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Spray Foam Insulation

Spray foam insulation has become increasingly popular over the past few decades. The major reasons for the rise in popularity of the insulator type is decreased energy consumption, a decrease in energy bill costs, and an increased level of comfort. Spray foam insulation for roofing is an excellent option because it has no pores and is seamless. This means that, when applied to a roof, spray insulation creates a protective barrier that keeps moisture out and regulates the temperature much more efficiently.

Spray polyurethane foam is a combination of isocyanate and polyol. These two components are fed through a proportioner which heats up, then pumps the two separate components to the spray gun, where they are mixed and sprayed onto the substrate.

The foam dries within seconds after applied to the roof surface and is safe to walk upon. Because it is sprayed onto the roof as a liquid, which expands and dries into a hard structure, it forms a single continuous cover that is seamless and very stable. Foam Insulation adheres to just about everything, so it can be installed over concrete, wood, steel, asphalt, metal and in difficult cracks and crevices. Furthermore, spray foam can be applied to most existing roof systems, which saves on the expense of roof removal and landfill fees.

Foam insulation is applied as a liquid, filling every last crack and crevice. It then expands approximately 30 times its original liquid volume to form a hard, closed cell monolithic roof surface. Think of water spilling over a surface and freezing into ice to form a solid, sturdy igloo.

The expansion results in a weather-tight roofing membrane that is fully adhered to the substrate. The insulation has now created a protective shell that both holds a roof together and shields it.

Once the foam insulation has been applied to the proper thickness and finish specifications, a layer of elastomeric coating or gravel is applied. This layer further protects the roofing system from UV rays and other debilitating weather conditions.

Spray Foam, huh? No, it’s not the kind of foam at the top of your beer glass. It’s not the soft, plush foam you place over a bed mattress, either. SPF is sprayed as a foam, but is hard and durable seconds later and for the rest of its lifespan… which is potentially indefinite. Once foam insulation is dry, it may be walked upon and serviced without causing damage to the surface.

The R-value of an insulation system measures its power as an insulator. This correlates directly with the density of SPF. The higher the density of the foam, the higher the r-value and stronger the foam will be. Most SPF roofs have densities ranging from about 2.5 pounds per cubic foot to 3 pounds per cubic foot. Three pound density foam has a compressive strength of about 50 psi and an r-value of 7.14 installed and 6.86 aged (these numbers may vary slightly depending on the foam manufacturer). Different foam densities with different r-values may be discussed with your contractor.

A great example of an foam insulation roof’s insulating strength: A school district in southern Oklahoma had recently installed some new, one-room relocatable classroom buildings. During the late spring and early fall, these classrooms were using their air conditioners an average of 50 minutes every hour. The school district installed foam roofs on some of these classrooms in order to see if it would provide energy savings. The roofs consisted of three pound density foam, 1.5 inches thick with an acrylic coating system. The air conditioner usage was cut down to fifteen minutes every hour. That’s a fifty-eight percent savings on energy costs.

Does this mean a foam insulation roof pays for itself? Absolutely! A university study indicates that an spray foam roof roof can pay for itself in energy savings in approximately four and a half years.

Properly maintained, an SPF roof has a potentially limitless lifespan. On average, every ten to fifteen years the roof will need to be cleaned, primed and recoated. Keep up with the proper maintenance and a spray foam roofing system will far outlast any alternative roofing option, into 30, 40, 50 years and longer.

As with all other roof systems, cost depends on several factors. Some of these factors include building accessibility, complexity of project, foam thickness, foam coating system, and geographical location. Costs may start at about $2.50 per square foot for a cheap system and go up from there. However, studies have shown that, due to large energy savings, foam roofing systems typically pay for themselves in utility reductions in 4 years.

We are here to assist in all of your Utah spray foam roofing needs. Let us help you decide on the correct application for your commercial roof. Contact us today for a no obligation quote on your industrial roofing job.

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