Friday, December 23, 2011

Up On the Roof Top

We have been "up on the roof top" now for over 35 years and have never been mistaken for Ol' St. Nick, albeit we would find it to be a complimentary identity mishap. The jolly man himself may have a bigger service area and a larger target audience but our mid-western clientele is pretty extensive with places in Texas, Oklahoma, Texas, Iowa and of course, Kansas.

We have met some fantastic people along the way, and they are all pretty satisfied with their polyurethane spray foam roof systems or their air barrier systems for their commercial buildings.  This last year has been quite a ride. We became Air Barrier Association of America (ABAA) accredited to install Air Barrier systems and, along with many others, are currently working with the Beta Theta Pi Fraternity House at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri.

But aside from all of that, we want to wish everyone happy holidays and the best for the 2012 new year. We are looking forward to being "up on the roof top" for many more years to come.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Types of Roof Systems

There are five generic classifications of low slope membranes or systems, with most having three principle components: Weatherproofing Layers, Reinforcement and Surfacing.  

Built-Up Roof (BUR) Membranes
Commonly referred as "tar and gravel" roofs, BUR roofs are composed of alternating layers of bitumen and reinforcing fabrics to create a finished membrane. The number of plies in a cross section is the number of plies on a roof, i.e. a four ply room membrane construction is four plies. 

Metal Panel Roof Systems
There is only one category of metal roof systems used in low-slop applications: structural metal panel. These can be used because of their hydrostatic (water barrier) characteristics and are designed to resist the passage of water at laps and other joints with sealant or anti capillary methods. 

Polymer-Modified Bitumen Sheet Membranes
Polymer-modified bitumen or modified bitument (MB) are composed of reinforcing fabrics that serve as carriers for the hot polymer-modified bitumen as it is manufactured into a rool material. They are composed of multiple layers, much like BUR membranes, and are typically installed as a two-ply system and almost always are fully adhered. 

Single-Ply Membranes
These are factory-manufactured sheet membranes generally categorized as either thermopolastic or thermoset. Thermoplastic materials, such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and thermoplastic olefin (TPO) can be repeatedly softened when heated and hardened when cooled. Thermoset materials, such as ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) solidify, or "set," irreversibly after heating. Single ply membranes are referred to by their chemical acronyms, like TPO or EPDM.  

Spray Polyurethane Foam-Based (SPF) Roof Systems
After photo of a hospital roof with the
Spray Polyurethane Foam System.
SPF-based roof systems are constructed by mixing and spraying a two-component liquid that forms the base of an adhered roof system. It can installed in various thicknesses to provide slope to drain or meet a specified thermal resistance (R-value). A protective surfacing is then applied to the foam to provide protection from the elements. The first component is rigid, closed cell, spray polyurethane foam insulation. The second component is the protective surfacing and is typically a spray applied elastomeric coating. This provides weatherproofing, protect the foam from UV exposure, provide protection from mechanical damage and assist with the fire-resistant characteristic of the roof system.

From the National Roofing Contractors Association website

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Energy Wise Giving

It happened. The year 2011 rolled into December. If you braved through the Black Friday weekend and Cyber madness then you may have already finished your Christmas shopping. For those of us who didn't, and who still have items on the "list" for Santa, we may want to take a moment to adjust our thinking which may help save our planet.

According to the Consumer Electronics Association's (CEA) 18th Annual CE Holiday Purchase Patterns Study report, this year's holiday spending will increase with over one-third of purchases spent on electronics. It is good for the economy to see the increase in spending, and electronics have always been high on the list.

The propensity in human nature is to take the easy road, and let's admit it, cell phones, laptops, wireless printers, copiers, GPS units, garage openers and toys which interact with our children seem to make our lives easier. Bottom line, electronics are used to improve your efficiency in everyday living.

However, old and broken electronics end up in landfills and landfill usage is a monumental environmental concern. Perhaps if all of us over the next month would stop a moment before purchasing a new electronic device and ask ourselves a couple of questions, we may help decrease our own carbon footprint:

Can this be recycled and where? If it is a brand new and improved gadget or prototype, can we wait until the bugs have been worked out?  (Do we hear a 'Bah Humbug?)

