The Truth about Spray Polyurethane Foam Roofing Problems

foam roofingToday, we discuss one of the highest-performing and most affordable roof systems in commercial roofing, spray polyurethane foam.

For building owners who seek reliable, lasting roof protection that offers long-term cost-effectiveness, spray polyurethane foam roofing offers a great solution. But despite the fact that it has been around for 50 years, some members of the public have strong negative impressions of it. That is certainly understandable, given that over these past few decades, careless or less-than-savvy commercial roof contractors have incorrectly or poorly installed this energy-saving roof system.

Because this roof system has such great energy-saving and cost-cutting potential, below we examine some of the “myths” behind this system and how it offers substantial value.

Spray Foam Roofing Problems and Myths Answered

Pros & Cons of Various Roofing Systems

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  • Spray polyurethane foam technology does not have a solid track record for commercial roofing. Because a number of commercial roofing companies have installed this roof system poorly or incorrectly, this misnomer is one of the greater misperceptions to emerge in the commercial roofing industry. Multiple studies, including longitudinal studies or studies done over time, confirm spray polyurethane foam technology’s efficacy for commercial roof protection. For one, the National Roofing Foundation performed a study at Arizona State University in 1995 that showed high customer satisfaction and durability were strongly tied to SPF roofing. Texas A&M University famously has over 7 million square feet of spray foam roofing installed on buildings across its campus, which has performed well for over periods ranging 15 to 40+ years or even more.
  • Spray polyurethane foam may be suitable for other applications, but not for roofing. Despite this fairly popular notion, spray polyurethane foam actually has shown a great track record for commercial roof application. When it was first distributed commercially in the mid-1950s, spray polyurethane foam was used in refrigeration and industrial insulation applications. As the foam technology became more specialized or harnessed for other industries, however, the foam emerged as a proven solution for commercial and residential applications alike. Today, SPF is used for roofing and insulation needs the world over, and enjoys recognition by the National Building Code as well as for its efficacy in sealing a building envelope.
  • Spray foam roofs are far too expensive. This notion is perhaps one of the strongest held by the public today. In reality, though, spray foam roofing is actually one of the most affordable and reliable roof systems available today, especially when you factor in the cost savings and avoided costs it generates. For illustration, consider some of the following cost savings you can see with this roofing when it has an elastomeric roof coating applied on top of it: reduced roof maintenance and repair costs, heavily reduced annual energy costs, federal tax benefits and advantages, reduced cooling and heating equipment-related costs, and so much more. In fact, Texas A&M found that its spray foam systems paid for themselves in around 4-6 years with their huge energy savings.
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  • Spray polyurethane foam roofing does not last. Actually, when elastomeric roof coatings are reapplied at strategic intervals on top of it, spray foam roofing has been shown to last up to 50 years. Conklin elastomeric roof coatings, in fact, may only need to be reapplied once to strengthen that possibility. Plus, multiple independent studies have confirmed the long life expectancy of this highly durable roofing.
  • This foam roofing cannot be walked over or on. When applied correctly, an SPF-treated roof actually can hold up to 40 pounds per square inch or even higher. That is according to data from the Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance and National Roofing Contractors Association. It is fully capable of supporting a wide weight range. However, a sharp object could create a hole that can penetrate the building envelope. Care is needed in that area.

With Conklin spray foam roofing, building owners could see up to 30% savings on their annual energy costs, and receive non-prorated warranty coverage for their roof that covers labor and material costs for 18 years.

Call us at 800-670-5583 to learn how we can give you long-term security and cost-saving power.

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Written by: Ian Myers
Ian Myers
Ian was the very first team member brought on by the original co-founders of the Choice Roof Contractor Group to assist with nationwide growth. Since then he has written 120+ blog posts and provided excellent support to the roofing contractors in the group. Through his multiple roles in the commercial roofing industry, he has gained tremendous knowledge in the sector.