Getting familiar with foam roofing systems

Foam roofing system: what is it and how it works?

Spray polyurethane foam, or simply SPF is a roofing material that is created by mixing a special liquid made of two components and spraying it in a way it forms the base of a roof system. One of the main advantages of foam roofing is that you decide how thick you want your roof to be depending on your ultimate goals: do you want a slope for draining or a specific R-value. After applying it and creating a layer of the roof, the foam requires protection.

Construction of foam roofing

The primary component of a spray polyurethane foam roofing is a closed cell, stiff and firm foam insulation. The foam that is used for roofing contains two main elements: polyol and isocyanate which together make a durable and reliable roofing system. This method uses transfer guns or pumps to measure the components and mix them in the right ratio.  When the components are mixed in a spray gun, the liquid is sprayed onto a substrate.

The second component of the foam roofing is the protection that has to be applied to the foam. The protective coat is inevitable, and it is mostly an elastomeric coating that is applied with a spray as well or in an alternative way with hands and power rollers. Foam roofing can also have a protective top layer membrane like single ply membrane. The entire meaning of a protective layer is to provide your foam roofing with a weatherproof coating, protection from the powerful UV lights and physical or mechanical damage. It also adds a not-combustible element to your foam roofing system.

There are various top coatings that homeowners can choose from. It could be an acrylic, silicone, urethanes or butyl rubber one.  We recommend you to ask your roofing contractor for advice since the knowledge they have will significantly help pick the right coating depending on the place you live.  Roofing contractor applies them in three main stages.  There is a base coat, a mid coat just above and the final and most important coat.  Sometimes, granules can be merged into the top coat, and by desire the mid layer, to add additional protection against the UV lights and fire.  It boosts you foam roofings’ quality.

 

How foam roofs perform?

Foam roofing system is incredibly strong and durable. They are especially good at handling foot traffic and construction traffic thanks to the elastomeric coating. Elastomeric coating means that the coating returns to its original shape after it deforms due to force. However, spray polyurethane foam roofs easily decomposes in the great sunlight, which is why a quality top coat is necessary.

The chemicals that create foam for roofing are manufactured to function in various climates and temperatures. There are different foam based roofing systems that offer different types of functionality. Manufacturers alter properties of foams by changing chemical ingredients in the foam mostly with a catalyst. When manufacturers make them, they keep in mind the humidity, sunlight, surface and wind as the elements that could interfere with how the foam reacts and performs.

Don’t neglect warranties

If you indeed decide to install a foam based roofing system to your home, then you should keep in mind warranties when purchasing a new roof. The first assurance you need to pay attention to is the manufacturer’s warranty. This warranty is responsible for all mistakes in the manufacture of the foam membrane. It is manufacturer’s error if the ratio of ingredients isn’t right and the membrane leaks. Another warranty you have to own is the one provided to your by your roofing contractor. Workmanship warranty covers everything related to the installation of your roof. Roofing contractors often give out three years warranties, but there is no rule, it all depends on a company. If you have any further information about this roofing systems, don’t hestiate to contact South Shore Roofing, your best commercial roofer in Savannah.

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