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What is Spray Polyurethane Foam?

Spray polyurethane foam, commonly referred to as SPF is a spray-applied insulating foam plastic that is installed as a liquid and then expands many times its original size. Spray polyurethane foam can be adjusted and have many different physical properties depending on the use desired. For example, the same basic raw materials that can make insulation foam semi-rigid and soft to the touch also creates high-density roofing foam that is resistant to foot traffic and water. Specialized equipment is used to apply the spray polyurethane foam and proper technical training is important in order to get the best results. Spray polyurethane foam is the king of building materials for multitasking. As a result spray polyurethane foam is used in a wide variety of applications including but is not limited to:

  1. Roofing
  2. Air barriers
  3. Commercial and residential insulation in walls, ceilings, attics, and basements
  4. Industrial insulation for pipes and tanks, cold storage facilities, freezers, walk-in coolers, and climate controlled buildings such as produce storage and clean rooms
  5. Flotation for boats, ships, barges, floating docks, etc.
  6. Higher density spray polyurethane foam has been used to increase the structural integrity of a building.

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Where can you find Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF)?

SPF is a multipurpose product that has numerous uses. Polyurethane foams can be used as insulation for buildings in addition to the highest quality roofing system on the market. Some of the common users of SPF include:

  • Schools/Universities
  • Industrial Plants
  • Local/Federal Governments
  • Sports Complexes
  • Commercial Buildings
  • Shopping Plazas
  • Banks
  • Hospitals

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If there are cheaper options, why should I choose an SPF roofing system?

SPF has no seams that can fail, no fasteners to penetrate your deck, seals all penetrations making it the most dependable waterproofing available today! SPF will last the life of the building with simple maintenance and by re-coating the roof approximately every 20 - 23 years!  Most importantly, the majority of our clients realize savings of 30% to 50% of their energy costs with an SPF roof! This means the SPF roof pays for itself in 4-7 years on energy savings alone! We use "Green" building materials and have a full "system" manufacturer's warranty available. We are UL-790 Class "A" Rated Roofing and have FM I-120 Approvals of wind resistance up to 120 mph!

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Will SPF add strength to my structure?

SPF weighs less than 1/2 lb. per square foot (@1-1/2" thick) reducing the weight load on your walls and beams while maintaining an extremely high strength-to-weight ratio. It reduces common "Thermal Shock" syndrome by reducing the expansion and contraction of your existing roof deck and structural support which is the leading cause of roof failures.

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Is SPF roofing "Green"?

The use of seamless insulation and light colored roof coatings help in reducing the energy footprint by using fossil fuels to heat and cool the building. The foam is fully sustainable and renewable thereby meeting the requirements of Energy Star Roofing Programs.  Many of the products we install also are active in the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environment Design Program).

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Can I walk on a foam roof?

The compression strength of SPF roofing is 40 pounds per square inch minimum. Most other roofing systems utilize rigid board insulation that has substantially less compressive strength. The answer is YES, you can walk on a foam roof without damaging the roof.

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Is foam roofing new? I have never heard of it.

Foam roofing has been installed since the late 1960s. There are foam roofs that are currently over 30 years old. Over 8 million S/F of foam roofs are currently installed throughout Western New York.

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How long will a foam roof last?

Foam roofs do not have a known lifecycle point. If a foam roof is inspected twice annually with minor repairs performed and a re-coat of the top coating approximately every 20 years, the roof should last indefinitely.

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What if I want to add equipment to my roof?

Most repairs can be performed with approved caulk. For larger repairs such as a new HVAC curb installation, we can re-foam this area easily to maintain watertight integrity. 

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Can water leak through foam roofing?

Foam used on roofing has over 90% closed-cell structure; the damage would have to penetrate the entire foam thickness to have a leak. Water cannot travel "laterally" through closed-cell polyurethane foam thereby limiting a chance for a leak from minor damage.

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I have heard that birds eat Spray foam roofs. Is this true?

Birds on roofs are very common for all roofing systems. Foam roofing is no different. All roofs that we install have ceramic roofing granules (like shingles on a house) embedded into the top layer of coating. This has proved to be a large deterrent to birds. If a bird does peck a hole into the roof surface it would not leak because the foam is closed cell and water cannot pass through it. The hole is simply repaired using approved caulking and a putty knife.

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What is required from the building owner?

Our foam equipment is fully contained in our trailers. We generate our own power and air to install the complete roofing system. We would require a garden hose water hook-up during the gravel removal process. We will also discuss alternate parking for your employee vehicles to prevent overspray damages when necessary.

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Is there a charge for an estimate?

We never charge for estimates or for energy savings analysis reports.

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How long does the roofing process take to install?

It all depends upon the size of the roof, its design, if an existing roof needs to be removed due to water saturation, etc. Each roof will be inspected and when our proposal is delivered we will detail how long it will take to complete the installation. In most cases, there is very little or no disruption of your workforce or production during the roof installations.

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Are you Insured and Bondable?

United Thermal Systems has $7 Million in General Liability Insurance coverage to protect us and our customers. If required, we can provide up to $5 million in Bonding for an additional cost.

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Company Overview:

      Roofers & Sheet Metal Contractors Association of New York State logo       Do It Right Do It Safely logo       SPFA Accredited PCP logo       Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance

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Spray Foam & Coatings
Commercial SPF Roof Coating