There is foam and then there is coating. The foam is federally regulated and only comes from certain suppliers. The coating can come from hundreds of different suppliers and is rarely checked for approval by the city or county inspectors. Sprayed Polyurethane Foam (SPF) is the roofing system. This is what keeps you dry. The SPF roofing system is also your insulation barrier, which keeps you cool in the summer and reduces your heating use in the winter. The coating does one thing and one thing only. It keeps your SPF roof from burning. Enemy #1 to all roofing systems is the UV from the sun. Eventually, the roof will need to be replaced, because the sun wears it down over time.
When the SPF roof is covered by a thick (60% solids) acrylic elastomeric coating, the SPF roof will never see the sun, so it won’t need to be replaced. Ever! The coating should be fresh, cool roof approved and come from a well known manufacturer. How do you as the consumer know whether you are getting a high quality, high solids, approved coating for your SPF roofing system?
- Before signing any contracts, ask your SPF contractor what coatings they will use. Ask them if they are using the coatings from the same manufacturer as the SPF or will they be using a manufacturer who only makes coatings? The best possible case is that the contractor will be using a coating that is supplied by the same manufacturer as the SPF product. At Foam Roof Solutions, our contractors use either BASF foam with a cool roof approved coating (BASF does not manufacture coatings – foam only) from a major coatings manufacturer or General Coatings SPF and coating (General Coatings manufactures both).
- When the permit is placed on your property before the job starts, make sure the products listed on the permit are the same as your foam roof salesperson disclosed during the sales process. If the product is not listed on the permit, call your contractor and make sure it is the product you were promised.
- When the job starts and before the contractor starts spraying foam, make sure the applicator can show you the product information which will be listed on the barrels or tubs that the foam & coating are stored in, which are in the truck or trailer containing the foam machine, generator, compressor, hoses & equipment. If they can not show you the information, send them home. All Foam Roof Solutions contractors will be able to show you this information on the day of application.
It is unlikely that the SPF product has gone bad since the SPF products are all federally regulated and sold only by qualified service providers, however the coating can go bad over time, come from a “mom & pop” shop or simply can be old coating that the contractor decided to use on your job. Once the coating is sprayed on and the contractor has left, it will be difficult to prove that the coating was not from the same as the original promised coatings manufacturer.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding this subject or feel that you have been given false information regarding the products used during your SPF roofing installation, please give me a call at (925) 433-1192 and we can discuss your concerns.