The Pros and Cons of Spray Foam Roofing for Restoration
We have talked a lot here on our blog about choosing the right materials for your commercial building’s roof. This is certainly important when you’re installing a new roof, but it’s perhaps even more critical to make the right material choice when you’re restoring an aging roof—especially one that’s already developed some problems like small leaks or damage.
Many building owners and managers mistakenly choose to fix problems on their roofs with products purchased on the retail market and installed by amateurs. This can be an attractive option because it initially appears to be low cost. Unfortunately, “cheaping out” on revitalizing your building’s roof can end up being very costly when the fixes don’t last more than a season or two, and you might end up with a mess that takes a lot of money and time to correct.
Luckily, there are several options to restore your roof right the first time. Spray foam polyurethane (SPF) systems—applied by experienced, qualified professional roofers—are one of the strongest choices you can make today. Let’s take a closer look at why you should consider SPF.
What is Spray Foam Roofing?
It’s true that SPF roofing can be applied as an original roof or a restoration coating. It is installed in layers, which may vary somewhat in their exact chemical properties depending on the manufacturer’s product specifications—it typically consists of various acrylic substances to achieve unbeatable waterproofness and other benefits we’ll touch on in a moment.
For instance, here at Unlimited Commercial Roofing, we exclusively install SPF roofing from Conklin Roofing Systems, which involves applying three layers of material including a Benchmark acrylic latex material and a Puma XL final coat.
Unless your commercial building was constructed recently, it’s unlikely that it currently has a spray foam roof. More than likely, your building will have an asphalt or single-ply membrane system as its original roof. Or it may have a metal roof—in which case you’ll need to explore specific metal roofing restoration options when you’re looking to improve your existing commercial roof (though SPF can also be applied on some metal surfaces).
Determining the type of flat or low-sloped roof currently on your building—and the best materials for restoring that roof—should be done in consultation with professional roofers.
Advantages of Spray Foam Coatings
One of the biggest advantages of spray foam roofing systems for restoration is their flexibility—they are appropriate for revitalizing a wide variety of original roofing types. SPF is also one of the only roofing materials that can add insulation value to your roof. Consider the following benefits of spray polyurethane foam roofing, as well.
Great Longevity & Durability
With proper installation, SPF roofing will remain waterproof and low maintenance for many years. In fact, Conklin’s impressive warranties of at least a decade on both their product and its installation means you’ll get a highly weather-resistant roof that also reflects the sun’s rays.
How long does spray foam roofing last?
An SPF roof should typically last about 15 years but can remain in place nearly indefinitely. This is because it can be renewed over time with simple recoats over the surface as it ages.
While it’s true that weather conditions need to be just right—days need to be warm and dry and not windy for SPF roofing to be installed—the installation process is relatively quick once the forecast is favorable. In fact, prep work to ensure proper adhesion of the materials takes the most time since your roof must be completely free of loose dirt and debris before the 1” thick first foam layer is sprayed on.
High Energy Efficiency
In commercial roofing, there are generally darker colored roofs and newer white “cool roof” options. A major benefit of the lighter colored roofing materials—of which SPF is one—is their reflective properties. What this means is they naturally reflect sunlight and stay physically cooler. And that saves you energy, especially on your air conditioning bills during the hot summer months.
SPF roofing has an additional energy-saving feature, though—it is insulative. In fact, it can add about 6.5 R-value to your roof, which is excellent for retaining the climate-controlled air within your building during both the summer and winter months. This will save you enough energy over a few years to pay for the cost of the roof restoration itself!
Requires Minimal Maintenance
While having your commercial building’s roof inspected annually by an experienced professional roofing contractor is a good idea, SPF roofing only needs a light cleaning every now and then to continue performing at its best. Some other roofing types are a bit needier.
Any Drawbacks to SPF Coatings?
Does SPF roofing sound a little too good to be true? We can assure you that it’s not, though there are a few additional considerations that may make other systems, such as single-ply membrane roofing, more appropriate for your particular commercial roofing restoration needs.
Weather to Install Must be Just Right
As we mentioned, SPF coatings can only be applied under favorable weather conditions. This means you may be waiting a while before your roofing restoration project can begin. If you’re looking to get your roof restored quickly, you may want to consider single-ply membranes instead, as they can be installed during any time of the year—even in winter!
Initial Cost Can Be High Compared to Other Options
While the energy savings you will realize after installing an SPF roofing system can be significant—and will ultimately pay for the cost of the roof in about ten years or less—spray foam restoration is not as budget-friendly as some other options. You must consider the long-term cost benefits of SPF over these different systems—which may not last as long before having to be restored again—or of simply performing patchwork repairs to your current roof system.
Get Answers to All of Your SPF Roofing Restoration System Questions
If your aging commercial roof is leaking and you’re attempting to determine the best solution for stopping the problem, it’s time to give us a call here at Unlimited Commercial Roofing. Our Conklin SPF restoration system is a great option for so many different commercial roofing types, and we offer a range of other fantastic choices, too. Get in touch with your questions and schedule a professional FREE roof inspection now.