Can Spray Polyurethane Foam Roofing Make Your Building More Eco-Friendly?

Posted on: 29 September 2021


Businesses around the world are constantly looking for ways to make their operations more eco-friendly. Whether you run a small independent store or a multinational industrial conglomerate, making your buildings more environmentally sound is one of the most effective ways to reduce the energy consumption, carbon footprint, and overall environmental impact of your business.

Spray polyurethane foam roofing is commonly used to create low-slope roofing for commercial buildings, but you may not be aware that this unique roofing material can make your business more eco-friendly. Here are three ways spray polyurethane foam roofing can make commercial buildings more environmentally friendly:

Long-Lasting Durability

Spray polyurethane foam roofing is incredibly durable and can last for several decades with a moderate amount of maintenance and upkeep. Thicker layers of foam are more expensive but last longer, making them an excellent long-term investment. Choosing a roof that will not have to be repaired or replaced in the foreseeable future will minimize your building's embodied energy and carbon.

Exceptional Heat Insulation

Proper heat insulation is one of the most economical and effective ways to make a commercial building more eco-friendly. Preventing unwanted heat transfer during hot and cold weather will help lower heating and air conditioning usage, reducing your building's energy consumption (as well as your energy bills).

Spray polyurethane foam roofing contains thousands of air pockets, which act as a highly effective heat insulator. When combined with a well-installed system of ceiling cavity insulation, a spray polyurethane foam roof can prevent the vast majority of heat transfer through your building's roof, providing more effective insulation than EPDM membranes, modified bitumen, and other low-slope roofing options.

This will keep your building cool during summer and warm during winter, minimizing your reliance on HVAC systems for climate control. This is obviously very useful for buildings housing customer-facing businesses, and will also benefit cold storage facilities and other commercial buildings where interior temperatures must be kept stable.

Prevents Heat Island Effect

Most types of spray polyurethane foam roofing are white or pale gray in color, similar to TPO membranes and expensive, reflective EPDM membranes. White and pale colors reflect heat from the sun rather than absorb it, and a spray polyurethane foam roof will absorb a negligible amount of heat as long as it is properly maintained.

This effect is very useful if your commercial building is located in an area with a hot climate, preventing absorbed heat from entering the building and jacking up your air conditioner usage. However, it also provides another environmentally friendly benefit if your building is located in a busy urban area.

By reflecting heat rather than absorbing it, a spray polyurethane foam roof will not contribute significantly to the "heat island" effect found in most major cities and urban areas. This effect is caused by concrete and other man-made building materials absorbing large amounts of heat and causes urban areas to be significantly warmer than surrounding rural and suburban areas, especially at night.

If your commercial building does not contribute to this heat island effect, the area surrounding your building will stay cooler during hot weather, preventing other buildings from having to rely on energy-hungry air conditioning systems. If your commercial building is particularly large, choosing a reflective roofing material like spray polyurethane foam can have a noticeable effect on ambient temperatures throughout the year.

Contact a roofing installation service for more information.