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Ask Your Commercial Roofer How Membrane And Spray Foam Roofs Compare

No matter what type of commercial building you have or what type of roof is on top, you'll need to put on a new roof sooner or later. While there are a few options in commercial roofing materials, you might want to narrow down your choices to a membrane or spray foam roof. These roofing types are similar in some ways and different in other ways. Here's how they compare.

The Cost Is Close To The Same

Spray foam roofing might cost a bit more, but the prices are so similar that cost may not be a deciding feature when it's time for a new roof. However, one thing that could affect the cost is whether the old roof has to come off. Your commercial roofer might spray foam over the old roof but recommend tearing the old roof off before putting on a new layer of membrane roofing.

If the old roof has to come off, then the cost goes up for installation. If the old roof is bad and leaky, then it will probably need to come off no matter what type of new roof is to be installed.

Installation Methods Are Different

Membrane roofs and spray foam roofing are installed in different ways. The installation method could be an important factor in deciding on the type of roof you want on your building. Membrane roofing is applied by joining sheets of plastic or rubber together. The seams are sealed with adhesive or they're welded with heat.

Spray foam starts as a liquid that is sprayed on the roof. As the liquid mixes, foam forms. The foam expands and then gets hard. With this method of installation, there are no seams to join together, so there is no risk of seam leaks. Plus, spray foam can be sprayed around vents and other rooftop protrusions to create spray foam flashing. Traditional metal flashing is used with membrane roofing, and that creates seams and the risk of leaking.

Spray foam roofing can be applied in different thicknesses. This makes it possible to create a slight slope on the roof to ensure rain will roll toward a rooftop drain rather than form puddles on the roof.

The final step in installing a spray foam roofing system is to apply a sealcoat on top of the foam. The coating reflects UV rays so the sun doesn't damage the foam and cause it to age too quickly. A spray foam roof might last longer than a membrane roof, and when the roofing gets old, new foam can be sprayed over the old foam.

Each type of roofing has its advantages, so you'll need to discuss each option with your commercial roofer so you understand how the roofing materials will perform on your building given local weather conditions and environmental exposures.

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