Advantages of Spray Polyurethane Foam Roofing

Have you considered a foam roof?  Quite often, spray polyurethane foam can be applied directly over an existing roof surface, providing an economical way to re-roof.


Following are benefits of a spray polyurethane foam roof:

1.  Ease of installation – application is relatively quiet and there is no need to shut down daily operations while roofing is being installed

2.  Seamless – spray polyurethane foam forms a seamless insulated roofing system.  It has no joints or seams to allow water or air to pass into the building beneath.

3.  Eliminates leaks – polyurethane foam conforms to the substrate over which it is applied.  It seals parapets, around roof penetrations such as vents and skylights, and roof-mounted equipment such as air conditioning units.

4.  Minimize ponding – quite often on older buildings the trusses will tend to develop an inflection (sag) toward the middle of an expanse, especially on larger buildings.  This area can easily be filled with additional spray polyurethane foam to ensure proper drainage, without over-weighting the truss system.

5.  Lightweight – closed-cell foam weighs approximately 2.7 pounds per cubic foot.  When applied over a roof surface at the typical thickness of about 1.0″, with coating applied on top it a foam roof system weighs about 60 pounds per 100 square feet.  In comparison, a four-ply built-up roof system will weigh approximately ten times as much.  This makes polyurethane foam ideal for re-roofing, since in many cases it can be applied directly over the existing roofing system.

6.  Minimize thermal shock – once applied, foam is an inert product.  When we get summer monsoon storms, the temperature on a roof can drop as much as 50-60 degrees within minutes.  This puts enormous stress on a roofing system to shrink.  Foam doesn’t react to thermal shock, so there isn’t the rapid contraction to worry about.

7.  Versatile – foam can be applied as both a new roof system and an overlay to existing system.  Since it is spray-applied and conforms to whatever surface applied, it can be applied to flat roofs, to pitched (or sloped) roofs, to domes, to concave surfaces, to walls and to wavy surfaces without a problem.  It is ideal for application as an insulating material to tanks, coolers, freezers, ductwork and piping.

8.  Rigid – closed-cell foam is lightweight and adds strength to the roof system.  It will not pack down or sag like other roofing and insulation materials.  It can safely be walked on with solid-surface shoes.  *I don’t recommend tap-dancing on a foam roof with spiked heels.

9.  Durable – a foam roof system is intended to last for decades.  Periodic application of additional coats of UV-blocking (ultra-violet rays from the sun) elastomeric acrylic coatings will ensure years of service.

10.  Ease of application – foam roof systems can be applied by an experienced and qualified contractor in a relatively short period of time, with minimal or no disruption to building operations.

11.  Ease of maintenance – minor repairs to a foam roof can be made with a utility knife, a caulk gun and a tube of quality elastomeric caulk.  We recommend at least an annual roof walk to ensure the roof stays in top condition.

12.  Soundproofing – foam aids in soundproofing a building, resulting in a quieter interior.  If noise is an issue in a building, application of spray polyurethane foam in greater thickness will provide additional noise-blocking benefit.

13.  Insulation – foam provides more thermal resistance with less material than any other form of insulation.  It has an aged “R” value of about 6.4 per inch, and can pay for itself in just a few years with reduced utility costs.  A white elastomeric acrylic coating will increase the “R” value by up to 3, since the the lighter color aids in heat reflectance.  You can walk on a white-coated foam roof barefoot in the summer.  Try doing that on a metal or tile roof.

14.  Waterproof – closed-cell foam does not absorb moisture.  The only way to get moisture through a closed-cell foam roof system is to have a hole through the system.  Protected by UV-blocking elastomeric acrylic coating, seamless foam roof systems resist penetration by water and vapor.

15.  Environmentally friendly – no freon, energy-saving, best thermal insulation available, stable and inert.  Foam is an excellent option for roofing.


If you are interested in learning more about spray polyurethane foam, and exploring options for flat roofs, please contact SUNVEK at 623-349-7663.  SUNVEK has been providing quality roofing services to the Valley and throughout Arizona since 1984.

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