SPF Benefits & Applications

What are the benefits of using spray foam and where can it be used?

SPF has a multitude of performance benefits.  It provides an insulation and air-sealing product all-in-one. The product is also known for controling noise transfer through and within the building, creating a quieter and more comfortable environment.  For closed-cell SPF materials, there is also water and moisture vapor (humidity) resistance, providing condensation control.  In fact, closed-cell foams are the only insulations that are rated as FEMA flood-damage resistant materials that can withstand floodwaters up to 72 hours.  

The R-value and air-sealing capabilities vary based upon the product and the manufacturer. For example, low-density SPF (or “open cell”) has a comparatively lower R-value per inch and slightly less air-sealing capability than medium-density SPF (or “closed-cell”), but if your project can be met by the capabilities of low-density SPF, this solution could result in some project cost savings. However, if your project calls for a combined vapor, moisture and air-barrier with higher insulation value per inch, or the cavity to fill is not large enough for low-density SPF to reach the specified R-value, closed-cell could be your solution. 

Closed-cell medium density insulation also has the ability to add strength to walls, and increases the durability & attachment of roofs under severe weather/wind conditions. For particularly challenging geometric installations such as an attic, cathedralized ceiling or crawlspace, SPF’s ability to conform to the shape of the surface it's sprayed onto is an unrivalled benefit. 

SPF insulation installed on the exterior of a building envelope, or perhaps on tanks and vessels, is typically medium-density (closed-cell) due to its high R-value, water resistance, and durability. In the case of exterior building installation, the SPF typically is covered by building cladding or siding materials. In the case of outdoor tanks and vessels, the SPF typically needs a coating/covering to protect it from damaging U.V. sunlight.

SPF roofing is a high-density (closed-cell) product that does not rise as much as insulation, and produces a very durable, waterproof system. While the SPF easily conforms to the various angles and protrusions of a commercial roof and serves as the waterproofing mechanism, SPF roofs do need to be covered with aggregate or appropriate coatings to protect the SPF from damaging U.V. sunlight.

How is Spray Foam installed?

SPF can be delivered through a variety of equipment, ranging from high-pressure professional contractor rigs, to low-pressure “kits & cans” that are designed to satisfy weatherization or smaller projects. Every product and project will be different so the solutions will be different. It is impossible to predict every scenario where you may want to use SPF as a solution, which is why working with a knowledgeable and experienced contractor is recommended. The flexibility in use of SPF is one of its greatest attributes. It is imperative to consult with the professional contractor in scoping and job planning to properly schedule activities, assure the access to the spray area is unobstructed, and to make sure that the installation meets specifications.

As construction projects ranging from new construction to major renovations, both for insulation and roofing, are typically working on a deadline, construction industry pros relying upon SPF and a professional installer should be conscious of the effect of weather upon the schedule. High winds, rainfall, and cold temperatures can affect the SPF installation process. Subsequently the temperature and moisture content of the substrate receiving the SPF also need to be considered. Working with your experienced, knowledgeable professional SPF contractor will allow these conditions to be adequately addressed and your project to be a long-term success.

Every product and project will be different, so the solutions will be different. It is impossible to predict every scenario where you may want to use SPF as a solution, which is why working with a knowledgeable and experienced contractor is recommended.  The flexibility in use of SPF is one of its greatest attributes. 

For more customer benefits and related information on SPF consider visiting these industry websites:

In the event you still have a specific question, after reviewing the information here and consulting with your SPF professional, please submit that question to SPFA Technical Services.








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