According to the waste facts website, "304 million electronics were disposed of from US Households in 2005 and two-thirds of them still worked."  The website also mentioned that if we all recycled cell phones for one year, we would save enough energy to power 18,500 homes for a year.

There are many places in Kansas City that assist with recycling and some communities even have "drives" which are set up throughout the year.  On you can find a list of service providers near you.

Source: Green Building Elements website :

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Our Thanks to You

Our family is important here at Washington Roofing and Insulation (WRI). Balancing work life with home life a challenge in every office, but we have been blessed with people whose awareness and practice of this balance continues to drive the company forward.

We are also thankful for those who have trusted WRI for consultation and repair on their commercial building roofing and air barrier projects. These people are the reason for our success and our ability to maintain a healthy balance within the company.

So we want to show our appreciation this Thanksgiving by posting a "Thank You" to all of you who have become a part of our family as an employee, client, partner or collegue. We truly appreciate you and wish you all the best this holiday season.

Chuck Carpenter
Owner, Washington Roofing and Insulation
a division of Washington Companies, Inc.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Roofing Terminology

A-component (A-side)
One component of a two-component polymer system; for polyurethane foam and coatings, the isocyanate component.

Apron Flashing

A term used for a flashing located at the juncture of the top of a sloped roof and a vertical wall, chimney or steeper-sloped roof.


(1) A class of amorphous, black or dark-colored, (solid, semi-solid or viscous) cementitious substances, natural or manufactured, composed principally of high-molecular-weight hydrocarbons, soluble in carbon disulfide, and found in asphalts, tars, pitches and asphaltites; (2) a generic term used to denote any material composed principally of bitumen, typically asphalt or coal tar.

Cool Roof

A roof system that uses products made of highly reflective and emissive materials for its top surface. Cool roof surfaces can remain at markedly lower temperatures when exposed to solar heat in service than surfaces of roofs constructed with traditional non-reflective roofing products.


Treatment of a surface or structure to resist the passage of water in the absence of hydrostatic pressure.

Elastomeric coating

A coating that is capable of being stretched at least twice its original length (100 percent elongation) and recovering to its original dimensions.


(1) Infrared emissivity is a measure of the ability of a surface to shed some of its absorbed heat (in the form of infrared radiation) away from the surface; emissivity is expressed as a percentage or a decimal factor; (2) the ratio of radiant energy emitted from a surface under measurement to that emitted from a black body (the perfect emitter and absorber) at the same temperature.

Foam stop
The roof edge treatment upon which spray polyurethane foam (SPF) is terminated.

Parapet wall

The part of a perimeter wall that extends above a roof.

Single-ply roofing

A roof system in which the principal roof covering is a single-layer flexible thermoset or thermoplastic membrane.

Spray polyurethane foam (SPF)

A foamed plastic material, formed by mixing and spraying two components, methylene diphenyl diisocynate (MDI) ("A-component") and resin containing a polyol ("B-component") to form a rigid, fully adhered, water-resistant and insulating membrane.

Thermal resistance (or R-Value)

The quantity determined by the temperature difference at steady state between two defined surfaces of a material or construction that induces a unit heat flow rate through a unit area. In English (inch•pound) units, it is expressed as F•ft2•h/Btu.
    Note 1: A thermal resistance (R) value applies to a specific thickness of a material or construction.

    Note 2: The thermal resistance (R) of a material is the reciprocal of the thermal conductance (C) of the same material (i.e., R = 1/C).

    Note 3: Thermal resistance (R) values can be added, subtracted, multiplied and divided by mathematically appropriate methods.
Source: National Roofing Contractor Association

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Flame Seal-TB

After taking an intensive training class, Washington Roofing and Insulation is proud to announce our recent certification as a qualified Flame Seal-TB applicator.

Flame Seal-TB is a waterbased, intumescent coating product that has been certified multiple times as both a Thermal and Ignition Barrier when used over a Spray Polyurethane Foam system. With very low toxicity and low VOCs, the coating qualifies for the LEED IEQ4 Credit for Low Emitting Material - Paints and Coatings.

