The Pros & Cons of Choosing Foam Roofing as a Replacement for Tar & Gravel

The Bay Area is home to many buildings which currently have tar & gravel roofing. In this piece, we aim to state the case for choosing spray foam roofing in the Bay Area as a high-performance replacement for tar and gravel roofing.

Firstly, spray foam roofing is a good option for the Bay Area’s climate. The Bay Area experiences warm summer months and relatively mild winters. Because foam roofing provides excellent insulation properties, it helps to keep the interior of buildings in the Bay Area cool during hot months, thereby reducing the need to use high energy-consuming air conditioning units.

Foam roofing is typically given a chemical coating which increases its reflectivity. By reflecting a significant portion of the sun’s heat, spray foam roofing in the Bay Area can help to reduce the heat absorbed by the building, which mitigates the “heat island effect” that urban areas of the Bay Area can experience. Spray foam roofing is typically made with polyurethane foam, which contains a combination of chemicals and additives. These additives can include UV stabilizers or absorbers, which help to mitigate the damaging effects of UV (ultraviolet) radiation.

The insulation properties of spray foam roofing in the Bay Area can also help to retain heat during slightly cooler months too, further reducing the need to use heating systems as often.

Spray foam roofing, as opposed to sheet foam, is applied in liquid form, expanding and solidifying to form a seamless uniform layer. The Bay Area occasionally experiences heavy rainfall, so spray foam roofing in the Bay Area provides an added layer of protection against leaks and water damage.

We’ve talked about the many advantages of spray foam roofing, so are there any drawbacks? Well, Spray foam roofing is not easy for someone without experience to apply, which means a professional roofing contractor will need to apply it. It can also be sensitive to moisture when it’s being applied, so you’ll need to plan in advance and establish the optimal time to install SPF roofing.

Evaluating Tar & Gravel Roofing

Tar and gravel roofing, or BUR (built-up roofing), has been a popular form of roofing in the Bay Area because it’s affordable and can last for many years. However, it’s now time to reassess its suitability and actively consider tar & gravel roof replacement.

To begin with, tar and gravel roofs are heavy, and this excess weight can apply stress on buildings which can lead to additional maintenance and expenses.

Arguably the largest detractor of tar and gravel roofing is its poor performance in terms of insulation. Spray foam roofing offers much better insulation performance, hence why it is being chosen as a replacement for tar & gravel roofing. The drawbacks of tar and gravel roofing don’t end there either. Tar and gravel roofing consists of multiple layers and seams, which are prone to water leaks as they deteriorate over time. Searching for leaks in tar and gravel roofs can be difficult and time-consuming.

Lastly, hot tar and petroleum-based materials pose real environmental concerns, and the disposal of old tar and gravel can further environmental concerns.

To recap the advantages and drawbacks of both tar and gravel and spray foam roofing, it’s clear that spray foam roofing in the Bay Area is the superior choice for tar & gravel roof replacement.

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