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Roof With a View

A Dual Spray Foam Roofing System Bolsters and Insulates Home Overlooking the City of El Paso

By Juan Sagarbarria

It’s quite the setting: a scenic view consisting of the Franklin Mountains, where the sun comes up and illuminates the city of El Paso, Texas, letting its residents know a new day has begun. That’s one of the exulting benefits an El Paso homeowner enjoys after having his new home constructed in the quaint isolation of the western Franklin Mountains. In addition to the alluring backdrop surrounding the home, the owner wanted to ensure his house was both durable and energy efficient. To make his vision a reality, the owner opted to have a spray foam roofing system installed.

Texas-based SPF contractor New Era Spray Foam was brought in for the installation of the roof system for a split-level roof, which consisted of the application of SPF and silicone coating.

“The owner and the architect wanted a spray foam roof from the get-go,” said New Era’s Rob Tollen. “The house had been designed with energy efficiency and structural rigidity in mind.”

JOB SITE CHALLENGES

Upon arriving onsite, the New Era crew realized that the task would not be easy considering the high winds that continually plagued the mountainside area. Tollen explained that even though overspray wasn’t a major concern since there were no buildings surrounding the home, his crew still needed to be selective when it came to appropriate timing for the installation.

“The biggest challenge of the project was going to be finding the right time to spray so as not to be afflicted by the high winds,” said Tollen. “But with a little luck – the stars aligning and the moon being in the right place – we stayed on schedule and got the job done when it needed to be done. We got lucky.”

Getting up to the location was a challenge on its own. The New Era crew had to drive their rig up steep terrain to get to the base of the home.

“It was a steep approach, and to park and have our rig at the location all day took a bit of planning and logistics,” said Tollen.

Their rig was equipped with a Graco Reactor H-25 proportioner and a Graco GX-7 plural component spray gun, which was used for the spray foam application. A Graco GH-300 hydraulic airless sprayer was used for the coating application. For PPE, the crew wore Tyvek suits, full-face respirators, and safety goggles.

SPF ROOF INSTALLATION

Before the SPF application, the New Era crew used a gas-powered backpack blower to clear debris from each roof. Then, they applied to the wooden decking 12 mils of Premicote P75, a primer coating formulated by Premium Spray Products. The primer coating provided adhesion for the subsequent spray foam application. In addition to the primer coating, New Era also utilized materials from Premium Spray Products (PSP) for the spray foam and coating applications for the lower and upper roof. They installed to the substrate two inches of PSP’s Premiseal 280, a 2.8 lb. spray polyurethane foam. A total of four sets of foam were used during the installation of the roofing system, which amassed a total spray area of 4,000 square feet.

Then, the crew coated the SPF with 30 mils of PSP’s acrylic coating Premicote 1400. For the lower roof, the crew installed a white 15-mil base coat, followed by a grey 15-mil topcoat. The coating application for the upper roof was reversed: the crew applied to the upper roof a 15-mil grey base coat, and then a white, 15-mil topcoat. According to Tollen, the white topcoat went on the upper roof because the lower roof was going to have an extra layer installed later on and the crew wanted to ensure higher UV reflectivity for the upper roof. It took four days and three crewmembers to install the SPF roof system to the split-level roofs.

THE FINAL LAYER

After they finished applying the coating, the New Era crew left the site, but then came back three months later. Tollen explained that the hiatus period was a request of the homeowner, who wanted to have the rest of his home fully built before the final step of the roofing project was carried out. This time with five crewmembers on site, New Era Spray Foam completed the installation of lightweight pumice stone aggregate to the lower roof.

“This third layer provided added R-value and ballast, as well as a more natural and aesthetically-pleasing look to the roof,” said Tollen. “The foam gives the building R-value; the coating plus the aggregate makes it almost impossible for the roof to be subject to UV degradation.”

The pumice stone was manually distributed over the lower roof by the New Era crewmembers. Because of this, a container filled with buckets of the aggregate was brought onto the lower roof by crane. Once the container was set down on the roof, the crew utilized brooms to spread out a three-inch layer of pumice stone aggregate.

A LONG-TERM SOLUTION

Tollen affirmed that having this type of roof system from the beginning will save the owner many headaches in terms of repair and maintenance in the long run.

“A spray foam roof system is the solution to long-term problems in flat-roof buildings,” said Tollen. “Without a doubt, the owner will have a worry-free roof for 30 years.”

For more information, please visit www.lascrucessprayfoam.com.  •

Photos Courtesy of New Era Spray Foam