Applying SPF safely

Make sure you know the safety issues involved with SPF roof systems

Whether you've been installing spray polyurethane foam (SPF) roof systems for more than 30 years or are considering adding the product to your service portfolio, you probably could benefit from an update on the safe handling and application of chemicals for SPF roof systems.

When proper precautions are taken, chemicals, coatings and solvents used during SPF roofing applications can be used safely without adverse health effects. Federal, state and some local agencies require proper precautions to be followed on job sites when handling certain chemicals. These include using engineering controls, proper work site practices, using appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), and reading and understanding product labels and material safety data sheets (MSDSs).

Before beginning an SPF job, think of all the ways contact with chemicals could occur. Remember, this includes every step of the job, from site preparation (which may involve cleaning solvents, coatings and dust exposure) to foam application, coating of the foam surface and cleanup at the end of a job.