If the roof on your commercial building needs repair or replacement, or if you are contracting a new construction building, there is one type of roof that you will want to consider above all the others. Spray foam roofing has many advantages that will protect your investment and preserve the structure of your building.
What is Spray Foam Roofing?
Spray polyurethane foam (SPF) roofing has been around for decades, but its use has been increasing more recently due to expanding knowledge of how to install and maintain these systems. This type of roof requires the application of two layers onto an existing substrate of wood, metal, or concrete: a specifically designed foam and an elastomeric roof coating. The spray foam begins as a liquid and expands within a matter of seconds when it is applied to a substrate. It bonds to the surface, creating a rigid foam plastic covering and providing your building with numerous benefits.
Protection from UV Rays
The foam roof coating protects the spray foam roofing from the effects of ultraviolet rays, which could otherwise cause the roof to crack and degrade. This extends the life of the roof. As long as the roof is applied and maintained properly, a typical SPF roof can be expected to last more than 30 years.
The closed-cell structure of SPF prevents moisture from entering the building. Even if the top coat of the foam roofing is damaged, the lower layer of foam will keep the roof from leaking. In addition, water ponding on the roof can be avoided by building up the problem area with a greater thickness of foam roofing when spraying. The extra thickness should allow the water to drain properly from the roof.
Sprayed polyurethane foam can save you about 30% on your energy bill. It provides more insulation with less material than any other type of roofing insulation. In addition, SPF is often used in Cool Roof Programs in many cities to help reduce energy costs and lower the Urban Heat Island Effect. The light color of the roof reflects the sun's heat and lowers the roof temperature by up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
A traditional roof can be pulled away from the underlying substrate over time by wind blowing over the edge of the roof. As the roof becomes looser and adhesives weaken, the structure of the roof can be susceptible to gusts of wind. A polyurethane foam roof has more uplift resistance to the wind, making the roof more durable than a traditional roof.
Words of Caution
While spray foam roofs can provide valuable benefits to your building, they need to be applied correctly. Beware of some of these problems or complications to SPF roofing.
If the elastomeric coating is too rigid, cracks and ruptures can result as the foam flexes and moves beneath the coating.
The coating must be strong enough to withstand weather conditions, foot traffic, and even equipment if people are going to be working on the roof.
Proper preparation of the substrate is essential. The surface must be clean and dry for proper application and adhesion.
The application of SPF requires a great deal of training and experience to make sure the spray foam is mixed properly.
The weather and temperature can affect how well the spray foam adheres. SPF cannot be applied if it is too cold out, it is too humid, or if there is ice, frost, or moisture on the surface.
For these reasons, it is important to hire a roofing contractor who is familiar with spray foam roofing application. This is not a do-it-yourself project!
As long as you have a roofer who knows how to work properly with SPF, this type of roofing is well worth the investment. Not only will it save you money on your energy bill, but you will end up with a strong, durable, water-resistant roof that can save you more money on repairs in the long run. Contact a company like Dodge Foam & Coatings Inc. if you're interested in this type of roof.