Flat roofs are a real pain when it comes to maintenance and repair. If you live under one, you may well be experiencing this pain right now. What do you do when your flat roof is leaking, and you are tired of throwing good money against bad repair ideas and bandage solutions? Once a flat roof goes bad, the repairs are perpetual, so why not solve your flat roof problems once and for all? If your existing roof is 10 years or older, it’s time to choose a permanent, leak-free roofing solution. Sprayed Polyurethane Foam (SPF) is a high-performance form of rigid, walkable foam insulation for flat roofs.
The Conventional Approach to Dealing with Flat Roof Repairs
Conventional flat roof systems only have a lifespan of around 10-15 years. Even then, it’s only if they were installed by a skilled roofing contractor.
Sprayed Polyurethane Foam for flat roofing in the Bay Area will last indefinitely (decades) if it has been professionally applied, well maintained and recoated before the end of its warranty period. That’s right, if you choose flat roof foam insulation then it could very well be the final flat roofing system you will ever need!
Perhaps the most popular flat roofing system in the Bay Area has been tar & gravel roofing. A tar & gravel roof that was installed in the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s & 90’s has now become outdated and environmentally unfriendly when you compare it to that of modern flat foam roofing.
In fact, you’d be hard pressed today to find a company that will offer to install a tar & gravel roof. This is in no small part due to new environmental regulations as we know that tar and gravel roofing creates significant environmental damage.
Other contemporary forms of flat roofing that have been around for more than 30 years include bitumen, TPO (single ply), PVC, torch down. Believe it or not, sprayed polyurethane foam roofing has been around for more than 50 years and used on residential roofs for nearly 40 years.
Tar & gravel just can’t compete on the issue of sustainability when you compare it with products such as sprayed polyurethane foam (SPF), and thus it is fast becoming outdated.
Many flat roof systems are now created with a light (often white) color, or once the installation is fully complete, coated with a white silicone or acrylic elastomer. The reason for this is to shield & protect the new roof from the harmful rays of the sun. The sun’s UV rays are enemy #1 for damage to flat roofs.
Here are the main reasons why conventional roofs cannot compete with a sprayed polyurethane foam roofing system:
- Conventional flat roofs are well known for collecting standing water. However, a spray foam roof is incredibly light in weight, so it does not add additional stress to a structure. Areas prone to standing water can be “sprayed out”, so the water will move towards its natural drainage instead of pooling. In fact, with the right spray foam roofing contractor a flat roof can be sloped to drain at ¼” per foot minimalizing standing water after 24 hours of dry weather.
- All conventional flat roof systems have seams or potential water entry points, unlike an SPF roof which is seamless and monolithic. Whenever you attempt to cover a conventional flat roof with a reflective coating, the seams will inevitably come apart over time if not reapplied every 3-5 years and the coatings are very expensive. As well, if the original coating application is not applied correctly to a very clean surface, reapplication will be a nightmare for the future of the roof.
A spray foam roof is completely seamless and has a typical thickness of 1.5″ – 2″ creating a barrier between the substrate and the top of the roof. TPO and PVC roofing have become popular because of their affordability, but the problem with these forms of roofs is they require screws & glue to keep the top layer in place. As well, they do not provide any insulation unless a rigid foam board is applied beforehand. This becomes very expensive! What happens when glue and screws fail, the top layer comes up and begins to disintegrate. So instead of lasting for perhaps two decades, they might only last for one decade (sometimes less).
An SPF roofing system is applied by spraying a two component (zero emissions) chemical so it is 100% attached to the prepared substrate.. A spray foam roof is the only truly seamless roofing system, and the only one that can stop leaks for good!
- Not only is SPF the perfect solution for flat roof insulation, but SPF roofing is the only roofing system that comes with a full, “no-leak” warranty for a period of 15-20 years after installation. Spray foam roofing will not crack or break, it only compresses. In fact, a closed cell urethane will close back on itself if it’s punctured. A spray foam roof is almost indestructible and millions of square feet of spray foam roofing are applied every year, often when HVAC units, skylights, etc are repaired or installed. And finally, the answer to your question is – Yes, you can walk on a spray foam roof!
If you’re tired of frequent flat roof repairs and are looking for a longer-lasting solution, we’re here for you!
If you currently own a property with a tar & gravel roof, you really should consider spray foam roofing as an upgrade. If you are already the proud owner of a spray polyurethane foam flat roof in the Bay Area, you can give us a call for instant access to our range of comprehensive foam roofing services.
Over 90% of the existing spray foam roofs that have been applied since the 1970’s can be restored, so don’t let anyone else tell you it needs to be replaced until you call the experts at Foam Roof Solutions. Our telephone number is (800) 878-1480, alternatively you can reach Gus directly on his cell phone: (925) 433-1192.