Whether you are considering getting a new roof for your home or business because you’re tired of patching leaks, or because you have heard how much you can save on energy bills with an eco-friendly roof, consider a spray foam roof.
What was that? Spray foam?
Spray foam roofing goes back more than 30 years, and its popularity has been growing exponentially because of its advantages over traditional roofing systems. What advantages, you ask? Consider this:
- It’s monolithic, meaning it is one piece with no seams, which equates to no leaks
- It insulates extremely well, and can lower the temperature of a roof by up to 100 degrees!
- Long lifespan with periodic maintenance*
- Pays for itself!
Spray Foam Roof Installation Process:
Installation is simple and relatively inexpensive! There are several reasons why this particular brand of roofing is so much less expensive than traditional methods. One of the main features of SPF is that the foam itself can adhere to nearly any kind of existing roofing material, with the exception of atactic polypropylene bitumen. This means that you don’t have to pay for the roofer to remove your current roof and pay landfill fees.
Usually, two 55 gallon drums, one with an isocyanate and the other with a resin, are hooked up to a machine that heats the liquids and combines them at the best ratio for effectiveness. Then the liquids are piped into a special spray gun that combines them upon application.
Once applied to the roof (after it has been cleaned to ensure the most adhesive strength), the combined liquids begin to form bubbles on a microscopic level, expanding to 20 or 30 times their original volume, all within about ten seconds, and you can walk on it in under a minute!
The final part of the installation is to apply a UV and weather protective coating to the foam. The type of coating really depends on your budget and how much energy you want to save, as well as how much additional durability you would like the roof to have. The color of the coating varies, but white is usually the best choice from an economical perspective. White will deflect the most sunlight, thereby reducing the amount of energy absorbed by the roof, and in the end lowering the cost for cooling the interior of the building.
Gravel and stretchy, elastomeric coatings are among the more popular options for protecting the foam roof. Other options include acrylic, silicone, butyl rubber and different types of urethane spray coatings. One more coat is applied on top of this spray coating, in order to help prevent physical damage from the elements, including ultraviolet sun rays. This final coat has gravel-like granules sprinkled on or embedded.
What’s in it for ME?
Well, for starters, you will begin seeing a dramatic decline in the cost of heating and cooling as soon as the roof is installed. Don’t believe me? What if I told you that when Texas A&M switched roofing systems in 1975 they switched to spray foam roofing. By making the switch to SPF, they saved so much money on energy savings that they were, on most occasions, able to pay off the construction costs within four and a half years, sometimes just two or three!
Durability and longevity are other major advantages for SPF roof systems. Excluding major weather incidents, there are usually no repairs or maintenance necessary for at least 10 to 15, maybe 20 years, depending on the type of system you have installed. When the time comes for maintenance, the existing roof will be cleaned and recoated, simple as that. A well-maintained roof can easily last 50 years or more. Talk about return on investment!
Cost of Spray Foam Roofing
Speaking of return on investment, how much will this investment set you back? Naturally it depends on a lot of variables including where you are, what kind of foam you prefer (as in density, thickness, etc.), what protective coatings are used, the building itself and the intricacy of the job. For average SPF systems you will probably be looking at starting prices of approximately $6 per square foot and up.
I hope this article has helped you in choosing a reliable, inexpensive and green roofing solution. All that’s left is choosing the right roof repair or replacement company for you. Overall, spray foam roofing is a great flat roofing choice. That, and enjoy saving up to 50% on energy bills for years to come!
This article was provided by Freedom Exteriors, LLC – premium roofing contractor in Arkansas. This article may not represent the opinion of CoolFlatRoof.com
Article commentary from from CoolFlatRoof Blog editor:
Spray for roofing is a highly energy efficient flat roofing material, which combines the roof insulation with the waterproofing layer. However, spray foam roofing or SPF, requires regular maintenance and complete re-coating every 10 years to maintain the protective layer over the foam. Without that protective layer, the UV rays of the sun will quickly destroy the SPF roof. It is best to coat the SPF roof with a urethane coating rather than with cheaper acrylic coating, and to add stone granules to the coating for longest performance.
One thing we want to mention is that SPF is a very popular flat roof material in the southern US, whereas up north, you will rarely see a spray foam roof (though I know of at least two large roofing contractors installing SPF roofs in the northern US with great success). Here in New England single ply membrane roofing is a more popular choice for a flat roof.
Another thing for you to consider is the situation with ponding water and how well the SPF roof will handle it. Rubber roofs for example will leak under ponding water, whereas a PVC roof with hot air welded seams will remain watertight. Although it’s best not to have ponding water at all, in many retrofit roof installations, you just can’t avoid it, so make sure that you get a ponding water guaranty from your reputable roofing contractor.