Good article, but it seems like you can chalk up almost all of those problems to the experience level of whomever is spraying the foam. Spray foam isn't an inherently bad product, but it's pretty easy to botch if the hired company is inexperienced. Fiberglass may be foolproof to install, but then again it has a terrible R-Value compared to a good spray foam. People just need to get referrals and do their homework whenever they research a spray foam contractor.
Check with the coating manufacturer who may be able to suggest applicators who have used their products and have familiarity with the application. Another option would be to interview contractors and ask specific questions about their proven ability to install roof coatings. Contractors affiliated with the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) or local roofing contractor trade associations typically are more knowledgeable. Consult those groups’ websites for contractors. 

Spray Foam Contractors


Spray foam insulation or spray polyurethane foam (SPF) is an alternative to traditional building insulation such as fiberglass. A two-component mixture composed of isocyanate and polyol resin comes together at the tip of a gun, and forms an expanding foam that is sprayed onto roof tiles, concrete slabs, into wall cavities, or through holes drilled in into a cavity of a finished wall. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ggLAUsiuI_o
The insulation at eaves level will leave your loft area comfortable for use and free from condensation. By installing the insulation at rafter level, it keeps the loft void warmer and prevents condensation build-up, which can otherwise occur when increasing insulation at ceiling level. The warmer, drier, cleaner roof space eliminates the risk of pipes and tanks freezing. http://youtube.com/watch?feature=youtube_gdata&v=ggLAUsiuI_o
Spray polyurethan foam does effectly prevent all six of these heat transfer methods from occurring. These should be the mechanisms by which you judge insulation, in addition to their R-Value. If you're uncertain about installing spray foam insulation, Energy Star has a map that recommends levels of insulation by R-value and cost-effectiveness in the United States.

There are two main types of spray foam to consider: open-cell and closed-cell. Open-cell spray foam has a lower R-value per inch and because of this, typically a lower price tag. The soft, low-density material is used for interior applications. Its high permeability allows for moisture to pass through, which contributes to bi-directional drying of the assembly, but it may not be ideal for all applications or climates.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggLAUsiuI_o


These coatings contain various types of acrylic polymer, and are typically formulated to help extend the coating’s life and improve durability. Acrylic coatings are available in a number of colors but are most commonly used as white reflective coatings. Thanks to its durability and low cost, many contractors and facility managers believe this to be the best roof coating.

I am building a house in Central Texas (Caldwell). Several builders are cautious about using foam insulation and/or a closed attic. I would like to use both. Here in Texas, heat and humidity (except for the past few years of drought) are a continuing problem. Which type of foam would be the best to use in our home, where should the vapor barrier be or should be use one at all, if we are using fans in the exterior walls to supply fresh air to the house, do we need a vented attic or will it cause more problems than it solve? I have printed out your article and the blogs to give to my contractors and architect, but I would really appreciate your comments on the products being used in my part of the US.  http://kvsprayfoam.com/images/KV-Spray-Foam-Denver-CO.jpg
This stuff works GREAT ! I live in an older mobile home that had a lot of leaks when I moved-in. I worked for two years to locate and fix them all. Now I simply go over all of the repaired places once a year just to be sure everything is OK. NO LEAKS FOR 4 YEARS NOW!!  Others here use "sno proof" or something that does not stop leaks. When I tell them about my success, they don't seem to want to pay the$ for this superior product. Too bad!. I used the tape in  repairing the leaks.

I am an Architect in Toronto. I am designing a new roof addition to a row house building. Because of existing conditions and the shape of the new roof. It may be easiest to use closed cell spray foam within the areas of the joists. My question is when spray foam is used in this situation do I need to worry about how the joist members may be thermal bridges? It is not common to provide a little bit of rigid insulation to protect the joist members? The additional layer of outboard insulation will require an extra layer of plywood above the insulation which will add to cost. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ggLAUsiuI_o&feature=youtube_gdata
Spray foam insulation, when properly installed is both an air barrier and when closed cell foam is used at the proper depth a vapor barrier!  Before hiring any contractor you should establish the brand of foam being used and verify that with the named manufacture.  Please ask for ESR reports and MSDS sheets on any foam being installed in your home. A couple areas where you might consider spray foam insulation include:
Heatlok Soy 200 Plus®, is our high-performing, versatile spray foam insulation for commercial and residential construction. Our unique formula incorporates recycled plastic bottles and renewable oils to create our high-performing, closed-cell spray foam insulation. Heatlok Soy 200 Plus has a high R-value of 7.4 at 1 inch, and a density of two pounds. This polyurethane insulation combines multiple control layers into a single application, saving both time and money in construction costs. With our innovative technology, Heatlok Soy 200 Plus is developed with 14 % renewable and recycled content, and is the ideal choice for commercial, residential, and multi-family construction.
Good article, but it seems like you can chalk up almost all of those problems to the experience level of whomever is spraying the foam. Spray foam isn't an inherently bad product, but it's pretty easy to botch if the hired company is inexperienced. Fiberglass may be foolproof to install, but then again it has a terrible R-Value compared to a good spray foam. People just need to get referrals and do their homework whenever they research a spray foam contractor.
SPF application is fast and effective. Unlike traditional insulation types like fiberglass, which require a separate air-sealing step, spray foam can air seal and insulate a structure in one step, thus keeping the project moving forward. Combining these steps coupled with a spray-on application decreases installation time and delivers the ability to fit into hard-to-reach places, like eaves, odd-sized cavities, and rims. In addition to installation efficiencies, spray foam can provide excellent thermal, acoustical and indoor air quality performance in any climate. 

