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Looking for a hurricane-proof roof for your commercial application? Certainly, given the recent news of catastrophic damage across Florida and the southeastern United States, many commercial building owners, landlords, and businesses will be seeking to repair or replace their flat roofs or other commercial roofs. The recent storm cost 100 lives and is estimated at $50 billion in associated insurance losses.

One roofing contractor in Orlando estimated his company will replace 1,500 roofs over the next 24 months. The reality is, it doesn’t have to be like this. The technology and materials exist—right now—to effectively hurricane-proof your commercial roof.


Spray Polyurethane Foam roofs simply stand up to hurricane elements better than any other material. Underwriters Laboratories (the global safety giant that certifies and provides regulatory compliance standards for nearly every industry) found that “the application of sprayed foam to steel deck and plywood deck demonstrated uplift load resistance up to the capacity of the test equipment to develop load (160-165 PSF) without any sign of elimination or other damage to the foam.” Or in other words, spray foam roof material exceeded their testing capabilities

“SPF has tenacious adhesion, and there’s no way it will ever blow off,” says Richard Fricklas, founding father and former technical director of the Roofing Industry Educational Institute. “It sticks to anything with very high pull-off strength. The minimum strength of SPF would be about 10 pounds per square inch, and most blow-offs concern pounds per square foot. Even if the blow-off strength were only 1 pound per square inch, by the time you multiply it by 144 square inches in a square foot, that would still be 144 pounds per square foot of wind uplift resistance.”


While flooding and water are significant factors for hurricane damage at ground level, much consideration should be given to wind uplift at the roof level of your structure. When the National Institute of Standards and Technology reviewed roof damage following Hurricane Katrina, they found that buildings roofed with SPF “performed well without blow-off of the SPF or damage to flashings.”

Here’s why: SPF roofing material adheres to the substrate better than any other material on the market. SPF roofing can be applied to create a singular membrane across the entire surface. SPF roofing is also incredibly durable under the pressures of storms, such as hail. It offers a compressive strength of 40-55 pounds per square inch, making it incredibly strong in resisting hail damage, and retaining membrane integrity. The roof will last thirty years or more when well-maintained with proper coatings.

Solutions like the Rugged Roofing System, which uses Accufoam® 2.8 lb. Closed Cell Roofing Foam increases wind uplift resistance. The material is highly resistant to peeling, which occurs when the wind pulls flashings and copings away from the edge of a roof. This is a common fail point of other roofing materials, which leads to catastrophic roof failure.

The 2006 NIST report found only one instance of an SPF roof incurring any damage of note in Hurricane Katrina’s wake, and found that SPF roofs stay intact, prevent moisture infiltration, and protect structures from hail and debris.


Solutions for Severe Weather Hurricane investigations by NIST, NRCA, the Roofing Industries Committee on Weather Issues (RICOWI), and other groups show that ccSPF (Closed-cell Spray Polyurethane Foam) roof assemblies have a remarkable track record of performance in severe weather situations.

RICOWI’s Hurricane Katrina Investigation Team 1 documented more than 2 million sq. ft. of ccSPF installed to metal roof decks and buildings that survived the 2005 storm with minimal damage when buildings next to them were seriously damaged from pressurization and high winds. Regarding hail damage, the NRF report of 140 ccSPF roofs discovered that “one unique aspect of SPF roofs … is that they are not in immediate danger of leaking, provided the penetration does not extend through the foam.” According to roofing industry experts, ccSPF is an excellent energy impact-absorbing material compared to other roofing systems. Hail and wind-driven missile damage rarely cause leaks in a ccSPF roof. The damage typically can be repaired at a later date without compromising the long-term performance of the ccSPF roofing system.


You can protect your commercial building from the mother nature. Systems like the Rugged Roofing System from Rugged Coatings® and Accufoam® can be a part of that plan!