Sustainable roofing spray inspires small business owner to become its ambassador
Elastospray gives Knowles Painting Co. a sustainable roof with the lowest lifecycle cost.
BY ANNA SPIEWAK
Michael Knowles has owned and operated Knowles Painting Co.—a commercial painting and power washing family business for close to 30 years in the Southeast Michigan area. When he acquired a new storefront on Biddle Avenue in Wyandotte and had his roof inspected, he was told that a new roof was necessary to prevent future leaks. A previous leak had been recently repaired before the sale, but there was no guarantee that more would not follow. Knowles wanted to forego a traditional rubber roof, which doesn’t last as long, is pricey and requires tearing off the existing roof.
When he researched online for an alternative to a roofing system, BASF Corp. kept popping up as the best company to address these issues.
“I mean that’s what BASF does. They make things that work, and I was really comfortable with that,” Knowles told BASF in an interview.
He was already a member of the BASF Wyandotte Community Advisory Panel, he was familiar with the company’s history of producing innovative, durable materials and his business was right across the street from BASF’s Wyandotte site. It made sense to go with the company’s product.
He found out about a better alternative to rubber roofs— Elastospray, a spray-applied polyurethane foam roofing system that provides sustainability, low cost and low environmental impact. The high-performance foam provides thermal insulation, waterproofing and an eco-friendly surface coating—everything that Knowles sought for his roof.
He called BASF’s tech support for the product and was immediately put in touch with Meredith Mosley, Account Manager, Performance Materials – Construction, BASF, who directed him to an installer.
“In addition to Mike’s physical proximity to BASF, he was also looking for an innovative roof system that went beyond traditional roofing systems,” said Mosley. “He wanted something that could be installed quickly with no tear-off required that would stop leaks, while also providing insulation value.”
Elastospray was the answer to all of Knowles’ concerns. The polyurethane foam went right on top of the existing roof.
The roofing installation process of Knowles' 5,800-square-foot building was completed in four steps— cleaning, spray-foam installation, primer and top coating. The retrofit roof was installed in July 2017, has been leak free since and Knowles could not be happier with the results.
“As a business owner, it gives me a roof that’s going to last as long or even longer than a rubber roof. It’s approximately a 30-percent savings per square foot than a traditional rubber roof. And finally, it’s a greener project, there’s no tear-off to go to the landfill,” he said.
Going green was important to the small business owner. “It just takes one person to make a little change. If other people start to do that, it’ll be a big change,” he added.
Knowles also opted to have granules embedded in the roofing to promote durability and traction, since he lives near a coastal area, with a lot of seagulls who sometimes land on the roof and hit their beaks on the roof.
He also likes that spray polyurethane foam roofs can be light in color—white or tan—and reflect the sun, which will keep his warehouse cool in the summer.
In fact, Knowles was so impressed with the results from Elastospray, that he is looking into becoming a certified applicator of the product. And he plans to spread the word to other businesses on how well it works. He expects to see major cost savings over time in terms of insulation performance, which promotes a seamless application and reduces air loss, providing a more energy efficient indoor environment.
In addition to the product being revolutionary, Knowles was also in awe of BASF’s customer service.
“Even though this was such a small project, when I called and asked for help, I was referred to someone right at the top,” he concluded. “BASF paid attention to me as a small customer the same way as if I were a large customer.”
“All of our customers are important,” Mosley added. “I always strive to provide an enhanced and intimate customer experience that delivers on realistic promises while working together with the best team of BASF colleagues.”