News and Data

News and Data

News, Data and Updates

Roof Coatings and Commercial Spray Foam Insulation

by  on November 21, 2016  in Acrylic CoatingsInstallationSavings


When you switch from your current roofing system to a silicone restoration system, you can’t help but move faster. There just aren’t too many roofing system available that can be more quickly installed than a silicone roof coating. What does this mean for you and your customers? It means your jobs are completed faster, which saves everyone money and keeps everyone happy. Very few contractors want to work on the same roof for 5 months, and very few building owners want construction crews on their roofs for 5 months. The remedy? A silicone roof coating that can reduce installation time. How does a silicone roof coating reduce the amount of time you spend on the roof?

reduce installation duration

Silicone roof coatings are applied directly to the roof surface with no need for a primer in most cases.

No Primer Required

In 95% of the cases our coatings are applied, no primer is necessary. How? We have developed a coating that is extremely tenacious and can adhere to almost any roof surface. What this means for you is you get a great roof in less time. An acrylic coating that requires a primer will take nearly twice as long as a silicone coating that doesn’t. Instead of coating the roof once, you have to prime it and then coat it with acrylic (not to mention you also have to apply two coats of acrylic).

Only One Coat Will Reduce Installation Duration

As we touched on above, acrylic coatings require a primer, and then two coats of material. This means they have to cover the entire roof surface three times. Our material doesn’t require two coats. In fact, our coating can often restore a roof in only one coat, thanks to its high-build properties. The ability to restore a roof in only one pass, rather than three, saves serious time, which saves serious money.

Less Prep Work

Silicone roof coatings, or roof coatings in general, require some roof surface prep, but not nearly as much as other roofing systems. The decrease in prep work means the project goes more quickly than others. A roof coating typically only needs a tube of caulk and possibly some reinforcing fabric to prep the roof.

No Tear-Off

Perhaps the most significant way roof coatings reduce time spent during installation is by eliminating the need for roof tear-off. Other systems require you to tear-off the old roof system before installing the new one. However, roof coatings are applied directly to the existing roof with no need for tear-off. Another great way to save money by reducing installation duration.


Choosing to use a roof coating on your home will reduce the amount of time you spend installing the new system, which keeps your occupants happy and will save you money. There are other installation benefits to silicone roof coatings not covered here; give us a call to learn about them.

Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) is a durable and high performance plastic insulation.  There are a variety of SPF types including low density insulation (commonly referred to as “open cell”), medium density insulation (commonly referred to as “closed cell”), high density SPF typically used as commercial roofing material, and low pressure “kits and cans” which are typically used for smaller insulation jobs.

Roofing SPF is usually a solution for larger commercial, industrial or apartment properties, managed by a construction professional, and is detailed on the Construction Industry section of the SPFA website.  If you have a residential property with a flat / low-sloped roof, SPF is still a great roofing option for you and you are encouraged to review the information elsewhere on this website.

Although “kits and cans” are less complicated and able to be employed by a knowledgeable user, in almost all cases it is recommended that SPF be installed by a trained, experienced, and skilled professional.  The installation of SPF requires the user to be familiar with installation techniques, product health and safety guidelines, principles of building science and other considerations.

SPF has fantastic primary performance attributes including high R-value, reduction of air and moisture-infiltration, sound attenuation, durability and increased strength of the structure it is installed in or on.  The unique aspect of SPF is that in most cases, this product can deliver all of these performance attributes in one product instead of combining several.  That means fewer opportunities for failure stemming from multiple product dependency, multiple trades working on your project, and from individual component failures.  SPF is a one-stop-shop in most cases for consumers looking for a high performance building solution.  It is a tried and tested product in use since the early 1960s.

SPF is the best solution when access to the installation area is unobstructed.  That means all new commercial/residential construction insulation and roofing, along with attics and crawlspaces in residential renovations (which also happen to be the points where the greatest energy savings can result).  If you are looking to have SPF in the exterior walls of the building envelope for an existing building, SPF makes a great choice if you are planning to undergo a deep and detailed upgrade to the building.

It is widely recognized that SPF is a more detailed installation than some other insulation types, but the list of benefits for SPF over other types is considerable.  Its proper and safe installation calls for knowledge, skills, and abilities possessed by an experienced professional installer.  The product must be installed properly to realize the greatest performance characteristics.

Your home or building is likely your greatest investment and you need to make the right improvement choices for it. SPF should have a great impact upon your property in the way of energy savings, sustainable longevity, performance, value and comfort. But the installation is a skilled craft – despite how easy it may look on a video. Your property is going to temporarily be turned into a manufacturing site for the SPF, and you will be expected to remove yourself, family, and pets from the jobsite until the established re-entry time is past (typically 24 hours).

  • For additional Homeowner/Consumer information on SPF, click HERE for a partner site.

Additional Consumer Information


With premium performance admittedly comes a premium cost. SPF can be slightly higher in cost than competing inferior insulation and roofing technologies, but your investment is quickly paid-back through exceptional energy cost-savings from the SPF. To further reduce your investment cost, many times federal, state or municipal utilities or efficiency organizations may offer a tax incentive, or other credit for efficiency improvements. Consider the information from these sources and how they may apply to reduce the cost of your project:

Installation, Performance & Benefits

SPF has a multitude of performance benefits. For the consumer SPF brings a high R-value and air-sealing product all-in-one. The product is also known for sound-attenuation within the building, as well as adding “racking strength” to walls and increasing the durability and attachment of roofs when SPF is in the attic under severe weather/wind conditions. 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 calls for capabilities of low-density SPF the solution could result in some project cost savings. However, if your project calls for a combined vapor, moisture and air-barrier with higher R-values 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. 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 is sprayed to is an unrivalled benefit.  Additionally 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 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.

For more consumer benefits information on SPF consider visiting these partnering websites:

Energy & Environment

SPF can offer important benefits reducing energy consumption and improving the environment. Energy use reduction from better insulated and air-sealed buildings means less pollution from energy production. But SPF impacts energy and the environment in other positive ways as well. By sealing the building and utilizing your HVAC system for ventilation, the indoor air quality (IAQ) can improve by reducing interior pollution and allergens. Properly installed SPF, which includes use of a vapor barrier, can control the transmission of moisture in the building to reduce the likelihood of mold growth. Plus, SPFA performed a rigorous, third-party ISO-standard compliant Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), and corresponding Environmental Product Declaration (EPD). These documents confirmed what the industry and satisfied customers have always recognized, that SPF has rapid payback and is environmentally conscious from “cradle to grave”. The SPF industry is very proud of the product’s performance, now verified in a way that no other insulation industry has gone to these lengths to produce.

