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One product with many benefits

by David Braddy LEED GA

Make your home stronger, energy efficient and healthier with one product

Imagine a building product that will make your home stronger, more energy efficient and healthier.

The product is closed cell Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF), which is changing the way we build as more benefits are being discovered. A report released last year by the National Institute of Standards and Technology detailed the effects of Hurricanes with compelling evidence about the performance of spray foam insulation. When it comes to protecting roofs and walls from natural disasters SPF shows remarkable resistance to high wind uplift and blow off. This is attributed to its excellent adhesion qualities, lack of need for fasteners and no joints or edges for the wind to get under. As a matter of fact, laboratory test of closed cell SPF found the wind resistance exceeded the capacity of Factory Mutual and Underwriters Laboratory testing equipment. Another report by the NRF (National Roofing Foundation) discovered another unique feature of SPF roofs; they are not in danger of immediate leaks if penetrated by hail or other projectiles, provided the penetration does not go all the way thru the foam.  And most roofs could be repaired rather than replaced. This is why spray foam played a significant role in the construction of nation’s largest re-roofing project which was the 9.7 acre hurricane resistant Louisiana Superdome after Hurricane Katrina.

Wall assemblies that incorporate SPF in the cavities also have an increased racking strength of 300 – 400 percent in NAHB test as well as providing a superior air and moisture barrier.

The bottom line is that SPF is gaining more and more attention from contractors and building designers because of its high level of adhesion and resistance to wind uplift and blow off. The structural qualities and added strength alone make this a superior building product, but let’s look at the next benefit; Energy Savings.

You can have the most efficient HVAC system on the market but it will do you no good without a properly sealed building envelope. It is like having a cooler that keeps ice for 3 days. That may be true if it is sealed properly or air tight, but what happens if you fill it with ice on a hot day and leave the top open?   The ice won’t last and you will still be replacing ice quickly. Your house is no different.  With spray foam you are encasing and sealing your home with air tight insulation, imagine it being like that 3 day cooler. If sealed properly it will take very little to heat or cool, regardless of the HVAC system you choose. And don’t buy into the old myth, your home has to breathe, it is simply a myth and dangerous to you and your homes health. You do need proper ventilation, but not thru the building envelope itself, this causes mold and moisture issues. If you have any doubts about this simply look at the results. There are hundreds, if not thousands of homes and buildings right here at the lake that are full of mold or have moisture problems because they breathe. You will be hard pressed to find a SPF home with mold or moisture issues.

This brings us to another benefit of closed cell spray foam, it eliminates air and moisture movement thru the building enclosure eliminating mold and moisture issues, and it is also inert, which means there are no concerns of off-gassing VOC’s, so the air quality is also much better.  It’s hard to beat an SPF home.

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