The certification process for a LEVEL ONE applicator includes passing a detailed test and establishing a Quality Assurance and Control process within their organization.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Spray Foam Coalition Launches new Spray Foam Benefits Website

A press release issued last week by the American Chemistry Council announced that the Spray Foam Coalition (SFC), a new self-funded group within the Center for the Polyurethanes Industry (CPI) of the American Chemistry Council, has launched a new public website, to communicate the benefits of spray polyurethane foam (SPF) insulation and roofing.

Washington Roofing & Insulation finished product
at Pawnee Heights School District in Burdett, Kansas.
The website offers information for homeowners, builders and architects about the benefits of spray foam, the different types of spray foam products and their applications in a home or building. This new information hub can help educate those who have little-to-no familiarity with spray foam about the basics of the products, or help an experienced builder or architect access the resources to help make decisions about incorporating spray foam into a new construction or retrofit project.

Although Washington Roofing & Insulation focuses more toward commercial roofing, this new website is a good resource for people who want general information about SPF.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Monolithic Domes in the Midwest

The Midwest has seen it's share of bad weather this last year, with several tornadoes ripping through communities destroying homes and buildings. It has been said that nothing can protect us from this type of severe weather. However, many construction experts argue that monolithic domes could be the answer.

Washington Roofing & Insulation
re-coated this Salt Dome in Iowa with the
Spray Polyurethane Foam roof system.
Monolithic domes are buildings that meet FEMA's standards for near-absolute protection from severe weather. Construction of monolithic domes is a very specialized arena consisting of steel reinforced concrete and closed-cell SPF Insulation.

Oklahoma, according to SprayFoam Insulation & Roofing magazine, has the most monolith domes than any other state, and a lot has to do with the fact that Oklahoma is known as "tornado alley." In fact, many school districts in the state are constructing monolithic domes to provide an emergency shelter for their students. Dome schools can also be found in Texas, Kansas, Missouri, Arizona, Minnesota, Florida and Idaho, according to the article.

Source: SprayFoam Insulation & Roofing magazine
Visit Washington Roofing & Insulation

Saturday, October 15, 2011

How to Hire a Commercial Roofing Contractor

Replacing the roof on your building was approved in the budget and now it is time to start looking for a good roofing contractor. As you begin the steps it takes to qualify roofing professionals, take in mind some of the points listed below:
  • Length of Time in Business. Companies who have been in business longer usually have broader experience than start-ups. 
  • Insured, Licensed and Bonded. Proof of insurance and establishing that the contractor is licensed in your state is important. 
  • Member of Organizations. Is the contractor affiliated or a member of any industry organizations? Many times these contractors are kept up-to-date on the latest roofing developments and industry news. 
  • Experience, Knowledge and Trust. People don't hire companies . . . People hire people. Make sure you are comfortable with the roofing contractor and understand your options. 
  • Application Expertise. Is the contractor accredited or certified in the roofing system of choice? Some systems required these certifications in order to be applied properly and last. 
  • Referrals and Completed Projects. Good contractors will have people you can contact to gain more insight. Ask for completed projects, as well. This will give you an idea of what the contractor does. 
  • Committed to Safety. Establish that the roofing contractor is taking all the required steps for safety. 
  • Written Estimates. Estimates in writing will assure that you understand what is being proposed and both parties have appropriate expectations. It is mutually beneficial and keeps the guesswork out of the project.

Website: Washington Roofing & Insulation

Friday, October 7, 2011

The WALLTITE® Air Barrier

WALLTITE® is a premium spray-applied polyurethane foam insulating air barrier system manufactured by BASF. WALLTITE® is seamless and self-adhering, eliminating uncontrolled air leakage by providing monolithic coverage with superior insulation R/U-value.

The graphic below shows how the closed-cell, WALLTITE® Air Barrier is positioned to substantially reduce both air leakage and moisture permeance through the building envelope.

Source: BASF
WALLTITE® is approved by the Air Barrier Association of America (ABAA) and acts as an air barrier as part of the total building envelope. Washington Roofing and Insulation is a Q1 applicator with BASF and an ABAA accredited ABAA.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Benefits of Cool Roofs

The term "cool roof" refers to how much it reflects and emits the sun's heat back to the sky instead of transferring it to the building. According to the Cool Roof Rating Council (CRRC), "Coolness" is measured by solar reflectance and thermal emittance. The higher the value, the "cooler" the roof.