  • Visit SPFA’s Energy and Environment page HERE for more information.

SPF Health and Safety Information

SPF is a polyurethane (plastic) product, along with bowling balls, mattresses, your automobile dashboard and the sole of your sneakers. But 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. Once the SPF is properly installed, cured and inert, occupants 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.

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 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 or entire buildings, 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 rise before it even hits the wall. Due to the pressure of the SPF some of the material is temporarily aerosolized around the installer, which is the reason for the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and mechanical ventilation. This is also the reason why customers are not allowed in the spray area or the building during and soon after the installation process. With the recommended twenty four hours (consult with your contractor for specific manufacturer recommendations) before re-entry, 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 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 or experienced Do-It-Yourselfers (DIY), 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 are similar to high-pressure SPF and users are recommended to wear PPE as well, or hire a professional.

  • 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.

SPFA Professional Certification Program

The SPFA Professional Certification Program (PCP) is oriented toward professional contractors, and covers information most-critical to that community. An SPFA PCP Certified Assistant, Installer, Master Installer and Project Manager will have demonstrated their competencies on health, safety, handling and installation of SPF, for either insulation or roofing. Having such an industry credential allows that contractor to differentiate themselves from the competition and adds to the value delivered to the consumer.

The SPFA PCP was created and operates according to rigorous and demanding international ISO—17024 standards. The PCP addresses at various appropriate levels information relating to the health, safety, installation quality, code compliance, building science and other aspects of a professional SPF installation. Passing an active-spraying Field Exam is required at the Master Installer level, and additional requirements and experience declarations are required at various levels.

SPF installation is a typically professional’s job. SPFA hopes that industry credentials such as PCP, among others from related industries, are a useful resource for consumers looking for contractors that have demonstrated their knowledge, skills and abilities in order to achieve these certifications.

  • For more information on SPFA’s PCP Certifications, click HERE.

Fire Performance

Like many building products, SPF is an organic, combustible material, and requires proper treatment to reduce the risk of fire. During installation a professional SPF contractor will typically place a “No Hot-Work” sign after installation before fire protective coverings or coatings are installed. No Hot-Work means that before installation of the protective coatings or coverings, no welding or open flame sources should be near the SPF. Welders, plumbers with soldering torches, and other intense flame-producing activities should proceed cautiously and be certain the SPF is protected from the flames.

Once the SPF is installed, building and fire codes (IBC Section 2603 and IRC Section R316) require that building assemblies using foam plastics, including SPF, must have the same fire performance as assemblies using other building products. Building codes prescriptively require that all foam plastics be separated from the interior space with a 15-minute thermal barrier. This requirement is typically met using ½” gypsum wallboard on walls and ceilings and ¾” plywood on floors. In lieu of these prescriptive coverings, intumescent paints can be used as an alternative thermal barrier, provided that these coatings, when applied over a specific foam product, pass a series of full-scale room corner fire tests.

In certain attic and crawlspaces not regularly accessed or used for storage, the foam must be covered with an ignition barrier. The codes prescribe several ignition barrier materials, and alternatively allow intumescent coatings or even bare foam if the assembly passes a special room corner burn test defined in Appendix X of .International Code Council Evaluation Services (ICC-ES) Acceptance Criteria AC-377. To be sure of the thermal or ignition barriers meet the building code requirements, check with the ICC-ES Evaluation Service Report or other 3rd-party product evaluation reports for details. It should be noted that these limited access attic and crawlspaces still need to be separated from the interior with a 15-minute thermal barrier.

Regardless of the thermal or ignition barrier requirements for the foam used, it should be addressed in the project scope and planning. It is essential that the consumer be aware of which product is being used in their building and ask the contractor for an ICC-ES report is available. In the absence of an ICC-ES report, the contractor should be able to advise the consumer if an ignition or thermal barrier is required for the installation. For more information on fire safety, as well as ignition and thermal barriers for SPF, please review SPFA’s AY-126 guidance document on this topic.

by  on October 31, 2016  in Building MaintenanceInstallation


Do you prefer to purchase things that are “cookie-cutter”, or custom-fitted for you? Whether we’re talking about clothes, a house, a car, or a roof, just about everyone likes to have a little bit of customization on things they own. Whether this means you repaint your house after purchasing it, or put bumper stickers on your car, everyone likes things to be a certain way. When it comes to roofing, it’s harder to get a customized product. However, there are roofing systems out there that are custom-designed for your exact building, and others that are not. Single-ply roofs are manufactured in a factory and every roll is identical, regardless of what your roof looks like. What is the problem with mass-produced roofing products?

Custom made roofs

Most traditional roof systems lead to large amounts of wasted material during installation (and later removal).

Non-Custom Roofs Lead to Waste

When a roofing product isn’t custom-made, it means that every piece has to be fitted to line up on the roof. If there is a skylight, a vent, or a drain, the material has to be cut to form a good seal around these features. Each time the material is cut, there is a little bit left over that cannot be used. These small amounts of waste around every roof feature add up and can lead to serious waste on the project. This means that material that you paid for to go on the roof is actually in the dumpster. Throwing money away like that is hard for most people to stomach.

Non-Custom Roof Take Longer

As we covered hereinstalling a single-ply roof can be slow. This is compounded when you have to custom-cut so many pieces of membrane to go around roof vents, drains, skylights, etc. Just rolling the material out takes a while, add in the customization that takes place on the roof, and now you’ve got a very slow process.


Installing a single-ply roof that isn’t custom made for the building it is being installed on means that your project will take longer and have more waste than a custom-made roof, such as a silicone coating. Call us today to learn more about a custom roofing solution for your building.

by  on October 24, 2016  in InstallationSeamless


With our rapid fire society that works at a break-neck pace, very few people are willing to wait for anything anymore. It’s hard to blame people for being impatient, that’s just the way our society is. When it comes to roofing, this fast-paced expectation holds true. Building owners and facility managers want their roofing project finished quickly, as they should. Their building is exposed, they don’t want it to be that way for a minute longer than it has to be. Contractors want to finish the installation quickly because time is money. The faster they work, the more money they make. So, if everyone wants their roofing project to go quickly, why install a roofing system that goes on slow? Single-ply takes much longer to install than a silicone coating. Let’s look at what makes single-ply installation so slow.

