Sprayed polyurethane foam (SPF or just "foam") is one of the most common roofing materials used on commercial buildings, particularly those with flat or low slope roofs. The foam is a combination of isocyanate and polyol. These two components are fed through a spray gun that heats and pumps the materials onto the roof surface. As it is applied, tiny air bubbles are trapped within the foam, making it particularly effective at insulating the roof, both from heat and cold. Studies have shown that foam roofing frequently produces energy savings of 30% or greater when compared to other roofing systems.
Foam roofing advantages:
- Flexible and Seamless: Because foam roofing is applied as a liquid (which expands during application), it forms a continuous, seamless, protective barrier around vents, pipes and other protrusions through the roof. This is particularly handy on commercial buildings where many perforations are necessary. It is also self-flashing, thereby eliminating the need and cost of flashing materials.
- Environmentally Friendly — Foam roofs require a minimum of upkeep, which means less waste and repair. In addition, with the proper coating, foam roofing reflects heat, thus reducing the amount of heat trapped in urban areas — an effect known as an urban heat island.
- Light Weight: Foam is about one-eighth the weight of traditional roofing materials. This allows more flexibility in architectural design and a terrific cost savings since it eliminates the need for structural reinforcement of a building to carry the weight load of other types of materials.
- Durability: In combination with a protective coating, foam roofing is very resistant to weather and storm damage, and requires minimal maintenance and repair.
- Cost Effective — Foam roofing is one of the least expensive alternatives for commercial roofing application. It is also one of the easiest to apply thus reducing labor costs.
Foam roofing repair and maintenance
Foam roofing requires infrequent maintenance checks, and repairs are minimal in most cases. Depending on the foam roofing material and roof surroundings (trees, vegetation & debris) a roof inspection may not be necessary for 5 years. The protective coating may need to be reapplied periodically depending on wear. Should the foam roof become damaged — perhaps from storm debris — immediate repair is recommended to avoid leaks and other problems that may compromise the building envelope.
We love it!
The foam roofers at Roofing Southwest have over 40 years of experience with foam and commercial roofing. This may be our favorite type of roof to install, replace or repair. It is so easy to work with and allows us to tightly seal a roof from the elements.