A cool roof is either white or is another "cool" color which use darker-colored pigments that are highly reflective in the near infrared portion of the solar spectrum. It is like wearing a light shirt versus a dark shirt out in the sunshine: the light shirt keeps you cooler.

Benefits of a Cool Roof are numerous and include:
  • Energy savings and global warming mitigation
  • Reduction in urban heat island effect and smog
  • Improved occupant comfort
  • Comply with codes and green building programs
Washington Roofing & Insulation provides free on site consultation to help you determine which cool roof product is right for you.

Source: Cool Roof Rating Council

Friday, September 23, 2011

Health Risks Associated with Toxic Mold

Mold is considered a 4-letter word in the building industry. Especially now, with the summer floods and seasonal hurricanes, the moist environment is a perfect breeding ground for this organism.

Mold is a fungus that thrives in warm, damp and humid conditions with an ample food source; spreading and reproducing by making spores. There are hundreds of thousands of living species of fungi in the environment, both outdoors and in, and are considered part of the natural ecosystem -- some which are beneficial to mankind.

Mold can be found everywhere, but the inhalation of spores from some mold may cause allergies or other health related problems. Some molds are even considered toxic and can be very harmful to people when exposed, especially over a long period of time.

Black Mold, also known as Stachybotrys Chartarum, is a greenish-black fungi which likes to grow in straw, hay, web leaves, drywall, carpet, wall paper, fiber-board, ceiling tiles, thermal insulation and other types of high-cellulose materials. There are many different species of black mold, however, all black molds are not necessarily Stachybotrys. There are non-toxic black molds, as well.

Testing for the toxic black mold can only be accurately performed by an accredited laboratory, which can be expensive. The CDC's website suggests that if you are seeing or smelling mold, or having allergies associated with mold, then no matter what type of mold is present it needs to be removed. 

The 10 most common health risks associated with toxic mold are:
1. pulmonary hemorrhage or pulmonary hemosiderosis (primarily in infants)
2. nose bleeds
3. immune system suppression (resulting in increasing numbers of infections)
4. hair loss
5. dermatitis
6. chronic fatigue
7. psychological depression
8. diarrhea
9. sore throats
10. headaches and other flu-like symptoms

Most smaller areas of mold can be cleaned up with a bleach solution. However, if the area is more than 10 square feet, the CDC website suggests consulting the the EPA's "Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings."

Sources: CDC Website, | EPA Website,  |  The Mold Blog website,

Visit Washington Roofing's Website

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Thermal Barrier and Ignition Barrier Story

One issue that has confused many people is the code requirement for thermal and ignition barriers and how it relates to spray foam insulation when installed in an attic or crawl space.

Thermal Barrier - A thermal barrier, as far as building code is concerned, is any product that has been ASTM tested and is considered to have a "15-minute thermal barrier" or an "index of 15." An example of a thermal barrier is 1/2" sheet rock, 1/4" plywood or particleboard, and some fire proof coating.

Ignition Barrier - a product that prevents the ignition of the product which it is applied to from a spark, or from direct heat, but does not protect from direct flame over a period of time. Ignition barriers are usually spray on or brush on coatings.

The Fire Suit and the Leather Jacket
This analogy might help understand the difference. Lets say a firefighter is wearing his fireproof suit, his suit is our thermal barrier. We are standing next to him wearing a leather jacket. This leather jacket is our ignition barrier. The firefighter can walk though a fire without burning, but we can't. That leather jacket would burn quickly. But if we were standing outside the fire and a spark come in contact with the leather jacket, it's doubtful we would burn. The jacket would give us a small amount of protection, but nothing close to the amount of protection that the fireproof suit would give us.

In conclusion, a thermal barrier is a high-level of protection, and an ignition barrier is a low-level of protection. 

When does code tell me I need to us a thermal barrier?
Simply put, everywhere foam is applied to the interior of the building, a thermal barrier must separate the foam from the interior of the building. For example, when foam is applied on the exterior walls your sheet rock on the walls is your thermal barrier. When foam is applied to the roof deck, sheet rock installed at your ceiling is your thermal barrier. If your ceiling is not sheet rock, or does not have a 15-minute fire rating, you must apply a thermal barrier directly to the foam.