Single-Ply Installation Takes Time

single-ply installation

A roll of GAF single-ply roll being installed on a roof. Taken from their website.

Single-ply roofing membranes are typically manufactured in individual rolls. They are packaged in rolls to allow transportation and loading up on the roof. The problem with these rolls is they all have to be individually rolled out and individually fastened to the roof. This is a very time-consuming process, which no one wants to deal with. Rolling out each piece of single-ply membrane, fastening them down, and adhering this to one another can take a very long time.

A Good Seal Is a Process

When individual rolls of single-ply membrane come together on the surface of the roof, they have to be adhered together to ensure that the roof is waterproof. This can be done with fasteners, glue, a heat welder, or some other less common methods. As you do this, you have to move slowly to ensure that the seams get a proper seal. Again, this is a very time-consuming process. Heat welders move slowly, glue has to be very carefully applied, and everyone knows how difficult it can be to fasten something. Getting a good seal on the membrane can be a very slow process.


Single-ply roofs can offer good protection for your building, though their seams and fasteners concern us. However, even the best single-ply membranes still have to be installed, and that can be an extremely time-consuming process that not everyone is willing to undergo. If you’re looking for a faster solution, give us a call today.

by  on October 17, 2016  in SeamlessSilicone Roof Coatings


seamless roofing system such as a silicone roof coating or a spray foam roof offers many benefits that aren’t present in a roofing system with seams, such as single-ply. Single-ply roofs and their seams can’t retain heat as well as a monolithic system. They aren’t as leak-proof as a monolithic roof system. Let’s look at some of the other concerns surrounding single-ply installation and performance, and how they can be overcome with a monolithic system.

Installation Process Takes Much Longer

The single-ply installation process isn’t exactly difficult, but it can be very time consuming. Single-ply material is almost always packaged in rolls that are rolled out on the roof and then fastened, glued, or heat-welded to the next sheet of material. This process inherently takes more time than applying spray foam or a roof coating because there is simply more going on with single-ply. The heat-welding or gluing process just takes a while and slows everything down.

How Silicone Helps

Installing a silicone roof coating is the exact opposite of single-ply – extremely simple and extremely fast. Rather than laying down individual rolls and adhering them to one another, roof coatings can be installed in multiple passes and the material just cures together as if there were no seams, because there aren’t any seams.

single-ply installation concerns

A silicone roof coating is custom-made for your roof on the surface – it fits perfectly.

Single-Ply Roofs Aren’t Custom Made

Single-ply materials are made in a factory in only a few sizes. Different roll widths and different material thickness are about the only choices you get. Any time there is a unique feature on a roof: a drain, a vent, a skylight, the single-ply material has to be cut and modified to go around that feature. This takes significantly more time and creates extra labor to flash in around these features.

How Silicone Helps

In contrast to a single-ply roof, silicone roof coatings are “manufactured on the roof.” Sure, the material is made in a factory and then shipped to the jobsite, but it is not yet in its final state. Once it is fluid-applied on the roof, then the material cures and is “manufactured” in real time. This gives you a custom roof designed specifically for your building.

In addition to the customization of a silicone roof, it also has major benefits around penetrations. If you’ve got a pipe to roof around, simply apply your roof coating to that pipe and tie it in to the rest of the silicone. No cutting, no additional flashing materials, just apply the coating right where you want it.

Single-Ply Installation Produces Waste

Because single-ply roofing materials aren’t custom made to fit your roof, they require you to cut the materials to fit them around flashings, into corners, around skylights, etc. This leads to wasted materials, which is wasted money. Once you’ve cut the membrane, it’s difficult to find other places to use those scraps on the roof. They often are truly just scraps that can’t be used again.

How Silicone Helps

Because silicone roofs are custom made on the surface of your roof, they do not produce waste like other roofing systems such as single-ply. The single-ply installation process is full of waste, while you can use every bit of silicone that you take to the jobsite. The only “waste” comes if you overestimate how much material you need, and if that happens you can just put the lid back on the material and use it later for repairs or another roofing project!


Single-ply installation is rife with pitfalls for you as the building owner. Whether it’s going to drag out your installation process, give you a cookie-cutter roof, or produce waste and waste money, single-ply has serious problems. Most of these problems can be eliminated if you switch instead to a silicone roof coating. Give us a call today to learn about silicone for your roof.


Roof-albedoReflective surfaces are surfaces that can deliver high solar reflectance (the ability to reflect the visible, infrared and ultraviolet wavelengths of the sun, reducing heat transfer to the surface) and high thermal emittance (the ability to radiate absorbed, or non-reflected solar energy).[1] Reflective surfaces are a form of geoengineering.

The most well-known type of reflective surface is the cool roof. While cool roofs are mostly associated with white roofs, they come in a variety of colors and materials and are available for both commercial and residential buildings. Today’s “cool roof” pigments allow metal roofing products to be EnergyStar rated in dark colors, even black.

Solar reflective cars or cool cars reflect more sunlight than dark cars, reducing the amount of heat that is transmitted into the car’s interior. Therefore, it helps decreasing the need for air conditioning, fuel consumption, and emissions of greenhouse gases and urban air pollutants.[2]

Cool color parking lots are parking lots made with a reflective layer of paint. The project is being undertaken by Jordan Woods of the Berkeley Lab.[3]

Benefits of cool roofs[edit]

Cool roofs, in hotter climates, can offer both immediate and long-term benefits including:

  • Savings of up to 15% the annual air-conditioning energy use of a single-story building[4]
  • Help in mitigating the urban heat island effect.[5]
  • Reduced air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as a significant offsetting of the warming impact of greenhouse gas emissions.[6]

