Spray Polyurethane Foam Makes Apartment Community Roofs Cooler
Apartment residents have high demands for comfortable living that is conducive to the amount of rent they pay. As a result, owners and managers tend to be mindful of their communities being in the best shape possible in order to maintain a harmonious environment with residents. A Connecticut-based apartment management firm recently faced an interruption of that harmony when it realized the roofs of two of its buildings were leaking. Even worse, the roll-on black rubber roof systems that were failing and causing the leaks had only recently been installed. Routine weekly patches proved costly and offered only a temporary solution before the roof system began leaking again.
To solve the problem, the apartment owner went with a spray polyurethane foam (SPF) application and hired MJL Associates to install it. MLJ owner Michael Lieto remarks, "A spray foam roof is a three-in-one product. It waterproofs, insulates, and it gives the building structural rigidity for a much lower cost than a complete replacement of the roof system."
The project entailed installing SPF in a couple of separate and equally damaged building roofs that the company owned. Each application only taking three days to complete that involved cleaning the roof on the first day, then waiting for it to dry off; applying the foam on the second day; and, finally, covering it with the coating on the third. The decision was made early on to leave the existing roll-on roofs intact and apply the foam right over them. The SPF would then act as a sealant for the systems in place, repairing the fractures and bolstering the rooflines from further damage.
According to Leito, the applications not only fixed the roofs' leaking problems, it also made the roofs significantly cooler because the SPF and coating reflected off the radiant heat. Before the project took place, the temperature on the roofs was between 130 and 150 degrees Fahrenheit, on average. After the SPF coating was applied, the temperature on each roof plunged to nearly 70 degrees. "It was an incredible difference," Lieto remarked. "You could take off your shoes or sandals and walk around there barefoot in the middle of the summer."
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