When does code tell me I need to use an ignition barrier?
Code says that anywhere foam is applied in an attic or crawl space, it must also be protected from the attic space from an ignition barrier in addition to the thermal barrier that is at the ceiling. The way the code sees it is that once the foam is separated from the interior of the building with a thermal barrier, the foam does not need the same level of protection from the attic space. However, it does require some protection. That is when the ignition barrier, or low-level protection, is used.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Is Your Community StormReady?

StormReady is a program started by the National Weather Service (NWS) in Tulsa, Oklahoma 12 years ago to help arm communities "with the communication and safety skills needed to save lives and property-before and during the event, " according to the StormReady website.

As of September 6, 2011 Oklahoma is leading the Midwest with 86 StormReady designations, while Missouri comes in 2nd with 63; Kansas 32; Iowa 30 and Nebraska with 24. Our big southern neighbor, Texas, comes in big at 115.

What does that means to residents? It shows that these areas are prepared to help prevent weather-related deaths and injuries through planning, education and early warning systems. 

To become a StormReady designation (a county, city, commercial site, university or supporter site) the area must show they follow six guidelines: Communication, NWS Information Reception, Hydrometerological Monitoring, Local Warning Dissemination, Community Preparedness and Administrative.

Cities, counties, commercial sites, and universities can become StormReady, Tsunami Ready or both. To learn more about this program and to see if your community or University is StormReady, go to the StormReady website.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

New LEED Pilot Credits

Yesterday, the U.S. Green Building Council added nine additional Pilot Credits to their LEED Pilot Credit Library. These include:

  • Pilot Credit 44: EQ - Ergonomics Strategy
  • Pilot Credit 45: SS - Site Assessment
  • Pilot Credit 46: EA - HVAC Commissioning
  • Pilot Credit 47: EQ - Acoustic Comfort
  • Pilot Credit 48: IP - Discovery - Analysis to Support Integrative Process
  • Pilot Credit 49 : IP - Implementing Synergies
  • Pilot Credit 52: MR - Environmentally Preferable Non-Structural Products and Materials - Prescriptive Attributes
  • Pilot Credit 53: MR - Responsible Sourcing of Raw Material and
  • Pilot Credit 54: MR - Avoidance of Chemicals of Concern in Building Materials. 
LEED is a rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council in March 2000 for buildings that are "designed, constructed and operated for improved environmental and human health performance."

From homes to commercial buildings, LEED credits can be obtained by following specific guidelines for new construction or renovation, schools, retail, core & shell, commercial interiors, operations & maintenance and neighborhood development. 

Complying with LEED standards is completely voluntary, but has been proven to benefit owners with cost-effective solutions that result from green building. To read case studies, profiles, research and resources on green building, visit the U.S. Green Building Council website.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

10 Things Made of Polyurethane

We don't normally spend our days wondering about what things are made up of. We like to leave that to the scientists, engineers and young children who can marvel at floating balloons. However, sometimes it is good in the understanding of a substance to know other areas that it can be used.

When we ran across this post on a blog from The Polyurethane Group, we thought it gave some great (and surprising) examples of the uses of Polyurethane.

10 Things Where Polyurethane is the Key Component:
  1. Bowling Balls
  2. Surfing Boards
  3. Roller Coasters 
  4. Soccer Balls (or European footballs)
  5. Insulation
  6. Bandages
  7. Denim 
  8. Polyurethane Coastal Protection
  9. Polyurethane Fridges in Swaziland, Africa
  10. Green Roofs
Read the entire post, "10 polyurethane applications you would not have thought of" here.

Friday, August 19, 2011

NOAA Forecasters Predict More Activity this Hurricane Season

On August 4, 2011 the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued an updated forecast for the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season that predicts more storms and hurricanes than was originally thought to occur. Peak hurricane months are between August and October in the Atlantic region and even FEMA has warned residents to get prepared.

You don't have to live in the Atlantic, however, to respect the enormous force of Mother Nature. Midwestern storms can have hurricane-strong gusts and create havoc on trees and building structures. This makes it important to choose the right product and performance-based roofing contractor when considering applications for roof repairs or new roofs.