Cool roofs achieve cooling energy savings in hot summers but can increase heating energy load during cold winters.[7] Therefore, the net energy saving of cool roofs varies depending on climate. However, a 2010 energy efficiency study [8] looking at this issue for air-conditioned commercial buildings across the USA found that the summer cooling savings typically outweigh the winter heating penalty even in cold climates near the Canada–US border giving savings in both electricity and emissions. Without a proper maintenance program to keep the material clean, the energy savings of cool roofs can diminish over time due to albedo degradation and soiling.[9]

Research and practical experience with the degradation of roofing membranes over a number of years have shown that heat from the sun is one of the most potent factors that affects durability. High temperatures and large variations, seasonally or daily, at the roofing level are detrimental to the longevity of roof membranes. Reducing the extremes of temperature change will reduce the incidence of damage to membrane systems. Covering membranes with materials that reflect ultraviolet and infrared radiation will reduce damage caused by u/v and heat degradation. White surfaces reflect more than half of the radiation that reaches them, while black surfaces absorb almost all. White or white coated roofing membranes, or white gravel cover would appear to be the best approach to control these problems where membranes must be left exposed to solar radiation.[10]

If all urban, flat roofs in warm climates were whitened, the resulting 10% increase in global reflectivity would offset the warming effect of 24 gigatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, or equivalent to taking 300 million cars off the road for 20 years. This is because a 93-square-metre (1,000 sq ft) white roof will offset 10 tons of carbon dioxide over its 20-year lifetime.[11] In a real-world 2008 case study [12] of large-scale cooling from increased reflectivity, it was found that the Province of Almeria, Southern Spain, has cooled 1.6 °C over a period of 20 years compared to surrounding regions, as a result of polythene-covered greenhouses being installed over a vast area that was previously open desert. In the summer the farmers whitewash these roofs to cool their plants down.

When sunlight falls on a white roof much of it is reflected and passes back through the atmosphere into space. But when sunlight falls on a dark roof most of the light is absorbed and re-radiated as much longer wavelengths, which are absorbed by the atmosphere. (The gases in the atmosphere that most strongly absorb these long wavelengths have been termed “greenhouse gases”).[13]

A 2012 study by researchers at Concordia University included variables similar to those used in the Stanford study (e.g., cloud responses) and estimated that worldwide deployment of cool roofs and pavements in cities would generate a global cooling effect equivalent to offsetting up to 150 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide emissions – enough to take every car in the world off the road for 50 years.[14][15]


A 2011 study by researchers at Stanford University suggested that although reflective roofs decrease temperatures in buildings and mitigate the “urban heat island effect”, they may actually increase global temperature.[16][17] The study noted that it did not account for the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions that results from building energy conservation (annual cooling energy savings less annual heating energy penalty) associated with cool roofs (meaning that one will need to use more energy to heat the living space due to reduction in heat from sunlight in winter.) However, this applies only to those areas with low winter temperatures – not tropical climates. Also, homes in areas receiving snow in winter months are unlikely to receive significantly more heat from darker roofs, as they will be snow-covered most of the winter. A response paper titled “Cool Roofs and Global Cooling,” by researchers in the Heat Island Group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, raised additional concerns about the validity of these findings, citing the uncertainty acknowledged by the authors, statistically insignificant numerical results, and insufficient granularity in analysis of local contributions to global feedbacks.[18]

Also, 2012 research at University of California, San Diego‘s Jacobs School of Engineering into the interaction between reflective pavements and buildings found that, unless the nearby buildings are fitted with reflective glass or other mitigation factors, solar radiation reflected off light-colored pavements can increase the temperature in nearby buildings, increasing air conditioning demands and energy usage.[19]

In 2014, a team of researchers, led by Matei Georgescu, an assistant professor in Arizona State University‘s School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning and a senior sustainability scientist in the Global Institute of Sustainability, explored the relative effectiveness of some of the most common adaptation technologies aimed at reducing warming from urban expansion. Results of the study indicate that the performance of urban adaptation technologies can counteract this increase in temperature, but also varies seasonally and is geographically dependent.[20]

Specifically, what works in California’s Central Valley, such as cool roofs, does not necessarily provide the same benefits to other regions of the country, like Florida. Assessing consequences that extend beyond near surface temperatures, such as rainfall and energy demand, reveals important trade-offs that are often unaccounted for. Cool roofs have been found to be particularly effective for certain areas during summertime. However, during winter, these same urban adaptation strategies, when deployed in northerly locations, further cool the environment, and consequently require additional heating to maintain comfort levels. “The energy savings gained during the summer season, for some regions, is nearly entirely lost during the winter season,” Georgescu said. In Florida, and to a lesser extent southwestern states, there is a very different effect caused by cool roofs. “In Florida, our simulations indicate a significant reduction in precipitation,” he said. “The deployment of cool roofs results in a 2 to 4 millimeter per day reduction in rainfall, a considerable amount (nearly 50 percent) that will have implications for water availability, reduced stream flow and negative consequences for ecosystems. For Florida, cool roofs may not be the optimal way to battle the urban heat island because of these unintended consequences.” Overall, the researchers suggest that judicious planning and design choices should be considered in trying to counteract rising temperatures caused by urban sprawl and greenhouse gases. They add that “urban-induced climate change depends on specific geographic factors that must be assessed when choosing optimal approaches, as opposed to one-size-fits-all solutions.”[21]

A series of Advanced Energy Design Guides were developed in cooperation with ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers), AIA (The American Institute of Architects), IESNA(Illuminating Engineering Society of North America), USGBC (United States Green Building Council) and US DOE (United States Department of Energy) in 2011. These guides were aimed at achieving 50% Energy Savings toward a Net Zero Energy Building and covered the building types of Small to Medium Office Buildings, Medium to Big Box Retail Buildings, Large Hospitals and K-12 School Buildings. In Climate Zones 4 and above the recommendation is to follow the ASHRAE 90.1 standard for roof reflectance, which currently does not require roofs to be reflective in these zones. In Climate Zones 4 and above, Cool Roofs are not a recommended Design Strategy.[22]

A series of Advanced Energy Retrofit Guides for “Practical Ways to Improve Energy Performance” were developed in cooperation with the US DOE (United States Department of Energy) and PNNL (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory) in 2011. These guides were aimed at improvements to existing Retail and Office buildings which could improve their energy efficiency. Cool roofs were not recommended for all locations. “This measure is likely more cost-effective in the hot and humid climate zone, which has a long cooling season, than in the very cold climate zone, for example. For buildings located in warm climates, this measure is worth consideration.” [23][24]

