So, you’ve known about spray foam roofs for years. You know they’re a fantastic product. You know it’ll fill in all the little nooks and crannies your current roof has.
Now it’s time to convince the rest of the board to go with a spray foam roof.
You’ll probably hear objections, such as:
- I’ve never heard of SPF
- Let’s just stick to single-ply, since that’s what we know
- There are multiple single-ply contractors, so you know we’ll get a competitive price
What are you supposed to do?
How are you going to convince the others on your board to consider something they have never heard about?
We’re here to help. Not only because we install spray foam roofing systems, but because we believe it’s truly the most cost-effective solution in many roofing situations.
In this article, you’ll learn:
- How to talk to your board using “emotion”
- How to talk to your board using “logic”
And just so you know, West Roofing Systems has been in commercial roofing since 1979. We know what it’s like selling a different approach than the “status quo”. Hopefully, some of these tips will help.
How to talk to your board using “emotion”
#1 – All the leaking headaches will be gone
Tell your board to remember all the times they hear complaints about a roof leak. How good would that feel if that were eliminated?
With spray foam being fluid-applied that expands 30x in size, it fills in all the little nooks and crannies that your existing roof has.
Single-ply roofs can be watertight as well. They just need to be installed perfectly to do so. Seams on a roof can pull apart over time. And using sealants around HVAC units and pipes is also at high risk of leaking.
Spray foam is a seamless roofing system, therefore eliminating the most common cause of a roof leak.
#2 – How many repair invoices have been paid?
It’s no fun to call the roof repair guy to come out for a leak. You need to coordinate that with the occupant and the contractor. Then pay the contractor a hefty fee every time he comes out.
A common problem with traditional roofing systems is that the insulation is open-cell. This means once water reaches it, the water expands and saturates other areas.
Think of an eyedropper continually dropping water in the corner of a paper towel. Every time water hits, it expands. Eventually, the entire paper towel is soaked, even though the water was only entering in a small corner.
The same can happen to your roof.
Spray polyurethane foam is closed-cell. Even if there’s a puncture, crack, or hole, the water will sit in that hole and not move.
If you have regular maintenance on your roof in the Spring and Fall (as you should with any roofing system), all the indentations can be fixed on a spray foam roof at that time.
If you want to eliminate all the repair invoices, spray foam can be the way to go.
#3 – Think about the environment
One of the advantages of spray foam roofing is that it can be installed over your existing roof. In most cases, only the wet insulation and damaged areas of the roof are removed and replaced.
If the membrane is in decent condition and the insulation below is dry, there’s no need to remove it.
When you install roofing systems besides spray foam, the entire roof will most likely be replaced, whether areas of the roof are in good condition or not.
Adding unnecessary items to landfills is bad for the environment. Plus, it’ll cost you more in tear-off and the transportation of those materials to the landfill.
When choosing a roofing system, it might make your board feel better if they considered the environment in the decision-making process.
#4 – Fear that spray foam won’t work
We get it. You don’t want to pay thousands of dollars on a roofing system that doesn’t work. But believe us, West Roofing has been in spray foam roofing for more than 40 years. We can give you roofs we’ve installed in the 1980s and 1990s that are still going strong today.
However, there is a problem in the industry of spray foam contractors not knowing what they are doing.
Some install bad foam because they don’t know the science of applying good foam. There’s heating, pressures, curing, mixing, and plenty of chemistry that goes on to produce a good performing product.
If a contractor isn’t an expert and makes a poor-performing roof, it paints a bad picture of SPF.
Please do your due diligence if you’re going to recommend a spray foam roofing contractor.
Quiz them relentlessly on the science of spray polyurethane foam. If you don’t feel confident in their answers, it could be a sign of a contractor that doesn’t know what they are doing.
#5 – Doing something cool!
Why can’t the roofing system you’re about to install be a cool experience? Everyone is installing single-ply roofs, so where’s the fun in that?
It’s like grocery shopping. Same old boring stuff.
But looking into “grocery delivery service” or ordering your groceries “online for pickup” brings a little excitement to an otherwise boring task.
The same can happen for your commercial roof.
Look into spray polyurethane foam and bring some excitement to an otherwise daunting task.
Now that we got emotion out of the way, now it’s time to hit them with some logic.
How to talk to your board using “logic”
#1 – Cost of installation
The cost is going to depend on several factors, including:
- How many roofing systems are already installed
- The current condition of your current roof
- Is the roof flat or sloped
- Is there sloping issues or ponding water
- How many penetrations are on the roof
- Is there an R-value target
- The length of warranty desired
- The amount of deck replacement (if any)
And MANY, MANY more.
The best advice is to get quotes from contractors who install different roofing systems. Think 1-2 single-ply contractors, 1-2 metal roof contractors, and 1-2 spray foam roofing contractors.
This way you can compare the scope of work and cost.
#2 – Future Energy Costs
Most boards only consider the price of the installation today. But what about costs down the road? If two roofing systems cost the same, but one will reduce your future energy costs by 10%, wouldn’t you choose that one?
Terms like R-value, future energy costs, insulation thickness, and the availability of roofing insulations; all these terms need should be looked at before signing a contract.
And think of your occupants. Perhaps they are on a fixed budget? By reducing their monthly expenses, you’re helping them out as well!
#3 – What happens when the warranty expires?
Another question that most don’t consider. Perhaps you don’t care what happens 10, 15, or 20-years from now when the roof warranty expires.
But if you’re in an HOA or a building that plans to be around for a long time, why not consider future costs when the warranty expires?
We bring this up because only spray foam and roof coating systems are the only renewable roofing systems out there.
A renewable roof can be “recoated”, and a new warranty can be granted. A renewable roof can be recoated for ½ to 1/3 the cost of a complete roof replacement.
Single-ply, metal, built-ups, once these roofs reach the end of their warranty (and if there’s been minimal routine maintenance), the majority of them are completely torn off.
#4 – When can the roof project get started?
This is a current issue because many roofing materials are unavailable. Roofing fasteners and polyiso board are commonly used roofing products that are unavailable (as of March 2022).
If your roof is leaking and you need your project done now, you may want to choose a roofing system that can be installed today.
Spray foam and roof coating systems can be installed today without any interruption to product shortages.
I think most HOA’s and boards get wrapped up in “ONLY” what the cost of a roofing project will be today. They usually don’t consider future energy cost reductions, how much maintenance or repairs will likely happen down the road, or how likely the roof will leak.
I hope this helps you explain spray foam roofing to your board and give you some thoughts you may not have considered.
And if the emotional and logical explanations aren’t enough, we have a whole list of case studies of spray foam roofing projects you can bring to the table.
Also, below is a simple to read “Cheat Sheet”, which explains the most important points about spray foam roofing, such as:
- Problems they have
- How does it compare to single-ply and metal roofing systems
If you have any questions, please fill out a contact us form and we’ll respond ASAP!