Many Spray Polyurethane Foam Roofing manufactures have products that carries the Miami-Dade County Notice of Acceptance as protecting the roof in winds up to 150 miles per hour, or a level 5 hurricane, when properly applied over concrete, steel or a smooth surface BUR wood deck. The system creates a monolithic seal over the roof, making it impossible to detach in high winds. When applied by a an accredited roofing professional, Polyurethane Spray Foam Roofing can meet the needs of building owners in the Midwest.

Source: NOAA -

Friday, August 12, 2011

Comparing Insulation Products

Out of the dozen positive features compared between spray foam insulation, fiberglass batts, fiberglass loose-fill, wet-sprayed cellulose, blown-in (dry) cellulose and mineral wool, only the spray foam insulation had the most. They include:

  • High to Highest R-Value per inch
  • No wind washing effect
  • Certified air barrier
  • Expands to fill hard-to-reach spaces
  • Contains no HCFCs or CFCs
  • Does not contain formaldehyde
  • Won't shrink or settle over time when properly installed
  • Will not absorb significant levels of water
  • FEMA approved flood-resistant insulation materials
  • Will not distort framing when properly installed
  • Efficiently reduces sound transmission through walls

The only feature that Spray Foam Insulation does not have that two of the others provide is the ability to inject it into existing wall cavities without major demolition. Spray Foam Insulation is normally done during the initial building process, while adding on to an existing structure or remodeling.

Source:, "Insulation Comparison Chart"

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Urban Heat Islands

Have you ever noticed while driving out of the city into a rural area that the temperature seems to suddenly drop? This is the result of what is called the Urban Heat Island effect, which is a heat bubble that builds up around cities due to buildings, pavement, lack of vegetation and other permeable surfaces.

Scientists have been measuring Heat Islands for years and, as cities grow, so do the Urban Heat Islands. As Heat Islands grow so does energy consumption (more electricity to cool things down) which increases emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases from power plants. The increased heat also causes the quality of water to become impaired as hot rooftops and pavement shed their water into the drainage system and out into streams, ponds and other bodies of water, causing rapid fluctuations of temperatures which is stressful to the aquatic ecosystem.

There is a also general discomfort for humans with higher air pollutants and higher temperatures.

The EPA sites four main ways that helps counteract Urban Heat Islands:

  • Increasing tree and vegetative cover
  • Creating "green" roofs (rooftop gardens or "eco-roofs")
  • Installing cool roofs
  • Using cool pavements

High performance fluid-applied roofing systems designed and applied by a certified professional roofing contractor are proven to reflect up to 85% of the sun's rays, reducing the temperature by nearly 60 degrees than that of traditional black roofs. Washington Roofing & Insulation uses only the highest quality of material that is ENERGY STAR, LEED, CRRC, Miami-Dade County approved and / or certified.

Source: EPA Website: What is an Urban Heat Island

Saturday, August 6, 2011

It's Not Just About Roofs, Anymore

As building and architecture focuses more on energy efficiency and renewable resources, spray polyurethane foam (SPF) insulation will become more prevalent for the entire building structure.

As opposed to traditional fiberglass insulation, SPF fills every crack and crevice to eliminate airflow in and out of the building, saving on utility bills and extending the life of your HVAC. It also helps keep insects, spiders, dust, pollen and mold down, giving you cleaner, healthier air to breathe.

Metal studs on the interior of a building.
Photo by: Washington Roofing & Insulation

Metal studs after spraying BASF Spraytite as Insulation.
Photo by: Washington Roofing & Insulation

Washington Roofing & Insulation uses SPRAYTITE closed cell SPF with uses ZONE3 zero-ozone-depleting blowing-agent technology and emits no volatile organic compounds (VOCs). It can be used in the following areas of insulation applications:

  • Above Rafters
  • Between Rafters
  • Cavity and Cavity Walls
  • Ceilings
  • Exteriors
  • Floors
  • Interiors
  • Perimeters
  • Roofs

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Closed-Cell Polyurethane Foam Versus Open-Cell Polyurethane Foam

What is the difference between an open-cell foam versus a closed-cell foam? The open-cell foam has tiny cells that are not completely closed (thus the name "open" cell). This allows air to fill up the open spaces inside the material, making the foam weaker and softer to the touch.

