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Sprayed Polyurethane Foam Roofing Problems

 Sprayed Polyurethane Foam Roofing Problems

In the past several years, spray foam has become one of the most popular commercial products for roofing. The benefits of installing sprayed polyurethane foam are numerous.

Some of the main ones are: energy efficiency, durability, easy of installation, protection against moisture penetration, and its environmentally friendly credentials.

Sprayed polyurethane foam is one of the highest performing, and most affordable roof systems in commercial roofing. If you are looking for a reliable product that comes with long-term cost-effectiveness guaranteed, then this multi-purpose foam delivers.

Being around for 50 years surely helped boost the reputation of sprayed polyurethane foam. However, in the past several years, careless contractors have made sure that the product gets a bad reputation.

As with any product, when poorly or incorrectly installed, the roofing system just doesn’t bring the same benefits. That being said, let’s take a look at the Sprayed polyurethane foam roofing problems, and what can be done to prevent them…

Limited Installation Window

Polyurethane foam can be sprayed only during specific weather conditions. There is a narrow range of outdoor temperatures and humidity that allow for installation of the foam. When you try and push the installation window, you can negatively impact the roof’s integrity.

The smallest trace amounts of surface moisture on the substrate results in failure, and foam will not adhere correctly. The optimal climate is warm and dry with no wind. This means you are in the mercy of Mother Nature to get your roof installed.

However, the problem can be easily solved by contacting your contractor early.

Contact the company before the roofing season, and schedule your installation on time. This way, you will have plenty of time to reschedule if the weather season changes.

Spray Foam Longevity: Fact Or Fiction?

One of the many myths and sprayed polyurethane foam roofing problems is that people believe it does not last for long. Well, that cannot be further from the truth.

The solution is reapplying elastomeric roof coatings at strategic intervals on the top of the sprayed polyurethane foam roofing. When you do this, your roof will last up to 50 years. Even better, if you find high-quality elastomeric roof coatings, you will need to apply them just once to strengthen the roof.

Overspray Potential

It is only natural that the wind can carry the spray from the roof to other surfaces in the vicinity. Yes, sprayed polyurethane roofing can be messy. But that is why you want minimal wind during installation. It is not a health concern, but it is a concern for the surrounding surfaces and property.

The solution is to discuss this matter with your contractor, and make sure they prevent overspray. Also, make sure to note that if overspray happens, your contractor will be the one to cover any cleanup costs, should they occur.

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Sprayed Polyurethane Foam Roofing Problems

High Price

Another myth is that spray foamed roofs are too expensive. This is one of the strongest notions the public holds. The truth is actually the opposite, with spray foam being one of the most affordable roof systems overall.

When you factor the cost savings into the equation, and the avoided costs spray foam generates, you come to a conclusion that its an outstanding, long-term investment.

Some of the cost savings include reduced roof maintenance, reduced repair costs, reduced annual energy cost, reduced cooling and heating equipment-related costs, tax benefits and advantages, and many more.

The price, just for information, goes between £3 and £5 per square foot. This is the price for a 20,000 square foot commercial roof. In any case, contact your contractor, and tell him to calculate the potential energy savings overall. This way, you will look at the price from a different perspective.

Resistance to Punctures

One of the sprayed polyurethane foam roofing problems people often cite as a constant challenge, is the resistance to punctures or damage. SPF does not have a high resistance.

But thankfully, that can be easily solved. Look at the structure. A SPF roof has a top layer of silicone, and in the event of severe weather, the roof might have the potential for a puncture to occur.

However, all you have to do is contact your contractor for a repair. Most contractors offer long-lasting warranties. The repair is made with silicone, and your warranty covers it completely.

Spray Foam’s Track Record: Good or Bad?

Spray foam has become one of the most popular insulating materials. Despite that, people are still afraid to use it as a roofing option.

Some say that spray polyurethane foam does not have a solid track for commercial roofing. And they cannot be more wrong. The history of SPF dates back to the 1950s. Back then, the product was used in refrigeration and industrial insulation applications.

As the technology advanced, the foam emerged as a proven solution for insulation materials. Nowadays, sprayed polyurethane foam has a proven history, and is recognised by many leading industry experts and contractors, as their go-to product of choice.

Sprayed Polyurethane Foam Roofing Problems

Finding A Credible Contractor

This is definitely the biggest of the sprayed polyurethane foam roofing problems. As spray foam has gained popularity in recent years, many contractors have tried to take advantage of it.

We mentioned at the beginning of this article that spray foam roofing systems have received a bad reputation, mostly because of a poorly informed job, and bad contractors. Installation of SPF roof requires a high degree of technical expertise.

The solution to this problem is to look for a certified professional that has a long history and tradition in the business.

Contractors working with spray foam are required to pass an exam, and meet certain criteria for certification. Always look for certified professionals.

What is SPF roof?

Now that we’ve looked at the sprayed polyurethane foam roofing problems, let’s talk about what SPF roof actually is. The SPF based roofing system is made by mixing and spraying a two-component liquid that forms the base of the adhered roof system.

You can install SPF in different thicknesses, providing a slope to drain, or meet a specified R-value. In the end, a protective surface is applied to the foam to provide protection from the elements.

The two components of sprayed foam include rigid, closed cell, spray polyurethane foam insulation, composed of polyol and isocyanate.

Using transfer pumps and spray gun, contractors mix the components to a 1:1 ratio, and apply them to a substrate. The second component of sprayed foam is a protective surfacing, usually a spray applied elastomeric coating.

This can be applied through hand and power rollers. In some cases, the protective surfacing is a membrane.

Why SPF roof?

Now that we’ve addressed some of the sprayed polyurethane foam roofing problems, and sourced some solutions, let’s talk about why you should install sprayed polyurethane foam roofing.

First and foremost, SPF is very low in the emission of volatile organic compounds. The foam is free of chlorofluorocarbons, and is the most energy-efficient form of insulation. Spray foam eliminates the need for roof tear-offs that can be costly.

Spray foam is versatile, with the physical properties able to adjust to various purposes. The properties can be varied, according to purpose.

For example, the texture can range from soft, to semi-rigid, to high-density roofing that can sustain the onslaught of heavy weather.

In terms of roofing, the best part about sprayed polyurethane foam is that it lasts indefinitely. SPF holds the same insulation value forever. It can withstand extraordinary weather events, and when compared with other products with the same R-value, SPF is much more economical.

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