THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SPRAYED FOAM ROOFING!
People have been using sprayed polyurethane foam for over 40 years as a roofing solution. Even though many scientist doubted it, the foam has proven to be reliable, durable and relatively cheap roofing and insulation material. Numerous studies showed the quality of this material and nowadays you can find 30 year old foam roofs in perfect condition. And we believe they will continue to serve their purpose for many years to come.
WHAT IS SPRAYED POLYURETHANE FOAM
To understand the way foam works, you first need to know what it’s made from. SPF is a mixture of polyoil and isocynate which are inserted through proportioner and heated. These two components are then mixed together in a special kind of spray gun and finally applied to the substrate. The technique of spraying is what makes this roofing option so amazing. Roofing professionals spray it on the roof in a luiqiud form which leaves a perfectly stable structure without any joints of seams. Working with SPF is as easy as it can be. You just have to make sure that the surface is clean of any oils and dirt and properly nailed to the substrate. To finish the roof, roofers apply a layer of elastomeric coat.
WHY IS SPRAYED POLYURETHANE FOAM BETTER THAN TRADITIONAL ROOFING OPTIONS
There is a whole list of reasons why SPF is better in comparison to regular roofing materials. Here is a short summary:
- No seams: When it comes to roof, homeowners have most problems with leaking. Majority of leaks comes right from the joints or the seams on the roof. SPF leaves a completely seamless, flat and stable layer, so leaks are almost impossible to appear
- Easy to work with: The foam has no limits, and you can apply it on any surface you wish. All kinds of roof shapes can be successfully covered with SPF.
- Lightweight: Weight is an often problem when it comes to roof installation. SPF weighs around 50 IBS which is microscopic. It’s easy to work with, and the job is done faster.
Insulation at its best: Saving energy became extremely important in the 21st century. Sprayed Polyurethane Foam gives the best protection and provides the best insulating properties out of all materials for commercial roofing.
- Sustainability: These roofs are easy to maintain, durable and sustainable.
THE ROLE OF SPRAYED POLYURETHANE FOAM IN INSULATION
SPF had an R value of 7.14 per thickness of 1 inch. This means that the thermal resistance is higher even when there is only a small amount of material used. While traditional roofing system can often slip energy and waste it, foam roofing saves 30 % more energy. Because of the energy savings, you will be able to recover a starting expense in just 5 years or even less.
WHERE IS SPF USED
As we said, sprayed polyurethane foam can be used on all kinds of surfaces. It is lightweight, easy to work with and has amazing insulating properties. It is no wonder that it’s also used in wine and oil industries.
HOW SPF DEALS WITH WATER
Sprayed Polyurethane Foam represents a perfect waterproof application. The foam is made of billions of cells, so it acts as a waterproof barrier. Moisture can’t enter any structure. Therefore, SPF blocks dew and prevents building deterioration. Even if the top coat of the roofing system gets damaged, there is still underlying foam which will prevent the moisture from coming in. New Orleans once suffered a severe hail storm in which the Superdome was damaged. Thousands of small cracks appeared in the top coat, but there was no leaking for another decade!
If your SPF roof suffers deep penetration through all the layers, it is still not a disaster. The water will be isolated only to the place where the membrane is damaged. Contractors love this roofing option because it is easy to fix and repairs don’t compromise the quality of the entire roofing system.
Another often problem with traditional roofing systems is water ponding. The best thing about SPF is that it’s buildable. You can shape some areas to be thicker than others, so the problem with water accumulation is solved.
Sprayed Polyurethane Foam demands protection from UV lights and moisture. This is where the top coat plays a significant role. It protects and seals the foam from any damage. However, there are certain requirements for a top coat to be efficient.
Elastomeric: The coating must be elastic and able to stretch and return to its original shape. Elongation is the stretching of the top layer. This is necessary because the roof foam will expand and contract during the day depending on the temperatures. The coat has to be able to elongate for the minimum of 100 %.
Strength: The coating has to be able to withstand the local weather conditions and any changes. Strength, especially tensile strength, is crucial. The perfect coating should not deform when force is applied to it.
Insulation Protection: The coating should protect the foam from the vapor build up which could cause a dew. Moisture vapor could weaken the insulating properties of the foam, so protection is necessary. We base the level of water permeability on the temperature and the climate that the roof is in.
A measure of the rate of movement of moisture vapor is called moisture vapor transmission. We divide ratings into two main categories. One of them is vapor retarders and the other is breathers. Ratings are expressed in perms. So a rating of one perm means that is a retarder. Breather, on the other hand, allow a larger amount of moisture vapor.
Fire Safety: Based on how it passes the applicable code requirements for exterior and interior fire exposure, SPF ( both foam and the coating) can be rated Class A by ASTM E-108 or an equivalent testing method.