Friday, December 16, 2011

Spray Foam Adhesives Strengthen Your Building’s Roof (Part 3)

Also see Part 1 and Part 2 of this blog series.
According to NCFI Polyurethanes, their product complies with the requirements for use both inside and outside High Velocity Hurricane Zones (HVHZ) as listed in their Florida Product Approval #9975. ”We worked long hours with the University of Florida to get that initial Florida Product Approval. They make sure products are safe and work for the state’s homeowners. Since then, we’ve tested our products at a Miami-Dade approved third-party laboratory and are expecting a Miami-Dade NOA approval on InsulStar® in the very near future,” Hoerter said.

There are several application techniques that NCFI promotes for spray foam usage in wind destruction mitigation that can also accomplish insulation and potential energy savings as well.

Level-1 is simply for wind destruction mitigation and involves the application of the spray foam adhesive ”fillet” at the junction of the roof wood sheathing and rafter/truss.

Level-2 maintains the traditional vented attic assembly, follows all the Level -1 steps for wind destruction mitigation, but also includes the application of 1/2 to 1 inch of foam across all of the roof sheathing. This thin application foam provides just enough insulation to keep the attic temperature significantly lower than normal in the hot southern climates. Reduction of the hot temperature in the attic space can have positive results on the cooling efficiency of the home and moisture/condensation issues with HVAC equipment in that space.

Level-3 (also the most energy efficient) method includes all of the Level-1 wind destruction mitigation application, but instead of maintaining a vented attic assembly, a full covering of several inches of sprayed polyurethane foam is applied to the entire underside of the roof area covering all vents and completely sealing the attic space to create a much more energy efficient unvented attic space.

Extensive testing by universities, SPF manufacturers (like Conklin Company) and third party groups now demonstrate that closed-cell insulating sprayfoam adhesive provides solid structural benefits to the home, insulation value, and water barrier properties.

The state of Florida requires insurance companies to offer Florida homeowner’s discounts or credits for construction techniques that reduce damage and loss in windstorms. The wind portion of their total homeowners insurance premium can be a substantial amount and the savings from installing spray foam insulation are generally 60 to 80 percent of the windstorm premium and 25 and 60 percent of the total annual premium.

Savings tend to be greater for homes built before 2002 and greatest for homes close to the coast. Every insurance company’s discount structure is different, but some homeowners located near the coast report premiums reduced by more than half after application of closed cell spray foam insulation in the attic, bonded to the underside of the roof sheathing.

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