Roofing Southwest Blog > When is Spray Foam Roofing a Good Option?

When is Spray Foam Roofing a Good Option?

May 31, 2018

Sprayed Polyurethane Foam or just Spray Foam has been in use for roofing for over 45 years. Sprayed foam is a combination of isocyanate and polyol. These two components are fed through a machine that heats and pumps the two components into a spray gun, which is then applied to the roof.  It expands 20 to 30 times in volume and forms a seamless and solid roofing system. It does take a skilled professional to get the mix right, and to spray an even and appropriately thick layer of foam.

Flat or low slope roofs are ideal for foam application.

Spray foam has many advantages:

  • Foam is inherently water proof – it is the same material used to float docks.
  • Because of the unique application process, foam adheres strongly to the substrate.
  • It has the ability to mold to your roofing surface with no seams or joints to allow water to enter.
  • It can be custom applied to eliminate low areas and water ponding.
  • It resists wind damage.

The greatest advantage is energy efficiency:

  • Reduces heating and cooling costs (big in terms of energy and in terms of HVAC equipment).
  • Resists heat and cooling movement in all directions.
  • Requires less energy to produce the other insulation materials.
  • Requires less energy to transport and install.
  • It contains no formaldehyde or other chemicals that might deplete the ozone.

All roofs are not created equal:

Despite all the advantages, spray foam is not suitable for every roofing project. For instance, some roofing materials may not allow the foam to bind properly. Roofs that have heavy snow loads and require clearing on a regular basis may not be ideal for spray foam application. Foam is generally a poor choice for areas the are exposed to chemicals and grease. Chemicals can quickly break down foam and degrade its protective properties. Finally, in areas of heavy bird or rodent traffic, foam is not an ideal choice.  There are solutions and preventive measures for such problems, but another type of roofing material may be more appropriate.

When in doubt, consult a professional roofer who can recommend the best roofing system for your particular home, commercial or industrial property.


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