The popularity of spray foam roofing on commercial properties is increasing every year. In this article we are sharing some of the spray foam roofing benefits that explain the surge in popularity. With so many commercial roofing material options, it can be confusing. Understanding the benefits of spray polyurethane foam (SPF) roofing can help you decide if it’s right for your property.

What is spray foam (SPF) roofing?

Spray foam (SPF) roofing is waterproof roofing system applied as a fluid. By using specialized spray equipment and high quality polyurethanes, the fluid is applied and then expands to 30-times its original volume for a firm, closed-cell roof surface. The material fills all existing crevices in the roof to keep water out, and cures extremely fast (usually just a few seconds).

SPF roofing adheres very well to nearly all roofing substrates, meaning there is no risk of material blowoffs in high winds as there can be with other commercial roofing materials. Because the foam cures as a closed-cell surface, water cannot get into the foam and damage it. It’s a fully waterproof material.

However, SPF roofing is NOT UV resistant. To make sure UV rays do not damage the spray-foam, it should be coated with an elastomeric coating as a final step. At Sol Vista Roofing, we prefer silicone roof coatings over SPF roof applications for ultimate longevity.

What substrates can SPF roofing be applied to?

Spray foam roofing is one of the most versatile roofing options available. SPF roofing can be applied directly to roof sheathing such as steel, wood, or concrete. It can also be applied over all types of existing roofing a building may be equipped with, such as built-up-gravel, modified bitumen, EPDM, TPO, or metal roofs.

For areas where water ponding is occurring, SPF can also be used to create a taper in the roof in order to promote water runoff and drainage. Without SPF, complicated specialized taper boards need to be designed and installed to prevent water ponding.

Spray foam roofing benefits

SPF roofing durability

Some of our clients hear the word “foam” and associate it with softness. However, SPF roofing is not soft. In fact it’s so durable, after it cures it can handle significant foot traffic, dropped tools, and other common roof wear and tear.

SPF roofing insulation qualities

One of the main benefits of SPF roofing is it will also add significant R-value to your property’s insulation capabilities. It’s a very dense closed-cell foam and carries some of the highest R-value-per-inch of any commercial roofing product. That includes polyiso, EPS, and XPS foam board insulation products.

In exact terms, spray foam that is 3 lb. in density has an R-value of 6.86 per inch when fully cured with a comprehensive strength of 50 psi.

How long do spray foam roofs last?

SPF roofing systems installed by professional teams like ours at Sol Vista Roofing can last multiple decades. In fact there’s no reason a spray foam roof can’t last 50 years or more if properly maintained.

The biggest factor in SPF roofing lifespan is the coating applied over the cured foam. The SPF provides the waterproofing, the coating protects from UV rays. We prefer to coat with roofing silicone, but alternatives exist. It’s common to plan for washing the roof and apply a thin top-coat every 10-years or so to keep the SPF roof system working well. Regardless of the coating type applied to the foam, it should be examined by a roof coating professional regularly to plan for the next top-coat.

How much do spray-foam roofs cost?

The cost of installing a new SPF roof system is sure to be significantly less than removing and replacing your membrane roof. Material prices continue to fluctuate, but in general a full SPF roof installation can cost between $5-$10 per square foot of roof surface.

Not only do SPF roofs cost less than full roof replacements, but you’re also likely to have lower energy costs after your SPF roof is installed. That’s because of the added R-value the SPF material brings to your property’s insulation.

How much do spray foam roofs weigh?

Spray foam roofs are very light systems that can be accommodated by any structure. In total, a spray foam roof weighs approximately 50-70 pounds per 100 square feet of area. A conventional built-up roofing system can weight 600 pounds per 100 square feet, approximately 10x the weight of SPF roofing.

Spray Foam Roofing in Denver

Is SPF roofing right for your property? An on-site assessment by the commercial roofing team at Sol Vista is the first step in determining if so. We will walk the roof and inspect for active leaks, take dozens of inspection photos to share with you, and prepare a report and an action plan to help you make a decision about your roof.

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