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R&A Contracting - How Spray Foam Roofing Can Increase Your Energy Efficiency and Bottom-Line Profit

The roofing industry is probably the last thing most people think about when they look for ways to boost their bottom line through energy efficiency. However, taking a step back and looking at your roof can be crucial for a business owner or facility manager looking to make their property more energy-efficient.

In the world of commercial roofing, spray foam is widely considered to be one of the most effective materials in terms of energy efficiency and durability. As a building owner or facilities manager, a tremendously durable roof that helps your facility improve its energy efficiency is a big-time win.

What Is Spray Foam?

Spray foam or SPF foam is a polyurethane solution. It’s made up of two liquid compounds. The liquid compounds are sprayed out of a canister similar to the pump-handle tank with a wand you use to kill weeds in your backyard. The two liquids mix when they are sprayed out of the applicator. The mixing of the liquids creates a foam with a shaving cream-like texture that begins to expand.

For a more in-depth look at the composition and unique attributes of SPF foam, check out one of our previous blog entries.

Why SPF Roofing Is Energy Efficient

Business owners and facility managers are responsible for staying up to speed with construction trends and industry buzzwords. They need to keep an eye on the latest technologies and be able to filter the buzzwords from the tech that is here to stay. Take the time to become familiar with cool roofing technologies. They are here to stay, and they are poised to deliver big energy savings for your organization.

The big idea behind why cool roofs are here to stay is not complicated. A cool roof is any roofing component that incorporates technologies or materials that allow the roof to reflect and control more solar radiation than a traditional roofing surface.

To develop a strong grasp of cool roofing, the terms you need to know are solar reflectance and thermal emittance. Solar reflectance is the amount of solar radiation the roof reflects back into the atmosphere. Thermal emittance is simply how efficiently a roofing material is able to release the heat it has absorbed.

To understand how all of this results in increased efficiency and ultimately reduced energy bills, let’s take a trip back to our fifth-grade science class. The more solar energy is reflected away from the roof, the less energy or heat will be absorbed into the roof. When it comes to thermal emittance, the more quickly heat is able to be released, the less heat will be absorbed by the roof and in turn, permeate the building. The smaller the amount of outdoor heat that penetrates the building, the lower the temperature inside the building will be.

Any man-made material can be evaluated on its ability to stand up to solar energy. This ranking is particularly helpful if you are considering multiple materials for the thermal envelope of your building. Download this free SRI calculator to find out exactly how the material you are considering will stack up.

The Environmental Impact of Cool Roofs

In recent years, a phenomenon has come to light known as the urban heat island effect. There are a lot of non-reflective building materials in urban areas. Many of these materials absorb large amounts of solar energy and release it slowly over time. This process leads to urban areas having significantly warmer temperatures when compared to their rural surroundings. These clusters of warmer temperatures negatively impact the environment and your organization’s bottom line. A study conducted by the Heat Island Group shows buildings with light-colored roofs that incorporate cool roof principles use up to 40% less energy to cool the building. This is in comparison to buildings with traditional, less reflective roofs.

The Department of Energy has a fantastic video further explaining the science behind cool roofs as well as their positive environmental impact.

How Cool Roofs Can Save You Significant Money

A cool roof may be an extra expense in the beginning, however, it can save your organization significant money over the long haul. The benefits to your bottom line include:

  • A More Comfortable Environment: We tend to work better when we are comfortable. Your building will be cooler, and there will be less temperature fluctuation. The more comfortable your employees are, the more efficient they will be.
  • Lower Energy Costs: The amount of energy needed to cool your building could be substantially reduced. This could bring a substantial energy savings to your organization.
  • A Longer Lifespan for Your AC Units: Your AC units will have a lighter workload. This will increase their lifespan.
  • A Longer Lifespan for Your Roof: Roofs covered with polyurethane foam are all but guaranteed to last substantially longer than roofs covered with conventional roofing materials.

The Pitfalls of Conventional Insulation

If you are a savvy, budget-conscious facility manager, you may be thinking, “We could save a lot of money by just adding extra insulation in the attic. That should be enough.” While that sounds like a good idea on the surface, this approach is anything but ‘airtight‘.

Air leaks throughout a building are one of the biggest headaches that must be conquered to achieve true energy efficiency. Even though commercial buildings are built to different standards than residential buildings let’s explore a popular and unsettling statistic about energy efficiency and the typical home, as the same principles will apply to a commercial building.

Believe it or not, the typical home leaks enough air to fill two blimps on a daily basis. Because the roof is a large surface area relative to the rest of the building, it is one of the prime areas to take into consideration when developing a plan to increase a building’s level of energy efficiency.

