Whether you drive a Lamborghini a Prius or or a Tesla, I think we can all agree that utilizing petroleum products which are renewable is a good thing for the environment. We all burn fuel one way or the other. In order to create electricity, coal, natural gas & petroleum are used and even the cleanest of the clean solar panels add carbon to the environment in production, so your Tesla is still not completely off the hook.
I believe making conscious decisions about utilizing natural resources such as spray foam roofing (SPF) and Photo-voltaic (PV) solar promotes individual freedom and control over how one’s household or business is operated. Just like the decision that you made to buy that car that gets 30 mpg rather than 15 or you made the decision to buy a Hybrid at 50-60 mpg or the electric car that costs you a few dollars to charge, you can make those same conscious choices when choosing an insulated roofing product.
If you own a flat roof, here are your choices of roofing products:
- Sprayed polyurethane foam (SPF). SPF roofing materials have a petroleum base. The roof is sprayed on as a liquid and rises and dries into a solid (approximately 1.5″ – 2″ thick). An SPF roof is naturally insulated using two chemicals that react when sprayed to any surface. It can be used to insulate your roof, walls & ceiling). An SPF is 100% seamless and is “self flashing” which means no more seams at your roof jacks, plumbing vents, chimney or electrical, water & gas lines. The SPF roofing system is covered with a water based, acrylic elastomer which protects your roof from the sun for 15 – 20 years. If an SPF roof is installed properly and the required amount of UV protective coating is applied, there should be no maintenance for the entire warranty period.
- Modified bitumen (Torch down). Modified bitumen is a type of asphalt (petroleum based) product that can be applied in a number of ways to the roof in both hot and cold temperatures. Modified bitumen is not naturally insulated (you can apply foam board underneath if you need insulation) and will require a complete tear-off and replacement on an average of 10-15 years. Although the manufacturers of modified bitumen will warranty the product for up to 20 years, your local contractor would be hesitant to offer even a 10 year warranty on fixing future leaks. Modified bitumen is not seamless (allowing dozens of areas for potential future leaks), it is not self-flashing and heats up to around 160 degrees on a 90 degree day.
- Built up roof (Tar & gravel). Referred to by the acronym BUR, has been in use in the U.S. for more than 100 years (so has the combustion engine). BUR systems generally are composed of alternating layers of bitumen and reinforcing fabrics that create a finished membrane. BUR roofs are petroleum based, have no natural insulation, need replacement in 3-10 years and heat up to 160 degrees on a 90 degree day. Unless you are selling your home or don’t have the budget for any other roofing system, please do not replace your flat roof with another tar & gravel. These roofs are constantly being torn off and disposed into U.S. landfills and pollute the whole time they are on your home (the sun’s UV breaks them down, where do you think all of that petroleum is going?).
- Single ply (PVC, Synthetic polymer). It is created from strong and flexible membranes composed predominantly of synthetic polymer. The thickness of single ply membrane is in the range 1.1mm to +2mm. When combined with insulation (not naturally insulating, but usually white & reflective) and continuous support, they are a durable roof system, however these roofs when replacement is required (typically 10-20 years) will need to be torn off & replaced.
An SPF roofing system is the only roofing system that has naturally occurring insulation, so the only stand out in this crowd is the SPF roof system. It is the only conscious choice you can make that is completely Insulating & renewable. It is the only choice you have to add slope to your flat roof (we can spray it thicker in areas to reduce standing water and promote drainage). The top coat is a reflective, water based acrylic that does not off gas during it’s lifespan.
What is the real lifespan of an SPF roofing system? It all depends on your education about SPF and the way you educate your children, grandchildren or any new owners of your home. If you keep your SPF roofing system coated, it will last for generations to come!
Please call me if you would like a FREE telephone consultation or an estimate that is thicker than any of our competitors, competitive pricing and superior customer service. Together, we can pollute less, stay cooler in the summer and put our minds to something far more productive than worrying about our roof leaking.
Gus Hunt (925) 433-1192 (Cell) or (800) 878-1480 Toll Free.