(SPF) Spray Foam Roofing Pros and Cons (With Examples)

SPF application is easier than ever.

Spray Foam Roofing Pros

  • Ease of Installation
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Easy Maintenance
  • Renewable/Sustainable
  • Waterproof

Spray Foam Roofing Cons

  • Limited Installation Window
  • Potential for Overspray

We can all agree on one thing: we want more value for our money when it comes to things like roof installation and repairs. There is a new form of roofing system that is becoming more and more prevalent, and that is Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF). Understanding spray foam roofing pros and cons is essential in 2022.

SPF is a cheaper alternative that is ultimately easier to install. But it can’t all be sunshine and roses, can it? Here is a list of the pros and cons of using an SPF roofing system that you should consider before installing your SPF roof on your commercial building’s roof during the next available climate window.

Pros of Spray Polyurethane Foam Roofs

Ease of Installation

There is no denying that installing your roofing system with an SPF application is much easier. Having an easier installation can save you a lot of time and money regarding your new SPF roof. The application is a foam spray, coating the roof far more quickly, and it can generally be applied with no interruption of the facility’s daily routine.

Additionally, the shape of the roof in question becomes irrelevant. Whereas oddly shaped roofs might cause issues with traditional installation methods, an SPF application has no cause for concern. This is because the foam can conform to any shape or size of a roof, even the most irregularly shaped ones.

All it takes is a quick cleaning of the shingles, asphalt, metal, concrete, and wood, and then you can begin applying the SPF roof directly over the materials. That level of ease simply cannot be matched.

Energy Efficiency

In addition to being the easiest roofing system to install, SPF roofing delivers air, thermal, and moisture barriers that provide the highest R-value per inch. This means that the material provides better overall insulation for the building itself.

During the summer, the polyurethane foam keeps the heat out while keeping the heat in during the winter to ensure that your energy costs are as low as they can be for the facility owners. A silicone top coating resists UV light; the foam remains protected and reduces heat absorption overall.

Easy Maintenance

Installing an SPF roof requires minimal preventative maintenance and repair to keep it up. If you properly maintain your SPF roof, it can last for a whopping 50 years. Having that level of peace of mind is something that you can’t put a price on.

However, that does not mean that you should completely ignore your SPF roof after it has been installed. You will want to have it inspected semi-annually, once in the spring and again come fall. You might want to schedule additional inspections should there be severe storms that could cause damage to the roofing system.

The best part is that even when there is an event where the silicone needs to be recoated, there is no necessary tearing off of the existing materials; all you have to do is apply the new coat right on top of the old one. That means the easiest maintenance possible.

Renewable and Sustainable

One of the best aspects of SPF roofing is that they create little to nothing in terms of waste. Most of the time, the original roof requires minimal stripping since the SPF roof is installed right over the top. This eliminates the need for any expensive and messy roof tear-offs that can leave a ton of waste.

Not only that, the materials that are used for the SPF roofing systems happen to be environmentally friendly as well. They use things like Zero Ozone Depleting Potential (ODP), Low in Emission of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCS), free from Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCS), and Ultra-Low Global Warming Potential (GWP).

Waterproof and Seamless

One of the biggest issues with your standard roofs is that they have seams and penetrations where leaks can become the primary source of issues. An SPF roof eliminates all of those vulnerabilities. The SPF mixture is applied as a liquid; this means it can fill in any seams, gaps, and cracks that may already exist in the roof and substrate.

SPF roof installation provides a seamless roof where cracks don't happen.

When the polyurethane foam is applied, the contractor can level out the roof to decrease the chance of ponding water. The foam material can expand and contract with the building depending on the outside temperatures; this reduces any likelihood of splitting and cracks in the roof.

Cons of using Spray Polyurethane Foam

There is a Limited Installation Window

The one caveat about an SPF installation is that it can only be sprayed on when the weather meets specific conditions. If there is ice, frost, visible dampness, or surface moisture on the existing roof, an SPF roofing system cannot be installed.

If an installation is required, that does not disrupt the everyday operations of the facility below, that can leave a small window for installation that requires the weather to be just so. This can be inconvenient, but using an SPF roofing system is a reality.

Potential for Overspray

This does not mean that you can overspray the roof itself; there is a chance that should the wind pick up, it can carry any overspray onto other surfaces or onto surrounding cars. This doesn’t pose any health concern, but it can concern the properties surrounding your building.

This is a rare problem and one that can be avoided if you have the right company installing your roof, but it is a concern no less. Ensure that the commercial roofing services you invest in involve careful spraying practices to mitigate any potential overspray that can cause damage to surrounding areas. This is just a hassle that you do not need and can easily be avoided with the right amount of care and attention.

Assessing Spray Foam Roofing Pros and Cons

After assessing spray foam roofing pros and cons, it becomes clear that SPF roofs offer more benefits than detriments in 2022. As a result, investing in an SPF roofing system is a wise choice for those requiring roof work. While the limited installation window and overspray potential remain, hiring a competent roofing contractor can mitigate these cons.