The Copper Development Association has conducted several studies, beginning in 2002, which examined the elevated temperatures of wiring inside conduits at and above various color roof materials. The findings concluded that the temperatures above cool roofs were higher than those of a darker colored roof material. This illustrates the idea in which deflected solar radiation, when impeded by rooftop equipment, piping, or other materials will be subjected to the heat gain of the radiation.[25]

According to the US DOE’s “Guidelines for Selecting Cool Roofs”: “Cool roofs must be considered in the context of your surroundings. It is relatively easy to specify a cool roof and predict energy savings, but some thinking ahead can prevent other headaches. Ask this question before installing a cool roof: Where will the reflected sunlight go? A bright, reflective roof could reflect light and heat into the higher windows of taller neighboring buildings. In sunny conditions, this could cause uncomfortable glare and unwanted heat for you or your neighbors. Excess heat caused by reflections increases air conditioning energy use, negating some of the energy saving benefits of the cool roof.”[26]

According to the US DOE‘s “Guidelines for Selecting Cool Roofs” on the subject of cool roof maintenance: “As a cool roof becomes dirty from pollution, foot traffic, wind-deposited debris, ponded water, and mold or algae growth, its reflectance will decrease, leading to higher temperatures. Especially dirty roofs may perform substantially worse than product labels indicate. Dirt from foot traffic may be minimized by specifying designated walkways or by limiting access to the roof. Steep sloped roofs have less of a problem with dirt accumulation because rainwater can more easily wash away dirt and debris. Some cool roof surfaces are “self-cleaning” which means they shed dirt more easily and may better retain their reflectance. Cleaning a cool roof can restore solar reflectance close to its installed condition. Always check with your roof manufacturer for the proper cleaning procedure, as some methods may damage your roof. While it is generally not cost effective to clean a roof just for the energy savings, roof cleaning can be integrated as one component of your roof’s routine maintenance program. It is therefore best to estimate energy savings based on weathered solar reflectance values rather than clean roof values.”[26]


When the sunlight strikes a dark rooftop, about 15% of it gets reflected back into the sky but most of its energy is absorbed into the roof system in the form of heat. Cool roofs reflect significantly more sunlight and absorb less heat than traditional dark-colored roofs[27]

There are two properties that are used to measure the effects of cool roofs:

  • Solar reflectance, also known as albedo, is the ability to reflect sunlight. It is expressed either as a decimal fraction or a percentage. A value of 0 indicates that the surface absorbs all solar radiation, and a value of 1 represents total reflectivity.
  • Thermal emittance is the ability to emit absorbed heat. It is also expressed either as a decimal fraction between 0 and 1, or a percentage.

Another method of evaluating coolness is the solar reflectance index (SRI), which incorporates both solar reflectance and emittance in a single value. SRI measures the roof’s ability to reject solar heat, defined such that a standard black (reflectance 0.05, emittance 0.90) is 0 and a standard white (reflectance 0.80, emittance 0.90) is 100.[28]

A perfect SRI is approximately 122, the value for a perfect mirror, which absorbs no sunlight and has very low emissivity. The only practical material which approaches this level is stainless steel with an SRI of 112. High-reflectivity, low-emissivity roofs maintain a temperature very close to ambient at all times preventing heat gains in hot climates and minimizing heat loss in cold climates. High emissivity roofs have much higher heat loss in cold climates for the same insulation values.

Roof Savings Calculator[edit]

The Roof Savings Calculator (RSC) is a tool developed by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory which estimates cooling and heating savings for low-slope roof applications with white and black surfaces.[29]

This tool was the collaboration of both Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in order to provide industry-consensus roof savings for both residential and commercial buildings. It reports the net annual energy savings (cooling energy savings minus heating penalties) and thus is only applicable to the buildings with a heating and/or cooling system.[30]

Types of cool roofs[edit]

Cool roofs fall into one of three categories: roofs made from cool roofing materials, roofs made of materials that have been coated with a solar reflective coating, or green roofs.[citation needed]

Cool roofs[edit]

White thermoplastic membrane roofs, are inherently reflective, achieving some of the highest reflectance and emittance measurements of which roofing materials are capable.[citation needed] A roof made of white thermoplastic, for example, can reflect 80 percent or more of the sun’s rays and emit at least 70% of the solar radiation that the roof absorbs. An asphalt roof only reflects between 6 and 26% of solar radiation.

The highest SRI rating, and the coolest roofs, are stainless steel roofs, which are just several degrees above ambient under medium wind conditions. Their SRI’s range from 100 to 115. Some are also hydrophobic so they stay very clean and maintain their original SRI even in polluted environments. [A]

Coated roofs[edit]

An existing (or new) roof can be made reflective by applying a solar reflective coating to its surface. The reflectivity and emissivity ratings for over 500 reflective coatings can be found in the Cool Roofs Rating Council.[31]

Green roofs[edit]

Main article: Green Roof

Green roofs provide a thermal mass layer which helps reduce the flow of heat into a building. The solar reflectance of green roofs varies depending on the plant types (generally 0.3–0.5).[32] Green roofs may not reflect as much as a cool roof but do have other benefits such as evapotranspiration which cools the plants and the immediate area around the plants, aiding in lowering rooftop temperatures but increasing humidity, naturally. Moreover, some Green roofs need maintenance such as regularly watering.

Cool climates[edit]

In some climates where there are more heating days than cooling days, white reflective roofs may not be effective in terms of energy efficiency or savings because the savings on cooling energy use can be outweighed by heating penalties during winter. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 2003 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey, heating accounts for 36% of commercial buildings’ annual energy consumption, while air conditioning only accounts for 8% in United States.[33] Energy calculators generally show a yearly net savings for dark-colored roof systems in cool climates.

A perfect roof would absorb no heat in the summer and lose no heat in the winter. To do this it would need a very high SRI to eliminate all radiative heat gains in summer and losses in winter. High SRI roofs act as a radiant barrier, providing a thermos-bottle effect. High emissivity cool roofs carry a climate penalty due to winter radiative heat losses, which reflective bare metal roofs, such as stainless steel, do not.

