Spray Foam Roofing Problems and Myths Answered

Having been around in the United States since the 1960s, spray foam roofing has emerged as a popular, energy-saving roofing solution for many building owners. Spray foam has been a questionable roofing system for years. Most building owners are unaware of how foam roofing systems, if installed properly can last a long time and be very cost effective. However, despite its reputation for being the leading commercial roof system on the market today, this roofing is regarded with suspicion by many building owners. That is understandable, given documented cases in which roof contractors failed to properly prep a rooftop for proper spray foam application. For example, one of the most common improper applications of this roof system layer is the inconsistent application of the roof coating, or the application of it at differing levels of thickness across a rooftop.

Building owners often realize that spray polyurethane foam roofing offers them a reliable and long lasting roof protecting system in addition to cost-effectiveness. Despite SPF’s popularity, it is  still normal that some members of the public have negative impressions of it and despise it.  That is, however, not a surprise due to the fact that over these past few decades, careless or less-than-savvy commercial roof contractors have incorrectly or poorly installed this energy-saving roof system.

Spray foam myths:

Spray polyurethane foam technology does not have a solid track record for commercial roofing. Because a number of commercial roofing companies have installed this roof system poorly or incorrectly, this misnomer is one of the greater misconception to emerge in the commercial roofing industry. Multiple studies, including longitudinal studies or studies done over time, confirm spray polyurethane foam technology’s efficacy for commercial roof protection. For one, the National Roofing Foundation performed a study at Arizona State University in 1995 that showed high customer satisfaction and durability were strongly tied to SPF roofing. Texas A&M University famously has over 7 million square feet of spray foam roofing installed on buildings across its campus, which has performed well for over periods ranging 15 to 30 years or even more.

Spray polyurethane foam may be suitable for other applications, but not for roofing. Despite this fairly popular notion, spray polyurethane foam actually has shown a great track record for commercial roof application. When it was first distributed commercially in the mid-1950s, spray polyurethane foam was used in refrigeration and industrial insulation applications. As the foam technology became more specialized or harnessed for other industries, however, the foam emerged as a proven solution for commercial and residential applications alike. Today, SPF is used for roofing and insulation needs the world over, and enjoys recognition by the National Building Code as well as for its efficacy in sealing a building envelope.

Spray foam roofs are far too expensive. This notion is perhaps one of the strongest held by the public today. In reality, though, spray foam roofing is actually one of the most affordable and reliable roof systems available today, especially when you factor in the cost savings and avoided costs it generates. For illustration, consider some of the following cost savings you can see with this roofing when it has an elastomeric roof coating applied on top of it: reduced roof maintenance and repair costs, heavily reduced annual energy costs, federal tax benefits and advantages, reduced cooling and heating equipment-related costs, and so much more. In fact, Texas A&M found that its spray foam systems paid for themselves in around 4-6 years with their huge energy savings.

Spray polyurethane foam roofing does not last. Actually, when elastomeric roof coatings are reapplied at strategic intervals on top of it, spray foam roofing has been shown to last up to 50 years. Conklin elastomeric roof coatings, in fact, may only need to be reapplied once to strengthen that possibility. Plus, multiple independent studies have confirmed the long life expectancy of this highly durable roofing.

This foam roofing cannot be walked over or on. When applied correctly, an SPF-treated roof actually can hold up to 40 pounds per square inch or even higher. That is according to data from the Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance and National Roofing Contractors Association. It is fully capable of supporting a wide weight range. However, a sharp object could create a hole that can penetrate the building envelope. Care is needed in that area.

To be sure you get the best possible foam roof, contact a repeatable Conklin roofing contractor for your next commercial roof!

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