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Thread: Polyurethane Foam Roof Covering and Ventilation

  1. #1
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    Default Polyurethane Foam Roof Covering and Ventilation

    Hi Guys,

    We are noticing more and more Sprayed Polyurethane Foam Roofs in our area. I live and work in Southern California and the roofs help minimize cooling cost and insulate the building very well.

    What has been your experience with, or what are your thoughts on:

    1.Removing the PUF covering, they seem to range from 2-6" thick.

    2. Sounding the roof? since you don't have the same feel.

    3. Does the material melt onto the chain saw, or circular saw.


    Thank you.

  2. #2
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    I haven't dealt with one at a fire , around here I have seen them blow a closed cell foam on an existing hot mopped flat roof. They blow it on building it up to give a slight pitch. It is then painted by a UV resistant paint. Problems I see with with it is 1 hard to sound, 2 if over tar and metal decking , you may have to remove an area of foam to have enough cutting blade to cut the metal decking. I3 it MIGHT remain intact over a weak area of sheathing.
    Now what we do see a lot of here is foam sprayed on the underside of plywood decking in the attic of residential houses. A couple of issues with it is you have to set the depth deep on your saw to cut completely through the foam and decking, you increase your chance of weakening a rafter. And if you set it too shallow initially when you make your "observation cut" you may not see any smoke pushing up through the cut. And it adds quite a bit of weight to the decking when you pull it.

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    Thanks slackj, I'm trying to find a vendor that will spray a piece of plywood for us so we can get a hands on feel for for the closed cell foam. If I get this to happen ill post a video of us cutting through it.
    FyredUp likes this.

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    If you can ,, try and get a sample of both open cell and closed cell foam.

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    Biggie: We haven't had the opportunity to work on roofs with sprayed in place foam insulation, but over the past 5 years have encountered two "SIP" Structural Insulated Panel fires. On one, where the aerial was positioned about 20 feet from the sloped side of the cornice, we were forced to abandon the position due to fire blowing out of the soffet and creating a huge fire ball about 10 feet from the building. This foam is supposed to be fire retardant treated, but the retardant may become ineffective due to pre-heating driving the retardant out of the foam befor the foam starts to decompose and evolve flammible vapors. These panels are constructed of OSB "Oriented Strand Board" with the foam sandwiched between two sheets or sometimes 3 sheets of OSB. Sounding as in conventional construction sounding for rafters is impossible, as there are no rafters, but heavy timber trusses on 8 foot centers. Provides very high insulating value for this northern cold climate. It also prevents detecting hot spots in the roof system until things collapse. In the above case.. quite rapidly. No fire visible on the interior and none on the exterior untill all hell broke loose and things collapsed. Fire started in the attached garage and spread into the SIP from the end of the sloped roof where it met the garage wall.
    Biggie55 likes this.

  6. #6
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    Thanks bud, that's exactly the experiences I'd like to learn from since I have little knowledge on how these different materials respond.

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