Case studies[edit]

In a 2001 federal study, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) measured and calculated the reduction in peak energy demand associated with a cool roof’s surface reflectance.[34] LBNL found that, compared to the original black rubber roofing membrane on the Texas retail building studied, a retrofitted vinyl membrane delivered an average decrease of 24 °C (75.2 °F) in surface temperature, an 11% decrease in aggregate air conditioning energy consumption, and a corresponding 14% drop in peak hour demand. The average daily summertime temperature of the black roof surface was 75 °C (167 °F), but once retrofitted with a white reflective surface, it measured 52 °C (126 °F). Without considering any tax benefits or other utility charges, annual energy expenditures were reduced by $7,200 or $0.07/square foot.(This figure is for energy charges as well as peak demand charges).

Instruments measured weather conditions on the roof, temperatures inside the building and throughout the roof layers, and air conditioning and total building power consumption. Measurements were taken with the original black rubber roofing membrane and then after replacement with a white vinyl roof with the same insulation and HVAC systems in place.

Though a full year of actual data was collected, due to aberrations in the data, one month of data was excluded along with several other days which didn’t meet the parameters of the study. Only 36 continuous pre-retrofit days were used and only 28 non-continuous operating days were used for the post-retrofit period.[34]

Another case study, conducted in 2009 and published in 2011, was completed by Ashley-McGraw Architects and CDH Energy Corp for Onondaga County Dept. of Corrections, in Jamesville, New York, evaluated energy performance of a green or vegetative roof, a dark EPDM roof and a white reflective TPO roof. The measured results showed that the TPO and vegetative roof systems had much lower roof temperatures than the conventional EPDM surface. The reduction in solar absorption reduced solar gains in the summer but also increased heat losses during the heating season. Compared to the EPDM membrane, the TPO roof had 30% higher heating losses and the vegetative roof had 23% higher losses.[35]

Promotional programs[edit]

Across the U.S. federal government[edit]

In July 2010, the United States Department of Energy announced a series of initiatives to more broadly implement cool roof technologies on DOE facilities and buildings across the country.[36] As part of the new efforts, DOE will install a cool roof, whenever cost effective over the lifetime of the roof, during construction of a new roof or the replacement of an old one at a DOE facility.

In October 2013, the United States Department of Energy ranked Cool Roofs as a 53 out of 100 (0 to 100 weighted average) for a cost effective energy strategy.[37] “Climate issues can affect cool roof performance. Cool roofs are more beneficial in warmer climates and may cause energy consumption for heating applications to rise in colder climates. Cool roofs have a lower impact the more insulation is used. The Secretary of Energy directed all U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) offices to install cool roofs, when life-cycle cost effectiveness is demonstrated, when constructing new roofs, or when replacing old roofs at DOE facilities. Other Federal agencies were also encouraged to do the same.”[37]

Energy Star[edit]

Energy Star is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help businesses and consumers save money by making energy-efficient product choices.

For low-slope roof applications, a roof product qualifying for the Energy Star label under its Roof Products Program must have an initial solar reflectivity of at least 0.65, and weathered reflectance of at least 0.50, in accordance with EPA testing procedures.[38] Warranties for reflective roof products must be equal in all material respects to warranties offered for comparable non-reflective roof products, either by a given company or relative to industry standards.

Unlike other Energy Star-rated products, such as appliances, this rating system does not look at the entire roof assembly, but only the exterior surface. Consumers (i.e. building owners) may believe that the Energy Star label means their roof is energy-efficient; however, the testing is not as stringent as their appliance standard and does not include the additional components of a roof (i.e. roof structure, fire rated barriers, insulation, adhesives, fasteners, etc.).[39] A disclaimer is posted on their website “Although there are inherent benefits in the use of reflective roofing, before selecting a roofing product based on expected energy savings consumers should explore the expected calculated results that can be found on the Department of Energy’s “Roof Savings Calculator” website at Please remember the Energy Savings that can be achieved with reflective roofing is highly dependent on facility design, insulation used, climatic conditions, building location, and building envelope efficiency.”[39]

Certification requirements for different cool roof programs
Slope Min. solar reflectance Min. emittance Min. solar reflectance index
Low, initial 0.65
Low, aged 0.50
Steep, initial 0.25
Steep, aged 0.15
Green Globes
Low slope 78
Steep slope 29
Low slope 78
Steep slope 29

Cool Roof Rating Council[edit]

Cool Roof Rating Council [40] (CRRC) has created a rating system for measuring and reporting the solar reflectance and thermal emittance of roofing products. This system has been put into an online directory of more than 850 roofing products and is available for energy service providers, building code bodies, architects and specifiers, property owners and community planners. CRRC conducts random testing each year to ensure the credibility of its rating directory.

CRRC’s rating program allows manufacturers and sellers to appropriately label their roofing products according to specific CRRC measured properties. The program does not, however, specify minimum requirements for solar reflectance or thermal emittance.

Green Globes[edit]

The Green Globe system is used in Canada and the United States. In the U.S., Green Globes is owned and operated by the Green Building Initiative (GBI). In Canada, the version for existing buildings is owned and operated by BOMA Canada under the brand name ‘Go Green’ (Visez vert).

Green Globe uses performance benchmark criteria to evaluate a building’s likely energy consumption, comparing the building design against data generated by the EPA’s Target Finder, which reflects real building performance. Buildings may earn a rating of between one and four globes. This is an online system; a building’s information is verified by a Green Globes-approved and trained licensed engineer or architect. To qualify for a rating, roofing materials must have a solar reflectance of at least 0.65 and thermal emittance of at least 0.90. As many as 10 points may be awarded for 1–100 percent roof coverage with either vegetation or highly reflective materials or both. The basis in physics of a high emittance is quite questionable, since it merely describes a material which easily radiates infrared wavelength heat to the environment, contributing to the greenhouse effect. Highly reflective, low-emittance materials are much better at reducing energy consumption.


