Urethane foam technology emanates from polyurethane chemistry, a unique branch of chemistry developed in the 1930's. During the 1950's, urethane foam became commercially available in the United States, and by the early 1970's, urethane foams were being specifically designed for roofing applications. Urethane foam, also commonly referred to as PUF, is a remarkable roofing material that functions as both structural insulation and waterproofing. During application, special equipment combines separate chemical components causing a chemical reaction that produces foam on whatever surface the chemical mixture is sprayed. The reaction produces a monolithic membrane, meaning there are no seams or joints. This membrane contains both closed cells filled with an insulating gas and open cells that allow the passage of gases including water vapor.
Urethane foam is not UV stable and must be covered or coated. Left uncovered, sunlight will deteriorate the "skin" and cell surfaces causing a gradual disintegration or "vanishing" of the foam. The coating or covering is extremely important to the long-term effectiveness of the urethane foam roof. It must protect against sunlight (UV) deterioration, physical damage, water penetration, and must allow the foam to breathe.
Some urethane foam roofs that were installed in the 1970's are still functioning perfectly due to proper maintenance and re-coating. However, there are many more urethane roofs that have deteriorated due to external damage or lack of maintenance. Fortunately, many of these roofs can be fully restored with Andek's Roof Restorer System for Urethane Foam Roofs.