SPF Quality & Installation
The SPF Installation Process
Because SPF is created in your building rather than a factory, it requires a detailed installation process using a variety of materials and equipment operated by a knowledgeable and experienced professional contractor. For insulation, once the SPF is properly installed, cured and inert, occupants or adjacent trades are able to return following a period of time, typically twenty four hours, having allowed the SPF professionals to complete the installation and ventilate the area. For roofing, the building typically does not have to be vacated but the HVAC system should be shut down, air-intakes, skylights, and other protrusions must be covered and sealed. Your professional SPF contractor should be able to provide specific guidance on these matters.
SPF uses two containers of materials that contain chemicals and additives necessary for the reaction that produces SPF, just as other plastic products require multiple components to be properly manufactured. The installation crews typically wear body suits, hoods, gloves and respirators as required Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The reason for this is simple – during the installation process the materials used, by themselves, represent possible respiratory hazards for the installer.
Particularly with professional high-pressure SPF equipment, the type used to insulate rooms, entire building interiors or exteriors, or roofs, the SPF materials are heated and pushed through hoses to the tip of the gun where the reaction first takes place. The SPF begins to react before it even hits the target substrate. Due to the pressure of the SPF some of the material is temporarily atomized around the installer, which is the reason for the installer’s PPE, and in the case of interior installation, additional mechanical ventilation equipment. This is also the reason why customers and adjacent trades are not allowed in the spray area during and soon after the installation process. With the recommended twenty four hours (consult with your contractor for specific manufacturer recommendations) before re-entry following interior installation, curing is able to take place and ongoing ventilation allows for any odors or vapors to vacate the premises.
The SPF professional should be familiar with these topics and be able to discuss with consumers what the expectations are for the project. If the contractor has completed the SPFA Professional Certification Program (PCP), the basics of essential health and safety are covered even at the entry-level Assistant Certification.
- Visit SPFA’s Health and Safety page HERE for more detailed information.
- Visit this partnering website for more information on installation expectations.
In the case of low-pressure “kits and cans” that are typically used by both SPF professionals as well as weatherization professionals, it is still important that proper precautions are taken, the manufacturers recommendations are followed for use and handling, fans and ventilation are utilized, and PPE is worn. The “low-pressure” at which these systems operate means that the materials coming from the SPF gun or can are not being delivered at the high pressure of professional equipment. However, the material components have similar safety requirements to high-pressure SPF and users should follow all recommended PPE guidelines.
- For guidance on low-pressure installation and related PPE, click HERE.
- For a free instruction video on safe use of low-pressure SPF, click HERE.
Quality SPF with the SPFA PCP Program
One of the best assets you can have on your SPF project is a certified contractor. With an increasing number of SPF product and service providers in the United States and beyond, having something like an industry-certified SPF professional on your jobsite can bring a higher level of confidence and customer satisfaction. Particularly in the case of professional customers, you will likely be looking for the SPF contractor to perform high-quality installations consistently across multiple projects. Whether those are roofing or insulation projects, your reputation and project success can be on the line. A high-quality, consistent, safe, healthful, and successful project is an imperative.
As a construction industry pro, you recognize the value of industry credentials. Every reputable industry offers them, from building analysis, to energy and environmental design, electrical, plumbing and more. The SPFA Professional Certification Program (PCP), while focused on training the professional SPF contractor, was developed with the end customer in mind. SPF installation is an orchestra of people, materials and equipment. Many times a project has multiple trades on a worksite as well. Having a PCP-certified SPF professional conduct this installation orchestra on your site means you have someone that has met the most stringent industry requirements available.
Additionally, the PCP achieved ISO-17024 compliance. As an industry professional, you understand that equates to an unmatched rigorousness, thoroughness and completeness. Whether you are looking for a contractor for one job, multiple jobs, to satisfy a spec or bid-request for a certified professional, an SPFA PCP Certified professional is prepared to work with you and focus upon your project’s success.
- For more information on SPFA’s PCP Certifications, click HERE.
Technical Documentation & Programs
SPFA has produced technical documents on a wide variety of matters covering installation, equipment, energy and environment, and many others. If these documents, along with your contractor, do not answer your question, SPFA likely knows where to find you one. SPFA’s technical activities range from research and development on fire testing or Life Cycle Assessments (LCA), to consideration of building science as it relates to SPF, chemical health and safety, installation practice and techniques, building codes and standards, and many other issues of importance to construction professionals.
- To access SPFA technical committees, technical documents library, FAQs, Glossary of terms and other information, click HERE.