Closed-cell foam, on the other hand, is made up of cells completely closed and packed together. They are filled with a gas that forces the foam to rise and expand which makes it a greater insulator.

Closed-cell foam has a greater R value, is stronger and it has a better resistance to the leakage of air and water vapor. The higher the density the foam, the heavier, or stronger it becomes.

Washington Roofing & Insulation uses BASF Closed Cell Spray Foam that provides an R-value of 6.7 per inch and has a density of 2.0 pounds per cubic foot. For more information, visit our website or contact us at 800.383.3062

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Benefits of Spray Polyurethane Foam Roofing

Spray polyurethane foam roofing can be applied over many different types of commercial roofs like granulated modified roofs, built-up gravel roofs and metal roofs.

The benefits of spray polyurethane foam roofing applied by a quality, Q1 applicator with BASF Foam Enterprise credentials compared to conventional roofing methods are:

1. No sightly tear off. Less land fill usage.
2. Energy efficient, provides a seamless monolithic insulation barrier. Saves you money on utility bills.
3. High wind up-lift rating.
4. 100% seamless and self flashing.
5. Quick and efficient to install, giving you less time to worry about construction on more time to concentrate on your job.

This is a photo of a built-up gravel roof in need of repair.

Photo taken after Washington Roofing & Insulation
Applied the Spray Polyurethane Foam Roof System.

Spray polyurethane foam roofing systems are warranted from 5,10 to 15 years depending upon the needs and budgets of the customer. The warranties are also renewable after the existing warranty has expired.

Properly maintained, a spray polyurethane foam roofing system may be the last roof you need to put on.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Fluid Applied Air Barrier Systems

The primary purpose of an air barrier system is to stop the air from leaking into and out of the building enclosure. Occupants of the building are more comfortable, are provided draft free space and are protected from pollutants entering the building.
When conditioned air leaks out of a building and unconditioned air leaks into a building we must then use additional energy to then condition this air. Air leakage can result in an increased use in energy costs of up to 30-40% in heating climates and 10-15% in cooling costs. (Source Investigation of the Impact of Commercial Building Envelope Air Tightness on HVAC Energy Use). 
Equipment works more efficiently, like HVAC units, and sizing mechanical systems are easier because building owners don't have to compensate for drafts.

Moisture laden air is also barred from entering the building which assists in reducing the corrosion of metals and mold growth.

Washington Roofing & Insulation prepares
a Missouri high school addition with BASF Walltite

Air barriers, especially when used to separate two different environments within a building, can protect one occupant from another occupant's pollutants (such as second hand cigarette smoke), odors (such as cooking odors) and noise (sound delivered by air transport).

Contractors applying air barrier systems should be members of the Air Barrier Association of America which provides ABAA certification and continuing education. For more information, visit the ABAA website or visit us online.

Monday, June 20, 2011

What is Spray Polyurethane Foam Roofing?

Spray polyurethane foam, commonly referred to as SPF is a spray-applied insulating foam plastic that is installed as a liquid and then expands many times its original size. Spray polyurethane foam can be adjusted and have many different physical properties depending on the use desired.

For example, the same basic raw materials that can make insulation foam semi-rigid and soft to the touch also creates high density roofing foam that is resistant to foot traffic and water. Specialized equipment is used to apply the spray polyurethane foam and proper technical training is important in order to get the best results.

For roofing, spray polyurethane foam insulates and eliminates thermal bridging through fasteners or gaps in decking while providing a long-lasting roofing system that has a life that can be extended by re-coating or recovering in an average of > 10 – 15 years. As a result spray polyurethane foam is used in a wide variety of applications including, but is not limited to:

  • Roofing
  • Air barriers
  • Commercial and residential insulation in walls, ceilings, attics and basements
  • Industrial insulation for pipes and tanks, cold storage facilities, freezers, walk-in coolers, and climate controlled buildings such as produce storage and clean rooms
  • Flotation for boats, ships, barges, floating docks, etc.
  • Higher density spray polyurethane foam has been used to increase the structural strength of wings in airplanes.
For more information on Spray Polyurethane Foam Roofing in Kansas, Iowa, Oklahoma and Texas, please visit