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BASF walks the walk—company uses its own product for its facility

SKYTITE roofing spray was used on the 20, 223-square-foot roof of a BASF site in McIntosh, Alabama pictured here. This roof was at the end of its service life. 

BY PAUL MILO

How much confidence does BASF have in SKYTITE, its innovative re-roofing system? The global chemical company isn’t just the manufacturer, but also a client.

When it came time for some upgrades at the BASF facility in McIntosh, Alabama, the company chose its own spray-applied polyurethane foam, formerly known as Elastospray. SKYTITE was installed on two roofs that had reached the end of their service life. One roof measured more than 20,000 square feet and the other, larger structure at more than 26,000 square feet.

"After experiencing cost savings and high performance with seven other ELASTOSPRAY roofs, selecting SKYTITE for these two new roofing projects was our preferred solution," said Mike Wilson, the engineering manager at the McIntosh facility.

When describing why SKYTITE was the best choice for the job, Jamie Hicks, an architect with BASF Business Development said that the system, which is completely waterproof, “is seamless. That’s the biggest differentiator. There are no seams, which is one of the biggest opportunities for leaks to develop.”

In addition to being seamless, there are no penetrating fasteners, which can conduct heat, meaning a structure fitted with this roofing system is more energy efficient. SKYTITE acts as an even more effective insulator than other re-roofing systems, cutting down on air loss and saving on heating and cooling costs. The product has an exceptionally high R value—a measure of the product’s insulating capacity, Hicks said.

SKYTITE also performs extraordinarily well during inclement weather events. “It has the highest wind uplift resistance of any product on the market,” he added.

Contractors spray SKYTITE on top of BASF's existing roof, resulting in significant savings in labor, material handling and disposal.

The roofing spray is self-flashing, meaning you don't have to use other materials to make a weatherproof connection to a roof penetration. The foam adheres directly to the conduit.

SKYTITE also gets high marks for its versatility. It is ideal for most flat, intact roofs consisting of traditional materials, like insulation, tar and gravel. The product can be applied to the existing substrate in about 95 percent of retrofit jobs, the company estimates.

“One of the biggest selling points for me, with this roofing product, is that you’re allowed to re-use all of that existing roofing that’s not been damaged,” Wilson said. “We really expect to have a long life of maintenance-free roofing.”

Hicks said that ease of use begins when SKYTITE is first applied. The self-adhering, spray applied product means the system can be put in place in a relatively short period of time and with minimal disruption to the client, he noted. Unlike other roofing systems, this one can usually be applied without tearing up any existing roofing, so disposal-related costs are no longer an issue.

And with no additional waste going to a landfill, SKYTITE makes any retrofit project more eco-friendly than it would have been otherwise, noted Michael Knowles of Knowles Painting in Michigan, who used the product for a 2017 re-roofing job at his firm’s Wyandotte store.

In a recent interview, Knowles said this product is so far exceeding expectations, and he believes it may surpass its estimated service life of up to 30 years. And during decades of service, one study found that with its reduced costs for installation and energy, SKYTITE promises a lifetime savings of between 13 and 56 percent over membrane roofing systems.

Given all the advantages of SKYTITE, it’s no surprise that when it came time for repairs at its own plant, BASF didn’t have to look very far to find the ideal product for the job.

For media inquiries or to repurpose this article, please contact: anna.spiewak@basf.com or laura.partynski@basf.com.