ago by DuraFoam out of San Mateo. Our tar and gravel flat roof had multiple leaks and years of poor repairs. Durafoam sprayed and inch or two of foam over it, then applied a UV protector on top of it. We've had no leaks, our heating/cooling costs are down, and it's much quieter. One drawback is that we can't hear the rain on the roof. They offer a 10 year warranty that is extended to 15 when they recoat after ten years. And they are diamond certified. We are happy.

October 2006

Our house has a flat uninsulated roof which gets the afternoon sun. The result is that it is frequently very hot inside, 80's and 90's, and stays that way long into the evening (the downstairs is cool, as there is no roof directly overhead.)

I have seen advertisements and read about sprayed foam roofs, which supposedly insulate very well in these types of situations. Two local roofers who utilize these roofs are Armstrong (they advertise constantly on the radio), and Durafoam.

Does anyone have any experience or knowledge of sprayed foam roofs, and can comment on the pros and cons? Any experience with either of the two roofers mentioned above? Any other suggestions? Sweltering in Berkeley

My house had an ancient foam roof that had been installed by Armstrong when we moved in, so it's hard for me to say whether they did a good job. Yes, it was leaking all over the place, but it had long exceeded its lifespan. We hired Able Roofing to fix it, and they were critical of Armstrong's work, but then they're competitors! Able did an okay job once, a terrible job a year or so later, and then claimed to have gone out of business. I wouldn't trust them. So then we ended up with Abril Roofing. They were okay -- not terrific communicators, but the work is acceptable. (I listed their # in the archives a few years ago.) There are too few good choices for foam, since it's so specialized.

Here's what we think about foam -- it's ugly, it's expensive, and it's hard to work with (any time you make a penetration in the roof you need a specialist with a tank truck to seal it). But the insulative properties are awesome -- we live in Orinda, and the house stays nice and cool in the summer. anon

July 2004

Three different companies have worked on my house's foam roof, and I think we've finally found a winner with the third one, Abril Roofing. They're located in Concord, but they travel all over (my house is in Orinda -- Abril came out to fix some of the very shoddy work done by another company.) (925) 674-9128 anon