Whether it is a home, school or business, a building should be strong and able to protect the people inside it from the elements. Closed-cell spray foam can improve a building’s strength and durability in several ways.
Applying a spray polyurethane foam (SPF) roofing system can improve a building’s strength. In fact, SPF roofs have effective lifespans that can exceed 30 years.1
Because SPF conforms and adheres to the surface on which it is sprayed, a strong bond forms to protect the roof. The layer of spray foam is seamless and self-flashing, which can eliminate the ability of water to seep through weak spots, such as fasteners and seams. Spray foam can be applied in a sloped manner to allow water to easily drain off the roof.
The bond that SPF forms to the roof can increase a building’s resistance to wind uplift. So during periods of high wind, a home or building with a spray foam roof generally experiences less damage than a building without SPF. A prominent spray foam consultant notes that he has found that “when added to the inside of a structure, spray foam ‘glues’ the whole building together, enhancing overall wind and pressurization resistance.2
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which responds to natural disasters, has classified SPF insulation as highly resistant to floodwater damage, saying, “These materials can survive wetting and drying and may be successfully cleaned after a flood to render them free of most harmful pollutants.4 In addition, spray foam prevents moisture and condensation throughout the building envelope, thereby helping to prevent the growth of mold and mildew.5 Applying closed-cell spray foam in the cavities of the walls increases durability of the wall system6 because of the foam’s ability to mold and adhere to the surface7 upon which it is sprayed. In fact, a wall with spray foam insulation has a higher racking strength, or ability to maintain its shape under duress, than a wall assembly without spray foam.8
When having SPF insulation installed in your home or building, work with a professional contractor who can educate you on the installation process.
1 Mason Knowles, “Specifying SPF Roofing Systems” September 2005http://masonknowles.com/docs/SpecifiyingSPFRoofingSystems.pdf
4 “Flood Damage-Resistant Materials Requirements”FEMA Technical Bulletin 2, August 2008. http://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/2655
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