roofing system that minimizes business interruption

Which Roofing System Minimizes Business Interruption?

Greg Palya Uncategorized

Quick Summary: A spray foam roofing system or a silicone roof coating system minimizes business interruption. The reason is because on their installation, they can minimize tear-off (in most cases), by going over the existing roofing system. Since they are fluid-applied, they reduce project time as they are easy to install around penetrations, such as HVAC units, skylights, and drains. Penetrations slow down the installation time for traditional roofing systems.

Suppose you came into your building this morning and saw the roof leaking.

You know that “something” has to get done.

You might ask yourself, “How will this repair interrupt normal business operations?”

In this post, we’ll cover:

  • Which roofing systems minimize business interruption…and why?
  • What “things” need to happen when this system is installed?
  • And why other roofing systems can’t minimize interruption

And just so you’re aware, West Roofing Systems has been in commercial roofing since 1979. A primary concern (besides cost) is how the installation will affect everything else going on.

This article has been read, edited, and approved for publishing by a commercial roofing expert with more than 30 years of experience.

Let’s get started!

Which roofing systems minimize business interruption?

It’s a tie between two roofing systems:

  1. Spray polyurethane foam
  2. Roof coatings

They minimize business interruption in two ways:

  • Minimizing tear-off
  • Speed of installation

Let’s get into each of these below:

Minimizing tear-off

Per building code, if you have two or more roofing systems installed, you must 100% remove a roofing system before installing a new one.

However, you can avoid a tear-off because roof coating systems are not technically a “roofing system.” Roof coating systems are considered maintenance.

While avoiding a tear-off is great for minimizing business interruption (and cost), there is a slight issue.

Roof coating systems have strict eligibility, which you can learn about in this article.

But let’s say that you only have one roofing system in place.

You only need to remove the areas with saturated insulation or damaged membrane to install a spray foam roof (or a roof coating system).

These areas are located with an infrared inspection and/or a visual inspection.

This could be 10% of a roof.

Just remove the 10% and replace it with similar material. Properly prepare the roof (this involves different steps depending on the existing roofing system). And then install spray foam or coatings over the existing roof.

Speed of installation

Since spray foam and coating systems are fluid-applied, they can be installed quickly around penetrations. Here’s a video of spray foam being installed around an HVAC unit:

Some roofs have hundreds of penetrations, HVAC ductwork, satellite dishes, etc. Spray foam’s ease of installation reduces the installation time versus traditional roofing systems.


What “things” need to happen when installing a spray foam or coating system? 

One problem with spray foam and coating systems is overspray. Since it’s fluid-applied and very lightweight, it can be carried by the wind onto undesirable assets, such as employee vehicles.


One “thing” that needs to happen on all spray foam installations is the covering of employee vehicles (if they are near the building). Or to have the employees park elsewhere.

This isn’t a “business interruption,” but it must happen.

Something else that needs to happen is the covering of HVAC units during the installation. With a fluid-applied product, the HVAC unit can suck the foam or coating and disperse unpleasant odors inside the building. This is definitely something we want to avoid.

This could interrupt normal business operations if climate control is needed.

Why other roofing systems can’t minimize interruption

There are two reasons:

  • They maximize tear-off
  • They can be slower to install

Maximizing tear-off

When an existing single-ply (TPO, EDPM, PVC), Metal, or Built-up roof exists, and a new single-ply, metal, etc. roof is proposed, it usually requires a 100% tear-off.

100% tear-off not only costs more than restoring a roof, but it takes more time to install, which increases the likelihood of interruption to your business.

Slower to install

Traditional roofing systems are easy to install if there aren’t many interruptions to the installation process. Traditional roofing systems are usually rolled-out sheets. The installation stops when something gets in the way, such as an HVAC unit.

When running into an HVAC unit, skylight, curb, or drain, the sheet needs to be custom-cut. Boots, sealants, and termination metal might have to be used. A slower installation means the contractor is on your premises longer.


You might be thinking, why would a building owner care about business interruption when getting their roof repaired, restored, or replaced?

Well, business interruption…interrupts business.

Sometimes a business cannot function when the roof is being repaired. For example, a resort might have to close a pool for a day or two while the roofers are nearby.

The roofing system you install can significantly affect how your business can function while it’s being repaired, restored, or replaced.

What’s next?

Here are some other resources you might find helpful:

About the Author

Greg Palya

Greg Palya is the Digital Content Manager of West Roofing Systems, Inc. He has a B.S. in Marketing from the University of Akron and an MBA in Marketing from Walsh University. When he's not trying to teach others about spray foam roofing and silicone roof coatings, you can find him on the basketball court or golf course.