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Mass Confusion: Explaining Why The Density Of Foam Roofing Isn't What You Think It Is

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When you think of foam, you think of a thick layer of padding that goes into many different products. Foam is meant to puff things up and provide a cushion. Ergo, when you hear of residential foam roofing, you cannot help but picture something akin to shoulder pads for your roof. That cannot be farther from the truth. Foam roofing is a more energy-efficient alternative to all other kinds of roofing materials. To resolve all the mass confusion regarding density of foam roofing and learn more about this roofing material, here are some distinguishing facts, features and characteristics.

Sprayed, Not Laid

The biggest characteristic of foam roofing is that it is sprayed on, not laid on. Most consumers assume that the roofing contractor rolls out giant sheets of foam and staples them to the wooden structures of the house. Instead, the foam is made of two liquid chemicals that, when sprayed on together, immediately mix to become a very thin layer of polyurethane foam. The foam attaches to a substrate, which is installed just prior to the application of foam roofing. 

Thin, Not Thick

If you thought that the foam was going to create some sort of waterlogged floating roof several inches thick, think again. In most cases, the foam roofing spray rarely makes it past one and one half inches to two inches. After the protective coating goes on over the top to seal it and keep the foam from absorbing rain and melted ice or snow, it is barely two inches worth of roof all around. Any roofer who applies more than a few millimeters of foam is doing it wrong.

Light, Not Heavy

Even though this type of foam is sprayed on, it is not heavy in the least. Compared to a traditional built-up roof, it weighs only fifty pounds per square yard, while traditional roofs weigh eight hundred pounds per square yard. Residential foam roofing has the strength of the heaviest roofs contractors can build without the density or the weight.

Sealed, Not Soaked

Lastly, you may have assumed, as do many other consumers, that a foam roof absorbs every rain shower that hits, and that it cannot withstand much and it fails faster than traditional roofing materials. Actually, the opposite is true. Because there is a sealant that goes over the top of the foam roofing and then a hard shell coating over the top of that, there is no way that foam roofing absorbs any rain or snow at all. It is seamless and impenetrable. Additionally, it has been proven to last longer than any other roof your roofing contractor can put on your home.

For more information about foam roofing, contact a professional like Armstrong Installation Service.


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