The U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system is a voluntary, continuously evolving national standard for developing high performance sustainable buildings.[citation needed] LEED provides standards for choosing products in designing buildings, but does not certify products.[citation needed]

Unlike a building code, such as the International Building Code, only members of the USGBC and specific “in-house” committees may add, subtract or edit the standard, based on an internal review process. Model Building Codes are voted on by members and “in-house” committees, but allow for comments and testimony from the general public during each and every code development cycle at Public Review hearings, generally held multiple times a year.[41]

Under the LEED 2009 version, to receive Sustainable Sites Credit 7.2 Heat Island Effect-Roof, at least 75% of the surface of a roof must use materials having a solar reflective index (SRI) of at least 78. This criterion can also be met by installing a vegetated roof for at least 50% of the roof area, or installing a high albedo and vegetated roof in combination that meets this formula: (Area of Roof meeting Minimum SRI Roof/0.75) + (Area of vegetated roof/0.5) ≥ Total Roof Area.[42]

Examples of LEED-certified buildings with white reflective roofs are below.[43]

Building name Owner Location LEED level
Wildomar Service Center Southern California Edison Wildomar, California Platinum[44][45]
Donald Bren School of Environmental Science & Management University of California, Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, California Platinum
Frito-Lay Jim Rich Service Center Frito-Lay, Inc. Rochester, New York Gold
Edifice Multifunction Travaux Public et Services Gouvernementaux Canada Montreal, Quebec Gold
Seattle Central Library City of Seattle Seattle, Wash. Silver
National Geographic Society Headquarters Complex National Geographic Society Washington, D.C. Silver
Utah Olympic Oval Salt Lake City Olympic Winter Games 2002 Organizing Committee Salt Lake City, Utah Certified
Premier Automotive Group North American Headquarters Ford Motor Company Irvine, California Certified

Cool Roofs Europe and other countries[edit]

This project is co-financed by the European Union in the framework of the Intelligent Energy Europe Programme.

The aim of the proposed action is to create and implement an Action Plan for the cool roofs in EU. The specific objectives are: to support policy development by transferring experience and improving understanding of the actual and potential contributions by cool roofs to heating and cooling consumption in the EU; to remove and simplify the procedures for cool roofs integration in construction and building’s stock; to change the behaviour of decision-makers and stakeholders so to improve acceptability of the cool roofs; to disseminate and promote the development of innovative legislation, codes, permits and standards, including application procedures, construction and planning permits concerning cool roofs.[46] The work will be developed in four axes, technical, market, policy and end-users.

In tropical Australia, zinc-galvanized (silvery) sheeting (usually corrugated) do not reflect heat as well as the truly “cool” color of white, especially as metallic surfaces fail to emit infrared back to the sky.[47] European fashion trends are now using darker-colored aluminium roofing, to pursue consumer fashions.

NYC °CoolRoofs[edit]

NYC °CoolRoofs is a New York City initiative to coat rooftops white with volunteers.[48] The program began in 2009 as part of PlaNYC,[49] and has coated over 5 million square feet of NYC rooftops white.[50] On Wednesday, September 25, 2013 Mayor Michael R Bloomberg declared it “NYC °CoolRoofs Day” in New York City with the coating of its 500th building and reducing the carbon footprint by over 2000 tons. Volunteers use paintbrushes and rollers to apply an acrylic, elastomeric coating to the roof membrane.[51] A 2011 Columbia University study of roofs coated through the program found that white roofs showed an average temperature reduction of 43 degrees Fahrenheit when compared to black roofs.[52]

White Roof Project[edit]

White Roof Project is a nationwide initiative[53] that educates and empowers individuals[54] to coat rooftops white. The program’s outreach[55] has helped complete white roof projects in more than 20 US states and five countries, engaged thousands in volunteer projects, and sponsored the coating of hundreds of nonprofit and low-income rooftops.

CracksWe as humans suffer in the cold, bitter weather during winter, but luckily during most of our day we are protected by buildings.  Think of what it’s like out there on your commercial roof.  Sadly, winter is one of the roughest things your roof will face.  And, it does it for months on end.

Temperature Fluctuations

Your roof temperature fluctuates all year round.  The temperature difference between the peak daytime heat and the cold of night can wreak havoc on your roof.    This phenomenon is known as thermal shock.  Over time, thermal shock is a leading cause of roof failure.

What makes winter potentially more destructive than summer, is what comes along with cold weather:  ice and snow.

All objects expand and contract as they heat and cool.  But, they expand and contract at different rates. So, the wood, steel, brick, and asphalt are expanding and contracting at different rates.  This process causes stress on the joints where different building materials meet, as they don’t all expand and contract together.  Thus, small cracks and holes will form over time at these stress joints.

Now add water.  Well not just water, but snow that will melt slightly during the warm day and then freeze again overnight.  That tiny stress crack where the expanding materials meet is now filled with ice.  As the ice expands, it makes that tiny crack larger.  Over time it becomes larger and larger and larger.  That happens all over your commercial roof.  Eventually leaks result.


Ice Dams

Ice dams are layers of ice that form around drains or at the edge of your roof during the winter.  They keep the melting snow from properly draining off your roof. The water that forms behind an ice dam will add an additional load to your roof, potentially resulting in collapse.  Also, the water trapped by ice dams will leak through any damaged areas in your commercial roof.

Image courtesy of


What Can You Do?

You can take several steps to prevent or minimize the impact of cold winter weather on your roof system.

  • Perform a comprehensive roof check at least twice a year.  Look for dark spots on the roof which might indicate ponding water problems.  Level any low spots on your commercial roof to reduce ponding water.  Check all penetrations, flashings, drains and joints in your roof system for signs of separation or other damage.  Properly seal any cracks or holes.
  • Keep all drains and gutters free of debris.  Leaves and other natural debris can clog drains and cause ice dams to form.
  • Improve your insulation.  Keep internal temperatures more constant and minimize heat loss which can affect thermal shock.
  • Use heat cables. If your commercial roof is susceptible to ice dams, install heat cables in gutters and drains.
  • Invest in a white roof.  A white or reflective roof system can reduce thermal shock by reducing excessive temperature fluctuations.
  • Use a silicone roofing system.  Commercial silicone roofing products have been around for decades and have proven themselves to be more durable to environmental factors.  Read this article to learn more about silicone commercial roofing systems.

by  on September 19, 2016  in Building MaintenanceCommercial RoofingFacilities Management


It’s not something we like to think about, but disasters, be they natural or man-inflicted, can strike at any time. You never know when a fire will break out in your building, when a tornado will sweep through the area, or when other disasters will occur. While these aren’t fun to think about, they are events that we must take into consideration when ensuring the safety of our building’s inhabitants. Follow these tips whenever developing emergency plans for your building to keep everyone safe.

