By Jack King
The closed-cell urethane foam two Clovis roofing contractors are offering makes a lighter weight, better insulating, roofing material than traditional substances and is more convenient to apply, both for the contractor and the customer, they said recently.
Trace Bailey, of T.S. Bailey Enterprises, said he has been in the business of spraying the foam on roofs — of commercial, industrial and even residential buildings — for 10 years.
In that time, he’s probably applied the foam to 150 acres of roofs in New Mexico, Texas, Arizona, California and Oklahoma, he said.
The urethane foam starts out as two different parts, “A” and “B,” which are combined at the nozzle of a spray hose. Once sprayed on, the substance cures in 45 seconds and comes in different densities for use in different applications. It can even be used between walls as interior insulation, he said.
“One thing that’s distinctive about the foam is its ‘closed cell’ construction. That means that, unlike other types of foam, each cell is a closed unit. It’s light weight, but, once it’s applied, it’s also seamless, making it more waterproof than some other types of material. It also has greater insulation value than other materials, which can lower your heating and cooling costs,” he said.
Another feature of the foam is that it can be applied to old roofs without the extensive demolition work often required on a re-roofing job, Bailey said.
“Unless there’s moisture saturation, there’s no need to tear the old roofing material off down to the decking,” Bailey said.
“I can do a re-roof job in approximately 50 percent of the time a traditional roofer can. It saves the building being exposed to the elements. Commercial and industrial customers like it, too, because they don’t like the mess of a re-roofing job to take a long time, or to have our trucks around for a long time blocking their business,” he said.
Bailey said urethane foam isn’t perfect, nor is it the perfect substance for all buildings.
“It’s not necessarily the least expensive way to go. It depends on the application. Also, it may not be the most attractive roofing material for a peaked roof residential building.
“The only enemy of the foam is the sun and you have to coat it within 48 hours of application with a rubberized elastomeric coating to prevent degradation,” he said.
Hank Bailey, of Bailey and Sons in Clovis, has been applying the closed-cell foam roofing material to commercial, industrial and residential buildings since 2000. He said a urethane roof with a plastomeric coating will outlast most other types.
“Most roofs you have to replace every five years. Foam roofing, with the coating, you can warranty for 10 to 12 years,” he said.