Why Spray Foam Is a Superior Insulator

When we talk about insulation, the first thing that may come to mind is the pink fluffy stuff with the Pink Panther picture on the package. This type of insulation has become so mainstream it is likely top of mind for most facility managers when the conversation works its way around to the topic of insulation. Although the ‘Pink Panther insulation ‘is popular, it does have a few serious shortcomings.

The R-value of any insulation is a numerical value which represents the amount of heat that will flow through the insulation. Think about the following example. The goal of any insulation is to keep warm air inside in the winter and outside in the summer. Insulation with an R-value of 10 is going to allow less warm air to pass through it than insulation within a R-value of five. As you can see, the higher the R-value; the better it will insulate.

The problem that arises with the ‘Pink Panther insulation’ isn’t necessarily the amount of heat going through the insulation. The problem arises when we consider the amount of air that circumvents the insulation and leaks into or out of the building. No matter how much of this insulation is used there will always be gaps and crevices for air to flow through.

Polyurethane spray foam is an excellent choice for a roof covering because it is also a superb insulator. Spray foam expands to fill the entire area in which it is installed. By filling the entire area, all potential points for air to escape from or infiltrate into the building become sealed. Spray foam is also highly resistant to air flowing through it. One inch of polyurethane foam has the highest R-value of any insulation on the market in a comparable sample size.

Polyurethane spray foam is also self-flashing. By its very nature, it seals all of the crevices and seams in a roof. Cracks and seams in a roof account for the majority of energy inefficiencies. The completely seamless roof created by spray foam allows building owners and facility managers to save substantially on their heating and cooling costs.

HVAC systems account for 40% of a facility’s energy costs. Investing in a spray foam roof is a proactive way to lower energy costs. As an added bonus, SPF roofs require little to no maintenance and deliver a great deal of longevity. Independent studies have shown that SPF roofs can last up to 50 years with minimal routine maintenance.

Let’s Talk About Increasing Your Energy Efficiency

A polyurethane roof covering is going to reduce your energy costs, increase your roof’s durability and longevity, and make a much smaller environmental impact than a traditional roof. So now, the last thing you need to know is who to call if you’re interested in a foam roof for your building.

Our roofing experts at R&A Contracting are among the best spray foam installers. Plus, we are commercial roofing experts. It is all we do.

As a customer you can take comfort in knowing our roofing knowledge is only surpassed by our quality of customer service. We consider our customers part of the R&A family. We make sure to treat each of our customers as family.

Give us a call or send us a message today to further explore how your business can benefit from the energy efficiency of a spray foam roof.

I’d be an idiot if I did not take this opportunity to communicate to you how much we appreciate the way in which you conduct business and take care of our facility. In my experience you, and your team, are at the top of the list of all the roofing companies I’ve dealt with over the years. Thank you!

Jim Lowry - Bissinger's Handcrafted Chocolatier

Eric and crew were really nice to have around. They were courteous, careful and caused little if any disruption. Their work looks good too! To be honest… a good experience with a product that I initially had misgivings about. I’m a convert because of Bubba, Sam and Eric. Thank you.

Jim Lowry - Bissinger's Handcrafted Chocolatier

“I want to thank the crew at R&A for a job well done on our very leaky roof at the shop. It is certainly nice to have the drips and rivers gone from the shop when it is raining. I also wanted you to know how much we appreciated that the guys were able to stay out of our way and allowed us to do business as usual without any problems or interruptions. The roof looks great and the clean-up after the job made it so we couldn’t even tell you’d been here. Thanks for doing what you do so well!”

Jay Moore, President of Safe Way Tire and Auto Center

“My wife and I were on vacation when water pipes burst in our house. We got a hold of Craig and the R&A crew was able to start evacuating the water immediately. The best part was that they were able to start work before we even returned home. It was a very fast turnaround considering the extensive amount of water damage.”

Will from Dardenne Prairie, MO

“Craig and Mike came out in a timely fashion when we needed the work done. They did a reliable and quality job.”

Jerry from SLR Properties

“Craig helped us out tremendously with the insurance process. Timely and very professional.”

Lindell from Greater Missouri Builders (GMB)

“We purchased a house and there was some damage to the roof. Very impressed with the thoroughness of Mike’s inspection. Very comfortable with their explanation of what needed to be fixed. Most impressive was the way they protected our landscaping. Really liked the way they treated me as a valued customer, even though it was only a small project.”

Ross from Troy, MO

“I use R&A Contracting when my commercial roofs receive storm damage. They work on our behalf through every step of the insurance claim process. They perform all of the work and complete the insurance process, making our roofs better than they were before the storm.”

Director of Facilities for a large Property Management Company

“The team at R & A Contracting responded immediately when notified of our water disaster. They removed water-damaged materials and property quickly and restored our home even before the final settlement from our insurance company. They minimized how long our family had to live in a hotel and got us back to normal as fast as possible.”

Will from O'Fallon, MO