Apply coating when the roof is dry and the sealant has set. You will be using a 9-inch heavy-duty frame, ½-inch paint roller for spreading coating on roof or 1-1/4-inch roller for dipping in pail, and a 5–to-6-foot extension pole. Use a 3/4-inch roller with basecoats and emulsions. Map out your roof and make each pail fill that area. See Elastek Product Sheets for recommended coverage. An inexpensive 3-inch or 4-inch brush should be used to reach areas not possible with a roller. Use a stiff paintbrush for applying 103 Crack & Joint Sealant.
As mentioned above elastomeric coatings can be used to fix almost all types of roofs. Examples of common roof types that will work well with elastomeric coatings include; wood, polyurethane foam, single-ply roofing, modified bitumen, metal roofs, concrete and built-up roofing. If you aren't sure your roof type will work well elastomeric coatings, do not hesitate to contact us. Our experts are always willing to help.
Silicone based coatings can be spray or roller-applied, and should utilize a medium-nap roller when rolled. These coatings are applied anywhere from 2 to 3.5 gallons per 100 square feet, depending on the substrate. Silicone has two major advantages over the other four types of coatings that should be considered when searching for the best roof coating: 1) it can resist ponding water for extended periods of time and 2) it can adhere to most substrates without a primer. Because of these two major advantages, silicone is the best roof coating that satisfies both quality and cost-effectiveness.
We love the Heng’s rubber roof coating because it is versatile enough to work on the RV roof and protects it from the elements longer than other products do. Plus, it is useful enough to be used in sealing seams and tears. Versatility does matter when shopping around for an RV roof coating. It ensures more uses, meaning more value for the money. That said we don’t need to buy a separate product to perform the tasks.

However, coating asphalt shingles and built-up composition roofs requires more caution. The National Roofing Contractors Association’s (NRCA) director of technical services has stated "The roofing industry is aware of a number of issues that could have negative consequences for field application of coatings over asphalt shingle roof systems. Anyone considering this type of application should be aware of the concerns so they can weigh them against the benefits claimed in coating product promotional materials."[2]

I employed a company to insulate my three story house in 2011. They started Insulating it in August of 2011...They said it would be a 3-4 day job. They installed it in 0.5"-8" lifts all in the same cavity, this left burned insulation and voids. They removed what they told me was the bad insulation and in the process cut many electrical wires. They fixed this. They then reinstalled too thick again in some spots and removed again. They then installed it for a 3rd time. The areas that I thought were good are now separating from the structural members leaving voids. As of October 2012, 1 year and 2 months of dealing with the contractor I told them I want proof that what has been installed carries a warranty or I want my money back and I will fix the problems myself. They have yet to provide me with this warranty. I have spent many hours in the house looking at what is bad and they need to fix. I am frustrated, 14 months of additional rent due to their negligence. I would like to know how I can get proof that the product carries the manufacturers lifetime warranty, or has it been installed improperly throughout the entire house. Desperately awaiting your response.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ggLAUsiuI_o
Spray foam insulation helps lower utility costs because it blocks heat and cold from the outdoors. Recent studies by the U.S. Department of Energy state that around 40 percent of all energy is lost through poor insulation. Spray foam insulation is able to insulate homes at least 50 percent more than traditional insulation products. Spray foam insulation can also provide protection against moisture, which otherwise leads to the unwanted development of mold and mildew. And it can also be used for noise reduction as well. In fact, spray foam is good for homes and buildings in which outdoor noise can be a distraction. http://www.youtube.com/v/ggLAUsiuI_o&feature=kp
If your foam pulled away just a little bit, Jamie, and they were able to fix it with just a little bit of touching up, then it wasn't as bad as the house where I saw this problem. As the last photo above shows, it had pulled away significantly from the studs and rafters, and it was all over the house. This was closed cell foam, and interestingly, it didn't pull away from the horizontal framing members, just the vertical and sloped ones. They did some touch up, but that wasn't enough. I don't know how this one ended up getting resolved. I think maybe the contractor came back and sprayed cellulose on top of the foam. https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtube.be&v=ggLAUsiuI_o
With constant exposure to heat, cold, UV radiation, rain, snow, hail, high winds and possible mechanical damage, a roof can be the most vulnerable component of a building’s exterior. However, a roof’s long-term performance can be enhanced — and major roofing problems avoided — with correct design, quality materials, proper installation and workmanship, and comprehensive care.

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