We get a lot of questions about SPF roofing, and since we’re a California-based company, many of them have a local flavor. Today, one caller asked us this: Does SPF roofing really make sense in San Francisco?
The short answer is, “Yes! Absolutely, it does!” But you probably came here for an explanation, so we’ll give you the long answer too.
If you live in the San Francisco Bay area, you’ve probably noticed a lot of homes were designed in the “California modern” style. This is thanks to the late real estate developer, Joseph Eichler. Many Californians have pretty strong feelings about Eichler. But love him or hate him, there’s no denying that he had a huge impact on Bay area architecture.
Most Eichler homes share some distinctive characteristics. On the inside, you’ll see glass walls, post and beam construction, and open floor plans. But we’re more concerned with the outside. That’s where you’ll find vertical wood siding, huge windows, and flat or low-sloped roofs. As you might have guessed, that’s where we come in.
SPF Roofing Is Perfect for Flat Roofs
Many homes in San Francisco have flat roofs, not just Eichler designs. You’ve got the historical Victorian, Edwardian, and Italianate style homes; Monterey revivals; and Marina style homes, all with flat roofs.
We’re not totally sure why so many houses were designed with flat roofs. It could be because it almost never snows in San Francisco, so there’s no need for a steep slope for melting slush. Or it could just be a way to maximize space on the top floor. Either way, the flat roof design makes a perfect canvas for SPF roofing.
There are a couple of reasons for this. First, some of the “traditional” roofing materials that you see on steep-sloped roofs just won’t work on a flat roof. Shingles and tiles on high-pitched roofs overlap each other, and they work with the angle of the roof to allow rainwater to drain off. But on a flat roof, there’s nowhere to drain, and all those overlaps are just seams waiting for leaks.
Some roofers may claim that they can seal the seams between your shingles and tiles, but don’t let them fool you. If there is any hole or weak spot anywhere in that seal, water will find a way in. That will lead to rot in your substrate and leaks inside your home.
But with SPF roofing, there are no seams. You will have one continuous layer of durable spray foam material that is completely waterproof.
Other Benefits of SPF Roofing
It’s energy efficient. Spray foam has the highest R-value per inch of any roofing material. This means that it provides heat, air, and moisture barriers better than any other type of roof.
It’s strong. The material can withstand a lot, including boots, weather, and tree branches. Inspect it twice a year to be sure nothing has punctured your spray foam.
It’s seamless and waterproof. Like we said, spray foam gives you a continuous solid surface with no joints. The SPF roofing material will expand and contract with your home, so you won’t develop leaks over time either.
It’s green. Usually, there’s no need to remove the old roof, making SPF roofing one of the most environmentally friendly options. No waste for the landfills! And our materials have zero Ozone Depleting Potential (ODP), they have no Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), they’re low in the emission of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCS), and they have low Global Warming Potential (GWP).
So what are you waiting for, San Francisco? Ask us about our SPF roofing options today!