Improving SPF

The SPF industry's success depends on proper installation techniques

In the roofing industry, there is an increasing need to provide building owners with durable, long-lasting roof systems that combine high-energy performance, enhanced wind-uplift capabilities, air retarders and low maintenance costs.

With the increased need for building envelope tightness has come a renewed interest in spray polyurethane foam (SPF) roof and wall systems. As you probably are aware, SPF roof systems have been around for more than 40 years. However, many roofing professionals still lack a basic understanding about how to specify, install, inspect and maintain these systems—this lack of knowledge stems from the fact that the SPF industry has not effectively trained installers and educated building owners and specifiers compared with traditional roofing sectors.

SPF conforms to unusual substrates; provides a seamless system after completion; features high thermal resistance and tenacious adhesion; is lightweight; and creates an immediate air barrier, enhancing buildings' energy efficiency. SPF roof systems have performed under demanding conditions, such as hurricanes and other severe weather conditions, resulting in minimal damage to buildings' roof systems and interior contents.

The question is: Why aren't more people choosing SPF roof systems in lieu of traditional roof systems? The answer is largely because of people's misconceptions about SPF roof systems, such as that SPF absorbs water easily, is soft and spongy, and will be crushed if walked on. Also, people confuse SPF with open cell foam, which is used in insulation and roof systems.