Increasingly, commercial building owners are turning to spray foam for roofing. This versatile roofing material has insulative and waterproofing qualities that simply can’t be matched by other commercial roof materials. It’s also easy to install, eco-friendly and very long-lasting. However, a few things need to be considered before you decide to use spray foam for your roofing project.
Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) is a liquid that’s applied to the existing roof using a heated hose. Once it’s sprayed, the foam expands 20-60 times its original size to create a solid, protective coating that covers the entire surface of the existing roof. The coating can be a single-ply membrane, or it can include reinforcing materials like fiberglass and elastomeric polyurethanes.
The spray foam can be used spray foam for roofing to reinforce an existing flat or low-sloped roof and improve its durability and insulating performance, or it can be used to replace the roof entirely. It’s also useful for repairing and protecting metal roofs that are leaking, or to repair the roofs on buildings that are in need of major repairs due to storm damage.
Because the spray foam can fill in and cover all seams and joints in the underlying roof system, it has an advantage over conventional roofing systems in that there’s less chance of sealant failure at those points. The fact that spray foam is a monolithic, closed-cell structure helps to improve the R-value of the existing roof system as well.
A spray foam roof is a durable, waterproof roofing option that will last 30 years or more. During that time, it will only need to be renewed once or twice. During the renewal process, a contractor will power wash the coating, install new granules and apply a silicone top coat to restore its original 20 mils of thickness.
Foam roofs are easy to maintain and are resistant to mold, mildew and other moisture-related problems that can afflict other types of roofing systems. In addition, a spray foam roof is fire-resistant. The spray foam is a closed-cell structure that’s very difficult to burn.
However, like all roofs, it needs regular maintenance. A spray foam roof should be kept free of debris and standing water to avoid damage to the surface. It’s also important to check drains, outlets and gutters to make sure they are clear of obstructions. If you notice any signs of ponding water, or areas that are wearing down, it’s best to contact a roof pro right away to prevent mold and mildew from developing.