Your Top 10 Questions About Spray Foam Answered
Spray Polyurethane Foam Roofing, or spray foam roofing, is a material that is sprayed as a liquid so it can expand into a foam, creating a solid layer across an existing roof. Spray foam roofing can be used to solve your commercial building’s toughest challenges, inside and out.
If you frequent our blog, you know that West Roofing Systems is the expert in Spray Foam Roof installation. We’ve installed over 57,700,000 sq. feet of roofing domestically and internationally and during that time we helped business owners protect their facilities with spray foam.
In this article, we cover the top ten questions you have about spray foam roofing.
Can you walk on an SPF roof system?
Yes, when an SPF roof is installed and completed, you can walk across the roof with no problems. If you have high traffic areas (around HVAC equipment, etc.) more durable walkways can be installed.
How tough/durable is an SPF Roof System?
SPF roof systems are very durable. They can withstand 40 pounds of compression per square foot. When properly maintained, it can last decades.
How long has SPF been around for roofing? Why haven’t I heard of it before?
While SPF roofing is not the most known type of roofing material, the technology has been around since the early 1960s for industrial, commercial, and residential facilities. SPF roofing performs the best when applied by reputable, certified contractors.
How do you control the thickness of the foam?
When you spray foam on a roof surface, it rises 32 times in thickness. You can control the texture of the foam with heat and cold in the roof deck and material. A skilled SPF installer will be able to accurately spray foam to the correct thickness and taper.
How do you keep the foam surface smooth rather than lumpy or wavy?
An experienced and skilled foam applicator can use the proper spray pattern to ensure proper installation. Installing a spray foam roof is always a custom roof made to fit your building.
Can I really have SPF sprayed over my existing roof?
If you have one roof system on your building, and that system is in stable condition, then you can have SPF sprayed on top of your existing roof system. The foam adhered to the existing surface to form a seamless membrane. A technical rep will be able to assess your roof and tell you if you are able to avoid a roof tear off.
What happens if something cuts or punctures the foam?
Because the thickness of the form can vary from 1 inch to multiple inches, it is more difficult to cut through the entire membrane. If there is a puncture to an SPF system, it can be sealed with caulk, silicone or another roofing material.
What do I do with an SPF roof when it needs to be replaced?
When your SPF roof is aged, you have a few options to protect your facility:
- You can have the SPF removed through scarification. Then a layer of foam can be sprayed and coated.
- If your roof is still in good condition, you can restore your roof with a silicone restoration membrane.
How does the R-value of SPF compare to systems with insulation?
An SPF roof system is on average a 7 R-value for insulation. Foam insulation boards can be installed with the same R-value (although rare). The most important aspect with insulation is that SPF roofing does not have seams in the insulation, those seams are the main areas to lose heat and cold from inside the building.
Is SPF sustainable or eco-friendly?
SPF roofs create little to no waste during its lifetime. In most cases, there is minimal stripping of the original roof, and the SPF roof is installed on top – eliminating the need for costly roof tear-offs and waste.
The materials that are used for SPF roofing systems are also environmentally friendly:
- Zero Ozone Depleting Potential (ODP)
- Low in the Emission of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
- Free from Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)
- Ultra-Low Global Warming Potential (GWP)
Spray Polyurethane Foam Roofing Systems are becoming the go-to roofing for commercial, industrial, and even residential facilities that are looking for a long-lasting, economically efficient option. From installation and throughout your warranty, the savings of your new SPF can pay off the roof system and save you money down the road.
Author: Jack Moore
Jack Moore is President and CEO of West Roofing Systems, Inc. With 21 years of SPF Roofing experience, West Roofing Systems has received numerous accolades for his leadership in the commercial roofing industry, including 18 industry excellence awards from the Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance. He is an active member of the National Roofing Contractor’s Association and the Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance.