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Sprayed-in-place Foam

Frequently Asked Questions



How long will it last?

Indefinitely.  What is the life span of foam in a landfill?  Forever??  The reason being is the sunlight cannot get to it underground.  UV is the only thing that degradates foam.  Therefore, if you keep the coatings in shape, it would seem reasonable that the roof system could outlast the building structure.  It would never need a tear off, only simply re-coating.    Back to questions

Is this new technology?  How long has it been around?

No.  It is not new.  Sprayed-in-place foam has been around since the early 1970's.  Tremendous technical advances have been made since its inception especially the last 5 years.  Today's quality of foam is much higher than that of the early years.  Perhaps some of the early failures may have stifled the growth of sprayed foam over the years.  Improved foam technology and the advent of elastomeric coatings solved these early problems and proved that foam could have a strong future in roofing.

There are more advances coming in the next 5 years.  Formulations are constantly being improved.  In addition, foam is evolving to meet the expected more stringent VOC compliances.  The specialists say the the future formulas will use water as the blowing agent.    Back to questions

What happens if it is damaged?

Since SPF is closed-cell and moisture cannot migrate, you probably won't even know if it is damaged.  The damage would have to go clear through the foam and into the substrate before water would get into the facility.  Damage is very easily repaired with Conklin's caulk and/or coatings.     Back to questions

What makes the system leak tight?

When the foam finishes rising (called preening) and becomes rigid forming a "skin" (about 1-2 minutes), whatever has foam on it at that point is leak tight.    Back to questions

What are the coatings for?

The coatings are to protect the surface of the foam from sunlight and the environment.  Conklin coatings make it a breathable system that remains flexible even in the extremes of Summer and Winter.    Back to questions

Do your coatings ever get hard?

No.  Absolutely not.  I have a piece of acrylic from a roof in east Montana that was applied back in 1980.  It has seen up to 115 degree Summer temperatures and down to -55 degree Winter temperatures and lots of strong sunshine.  It is still very flexible(elastic).  Conklin's acrylic elastomerics always stay flexible.    Back to questions

Will it hold up to foot traffic?

Yes.  Sprayed foam is very dense.  It stands up well to normal foot traffic.  There are different densities of foam to cover heavy trafficked roofs.  Sprayed foam is denser than the board stock typically used with other roof systems.   Plus, we can install spaghetti matting for those areas with extremely heavy use.  The spaghetti matting is designed so that water can flow through it and not trap it on your roof.    Back to questions

What about wood supports sitting directly on the surface (i.e. sleepers and supports for piping and conduits)?

Wood sitting directly on any roof system is not good.  This is why we install spaghetti matting under the wood before resetting the wood supports.  The spaghetti matting is designed so that water can flow through it and not trap it on your roof.    Back to questions

Do birds eat it?

Foam has no nutritional value.  There have been a few rare cases where birds have pecked at a foam roof.  The birds may have been after insects or seeds blown on to the roof.  The experts are not really sure.  We've heard it is more frequent on sea coasts.  We've also heard that silicone coatings seem to be more susceptible.  Note, however, that the roofs did not leak because it was only surface damage and foam is closed cell so water cannot migrate.  The damage would be localized and easy to repair.  Our annual service agreement would catch and repair small damage such as this.    Back to questions

Can you can only spray it two or three days out of a year?

Absolutely not.  Foam roofs can be sprayed year round in the Southeast with excellent results.  As long as it is not precipitating, the roof is dry and the temperature is above the dew point and 35 degrees and rising, it is a good day for foaming.  The average winter temperature in Tennessee is around 50 degrees.    Back to questions

If it's so great, why isn't everybody doing it?

This question has a two-fold answer.

There is a hesitancy for Architects to step out of the status quo due to the competitiveness of their industry.  The major manufacturer's of roof products have heavily lobbied the roofing industry to use their products.  However, sprayed foam is slowly becoming recognized as a superior roof system.

Sprayed foam requires special sophisticated equipment which is more expensive and requires a high degree of technical expertise to operate.  A foam contractor is not just a roofer, he is a manufacturer of a two-component foam system that is sprayed in place on the roof.  Most roof contractors do not want to invest in the time or money for a sprayed foam operation.  Most roofing crews do not have the technical expertise to handle sprayed-in-place foam.

According to the December 2000 issue of RSI magazine (Roofing, Siding, Insulation), sprayed-in-place foam increased significantly in both the new and re-roofing markets during the year while..."EPDM's marketshare dropped about 5% in the new and re-roofing markets.  Hot BUR [built-up roof] took serious hits in both construction segments:  down 4% in new roofing and about 6% in retrofit." 

Sprayed foam is growing faster in some markets than others.  For example: Most all of the roof contractors in Phoenix, AZ spray foam as one of their systems;  there are almost none in Nashville, TN.    Back to questions

Are you going to be around if I have a problem later on?

AmeriServ, Inc. is a privately owned, stable, debt-free company with long term goals for roofing.   Click here to learn more About Us.   However, if for some unforeseen reason, AmeriServ, Inc. ceases to exist, our clients would only need to contact the Conklin Corporation who will get you in touch with another member of its elite group of Master Contractors who will take care of your concerns.      Back to questions


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