Emergency plans

Have you developed a set of emergency plans for your building?

Write them Before they Happen

Emergency plans are all too often written in response to a disaster, rather than being written beforehand. It’s hard to foresee what type of disaster will strike in your building, but it’s important to do your best to be prepared. Fire, tornado, earthquake, flood, and intruder scenarios are all situations that you can prepare for. It’s important that you develop a set of emergency plans for each of these potential events to keep your building safe.

Write them Clearly and Post them

Plans that are confusing, difficult to read, and can’t be easily accessed might as well not be written. Your occupants need to understand the plans and know where to find them to ensure that they accomplish the goal of emergency plans.

Practice Your Emergency Plans

Once you’ve planned, written and posted your emergency plans, it’s time to practice them. This can feel tedious or like a waste of time, but it’s important to make sure that everyone is comfortable with the plans, because when things go wrong it’s much easier to forget the plans than it is to remember them. Practicing gives your occupants a better chance of executing the emergency plans if need be.


Developing emergency plans, and then following through by posting them and practicing them, is a key way to keep your building’s occupants safe. Don’t consider it a waste of time, consider it an effective method for keeping your employees, customers, guests, and neighbors safe.

A Case Study on Spray Foam’s Many Uses in Commercial Buildings

Provided By Huntsman

Exterior Applications

When applied to the exterior of commercial buildings, in either new or retrofit situations, SPF can greatly reduce energy use, air infiltration and water intrusion. The two primary areas where SPF is used on the exterior of buildings are walls and roofing applications.

Spray Foam provides an effective air barrier and robust insulation when applied to the exterior walls of commercial buildings.

Spray Foam provides an effective air barrier and robust insulation when applied to the exterior walls of commercial buildings.


One of the positive attributes of SPF is that it is a very versatile building material. SPF is compatible with many wall types and can be sprayed onto the exterior sheathing in new construction projects, or assimilated between stud cavities in retrofit situations.

SPF-insulated buildings have superior thermal performance due to the air barrier properties SPF provides, as well as reduced thermal bridging through the studs. In addition, studies have found that SPF can improve the structural integrity of the building in areas of high wind events by increasing the “racking strength” of the walls.

One of the most important attributes of closed cell SPF in external wall applications is that it is an effective water barrier, as well as an air control layer. Moisture intrusion is one of the biggest threats to the structural integrity and durability of commercial buildings, accounting for up to 89 percent of damage to the building envelope (Source: Bomberg, M.T. and Brown, W.C. (1993), “Building Envelope and Environmental Control: Part 1-Heat, Air and Moisture Interactions” Construction Canada 35 (1), 15-18). Reducing moisture intrusion through the wall, whether in vapor or liquid water form, is critically important for the long-term durability of the structure and health of the occupants.

Another benefit of using SPF in exterior walls is that it can mitigate some of the natural air pressure forces that can impact energy efficiency. Testing of wall assemblies by Architectural Testing Inc. demonstrated SPF with its air infiltration reduction characteristics performed better than fiberglass insulated wall assemblies at low and high temperatures with induced air infiltration (Source: ATI ASTM C 1363-05 THERMAL PERFORMANCE TEST REPORT).

Because SPF allows very little air permeation, there is almost no measurable movement of air through the insulation material as is common in fiberglass or cellulose insulation. This helps reduce the negative effects of air movement within the building envelope, such as “wind washing” and the stack effect.



Spray foam roofs offer waterproofing and insulating benefits to commercial buildings.

Roof failure is a primary cause for water intrusion into the building, and traditional methods of removing and replacing roofing material can be expensive and expose the structure to additional damage. SPF can be used as a re-roofing material, applied directly on the existing roof structure. It provides two important benefits to a building through waterproofing and increased insulation value. Further, the application of SPF to an existing roof structure is simple and fast. The expanding foam is simply applied directly over the existing metal, wood, concrete, membrane or built-up roofing material. Once the SPF has been applied to the proper thickness, a protective layer of elastomeric coating or gravel is applied over the insulation. This combination of foam insulation and protective layer produces a durable, weather-resistant surface that is strong enough to walk on.

In new construction, SPF is ideal for flat commercial roofs because it is lightweight, durable, and requires less maintenance compared to traditional roofing systems. Once applied, SPF can help make roofs weatherproof and has a 30 year expected service life. Additionally, as a roofing material, SPF also increases the structural strength of the building by providing wind uplift resistance, which can be critical in hurricane-prone regions.

When installed on the interior of walls or as part of the floor system, SPF is an integral part of the overall design strategy to improve comfort, indoor air quality and durability, and to reduce energy bills. Both walls and floors can be places of air infiltration, especially in industrial settings, and have the potential of water intrusion, especially in the form of vapor. SPF in these areas can help promote a healthier and more durable space for the occupants.

Interior Applications


Hotels, office buildings, and condominiums can benefit from the acoustic-deadening properties of spray foam.

Hotels, office buildings, and condominiums can benefit from the acoustic-deadening properties of spray foam.

Interior walls in commercial buildings can benefit from SPF in a number of ways, including noise reduction and isolating specific areas of the building from adjacent workspaces.

Conference rooms, executive offices and human resource departments are all areas in commercial office buildings where sound mitigation is critical in order to maintain a professional atmosphere. Open cell spray foam has strong sound reduction properties, often employed in recording studios to mitigate sound intrusion. Reducing sound transmission within a commercial building is also important in manufacturing facilities, like bookbinderies, that operate noise-generating machinery. Other buildings that could benefit from noise reduction between interior walls include hospitals, hotels, and schools.

Another successful application for SPF in interior walls of commercial buildings is in industrial settings, where air quality issues can impact adjacent workspaces.

Manufacturing facilities that generate airborne toxins or pollutants need to be isolated from the administrative areas of the building. This can include automotive repair, paint and body shops, chemical companies and printing facilities where paper dust is generated.


Similar to the challenges of interior walls, floors can benefit from reduced noise transmission and air infiltration when SPF is applied. This is especially true in office buildings and hotels, where sound transmission through the floor can be especially disruptive.