Editor’s Note: Spray-applied Roofing: Part II
No, this is not a sequel. I just want to bring your attention to the continuously emerging world of plural-component materials and systems developed for roofing. Two-component systems are slowly but surely increasing their presence in the roofing marketplace. If it has been a while since you have looked into these systems and equipment; it may be time for another look. If you have never considered spray-applied systems, or have never seen yourself as a spray-applied kind of a contractor, you really should set aside some time to study these unique offerings.
Spray Polyurethane Foam Roofing SystemsSpray polyurethane foam roofing systems have been with us for decades. Like many construction materials, SPF systems have gone through a process of continuous improvement. The materials themselves have improved, as have the installation standards and details. From the technologies used to manufacture the products to the equipment used to apply them in the field, SPF systems are simply better than they were in the early days.
Two-component Low-rise AdhesivesLow-rise adhesives are relatively new in the scheme of things. It seems that they are beginning to catch the eye of the design community. Low-rise adhesives can be used to apply roof insulation or certain roofing membranes, such as “fleeceback” membranes without mechanical fasteners. The results are an application free of penetrations to the membrane or the deck, and often remarkable wind-uplift ratings. The cost of equipment and training is seen as an obstacle to roofing contractors who might otherwise push this method. Once you own two-component spray equipment, however, it may be adjusted to handle multiple plural-component applications. The same basic training applies across an array of applications for the people who have been trained to handle the equipment.
Polyurea CoatingsThe drive to environmentally friendly building materials has really begun to pick up steam in the new millennium. We have no reason to suspect this trend will do anything but continue with a vengeance. Spray-applied coatings that can boast low volatility, ultraviolet stability and color durability are in demand now, and may someday be your only choice. In use on roofing applications since the late 1980s, polyurea coatings have a way to go to earn their stripes in a business that measures success in decades of applied service. But polyureas do have the potential to become known as the premier field-applied finish in the industry.
What’s in it for Me?Possessing the equipment and expertise to appropriately apply plural-component roofing systems is one of the most dramatic ways roofing contractors can set themselves apart from the pack. That may not be reason enough to invest a small six-figure sum in new equipment and training (you can do it for less, but the cost of admission is not for the faint-hearted). The return on your investment will come from new sales opportunities found. Selling in an arena where you will be one of a relatively few contractors capable of bidding and performing.
Sound hard? Sound expensive? If it were easy, everyone would do it. And nobody would get paid. Roof contracting is a specialized and labor-intensive business. Here is an opportunity that is low in labor, but highly specialized where properly trained people running well-maintained equipment can yield results that really pay. Get in touch with one of the several manufacturers of plural-component materials. The better ones are qualified to discuss the requirements and rewards of entering this intriguing segment of the roofing industry.