3lb Roofing Foam & Coatings ~ Cost effective long-term solution!
Research story number 1
In the early 1980s a young captain in the Air Force was placed in charge of exterior maintenance of Air Force buildings (roofs, parking lots, paving, etc) in the Southwest area of the United States. He was intrigued with the concept of SPF roofing systems. But roofing experts in his area informed him they didn't work and to use more traditional roofing systems. After some time, he noticed an ad in the Phoenix paper for SPF roofing systems supplied by a local contractor who had been installing them for more than 15 years. The young captain, Dean Kashiwagi, introduced himself to the contractor Keith Coultrap and asked him "Why have you been installing roofing systems for 15 years that don't work" Mr. Coultrap looked at him and said "Rather than argue with you about the SPF roofing systems, look in my customer files and pull out any number of projects at random. Then call them and ask them how their roofs are performing." Kashiwagi called his bluff, found ten names and called them. To his astonishment, all said their SPF roofs were performing well, no leaks and were very happy with the results. That day, Dean Kashiwagi had a brainstorm of a new type of roof investigation. Call the owners of the roof systems and ask them how they perform, inspect the roofs, document the results and rate the roof system and the contractor installing them.
More than 10 years and thousands of roof surveys later, Professor Kashiwagi of Arizona State University's Del E Webb school of Engineering published findings of his roof surveys
More than 1600 roofs were surveyed by Dr. Kashiwagi when he published a report in 1996. The findings were impressive:
* The oldest performing SPF roofs surveyed were more than 26 years old,
* 97.6% did not leak,
* 93% had less than 1% deterioration,
* 55% were never maintained.
* More than 70% of the SPF roofs were applied over existing roofing systems.
Since the report in 1996, Dr Kashiwagi's has continued his surveys and the performance of SPF roofs have had similar results.
Research story number 2
1996, the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) and the Spray Polyurethane Foam Division of the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPFD) decided to co-fund an independent third party investigation of SPF roofing systems to determine their viability through the National Roofing Foundation. Some in the SPF industry were nervous because the researcher selected to perform the study was Dr Rene Dupuis of Structural Research Inc. Dr Dupuis earned a reputation in the roofing industry as the Darth Vader of roof systems investigations. His very demanding and thorough investigations often provided very critical assessments of the performance of roofing systems that he inspected.
In 1998 NRCA Roofing Expo, Dr Dupuis stunned the roofing industry by declaring, "Based on the findings of the field study, SPF roofing may be one of the most sustainable systems to date." The study consisted of detailed inspections and physical testing of more than 160 SPF roofing systems in 7 different climate zones in the United States. Dr. Dupuis determined that the service life of an SPF roofing system can extend well beyond 30 years with proper maintenance. His conclusions were based on the capability of SPF roofing systems service life to be extended beyond 30 years with minimal repair and timely re-coats. He documented that foam core samples from aged SPF roofing systems contained low moisture content, maintained a consistently high compressive strength and density, and good adhesion to component parts of the roof assembly.
Reduced life cycle costs:
The renewable characteristics of SPF roofing systems through the repair and recoat process provides the systems with exceptional life cycle costs. Dr Dupuis' 1997 study reported that SPF roofing systems on average were recoated every 11 years. In a follow up study conducted in 2003, Dupuis reported the average age for a recoat was up to 15 years.
A life cycle study conducted by Michelson Technologies in 2005 showed SPF roofing systems recoated every 10 years and every 15 years cost 30% to 50% less to install and maintain than insulated membrane roofing systems over a 30 year period. The study did not take into consideration energy saving benefits of SPF roofing systems such as reduced air infiltration, and thermal bridging.
Oak Ridge National Labs reported in their Sustainable Low Slope Workshop of 1996, “The principal causes of premature roof failure are moisture intrusion and lack of wind resistance. Moisture accumulation in roofing systems leads to dripping, accelerated failure of the insulation and membrane, roof structure deterioration, depreciation of assets, and poor thermal performance. Similarly, the loss of a roof during a major windstorm not only causes structural damage, but also exposes the building contents to the elements. The insurance industry identifies roofing as the primary contributor to disaster-related insured losses.”
SPF roofing systems limit moisture intrusion because of it’s 90% closed cell properties. Damage to the system typically does not cause leaks into the building, and moisture intrusion is isolated to the areas of damaged foam cells. As reported by Dr. Dupuis, “One unique aspect of SPF roofs… is that they are not in immediate danger of leaking, providing the penetration does not extend all the way through the foam.”
Hurricane investigation research conducted by the Roofing Industry's Committee on Weather Related Issues (RICOWI) in 2004 and 2005 demonstrated that SPF roofing systems are highly resistant to storm damage. Their tenacious adhesion help hold the roofing system in place during strong winds and the closed cell properties of the foam resist roof leaks caused by flying debris, hail and other physical damage to the SPF.
Tests conducted by Factory Mutual Global showed SPF exhibiting more than 900 pounds of uplift resistance from a pull test over concrete and more than 250 pounds of wind uplift pressure over metal decks.