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Understanding air flow and heat transfer with SPF insulation

31 Mar 2016 | Under SPF Insulation | Posted by | 0 Comments
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Think about the last time the door slammed shut when no one else was around. It probably made you jump a bit, right?! No, it wasn’t ghosts, just the wind or air letting you it’s still a force of energy to respect. There are other elements of energy that are more subtle but still important to factor into commercial building energy retention. If we’re going to understand how SPF insulation works so well, we need to take a closer look at four crucial elements of energy:

  1. Moisture flow
  2. Air flow
  3. Vapor condensation
  4. Heat transfer

Moisture in commercial buildings

Moisture, namely water, is the easiest energy flow to detect. If your roof has a leak, you know it’s leaking because of the drip (or flood) coming into your warehouse or office space. Water exposure can be far more difficult to detect when it enters cavities as moisture: microscopic molecules of water that can create devastating environments, most importantly mold. Professional mold remediation from a commercial building can easily cost upwards of $10,000.

Spray Polyurethane Foam, or SPF, insulation expands during the liquid application process. SPF bonds to any substrate, including metal, and effectively seals off openings, cracks, and exposures. SPF roofing is the most efficient commercial roofing solution for eliminating water and moisture exposure.

Air flow in commercial buildings

Air flow through commercial buildings is necessary for ventilation and climate control, especially in extreme weather conditions. Our previous post about maintaining energy efficiency through commercial building envelopes speaks to the multiple layers required to properly control air flow.

Since SPF insulation expands immediately upon contact, it can also grow to seal off air flow to vulnerable areas throughout a building’s envelope. The end result is an airtight, albeit vapor and heat transfer-susceptible, building envelope without additional measures.

Vapor condensation in commercial buildings

The concept of vapor compared to wind because with the distinction of motion: air flow is moving, hence the name, air “flow,” while vapor is moisture or substance, namely moisture, suspended in non-moving air. When air rich with moisture, also known as humidity, is trapped inside a building envelope, it can allow pre-mold spores to develop and compromise the building environment. Some commercial roofing contractors explore the option of adding a Vapor Retarder in commercial roofing, especially with membrane roofing systems. (NRCA)

Heat transfer in commercial buildings

When UV rays strike a built-up roof (BUR) surface, it can conduct heat through the roof surface and raise the building’s attic temperature. BUR surface temperatures can reach as high as 150°. The coinciding attic temperature can easily reach into 120-130° range. This places unnecessary strain on the building’s HVAC system and increases energy usage.

SPF roofing solutions create a monolithic covering to reflect a significant portion of the UV heat radiation. Adding the highly recommended elastomeric UV coating gives the SPF roof another layer of protection.

Our R&A Contracting team is St. Louis’ leader in SPF commercial roofing solutions. If your building is losing energy by moisture, air, vapor, or heat transfer, your first call should be to R&A Contracting. We look forward to hearing from you.

I’d be an idiot if I did not take this opportunity to communicate to you how much we appreciate the way in which you conduct business and take care of our facility. In my experience you, and your team, are at the top of the list of all the roofing companies I’ve dealt with over the years. Thank you!

Jim Lowry - Bissinger's Handcrafted Chocolatier

Eric and crew were really nice to have around. They were courteous, careful and caused little if any disruption. Their work looks good too! To be honest… a good experience with a product that I initially had misgivings about. I’m a convert because of Bubba, Sam and Eric. Thank you.

Jim Lowry - Bissinger's Handcrafted Chocolatier

“I want to thank the crew at R&A for a job well done on our very leaky roof at the shop. It is certainly nice to have the drips and rivers gone from the shop when it is raining. I also wanted you to know how much we appreciated that the guys were able to stay out of our way and allowed us to do business as usual without any problems or interruptions. The roof looks great and the clean-up after the job made it so we couldn’t even tell you’d been here. Thanks for doing what you do so well!”

Jay Moore, President of Safe Way Tire and Auto Center

“My wife and I were on vacation when water pipes burst in our house. We got a hold of Craig and the R&A crew was able to start evacuating the water immediately. The best part was that they were able to start work before we even returned home. It was a very fast turnaround considering the extensive amount of water damage.”

Will from Dardenne Prairie, MO

“Craig and Mike came out in a timely fashion when we needed the work done. They did a reliable and quality job.”

Jerry from SLR Properties

“Craig helped us out tremendously with the insurance process. Timely and very professional.”

Lindell from Greater Missouri Builders (GMB)

“We purchased a house and there was some damage to the roof. Very impressed with the thoroughness of Mike’s inspection. Very comfortable with their explanation of what needed to be fixed. Most impressive was the way they protected our landscaping. Really liked the way they treated me as a valued customer, even though it was only a small project.”

Ross from Troy, MO

“I use R&A Contracting when my commercial roofs receive storm damage. They work on our behalf through every step of the insurance claim process. They perform all of the work and complete the insurance process, making our roofs better than they were before the storm.”

Director of Facilities for a large Property Management Company

“The team at R & A Contracting responded immediately when notified of our water disaster. They removed water-damaged materials and property quickly and restored our home even before the final settlement from our insurance company. They minimized how long our family had to live in a hotel and got us back to normal as fast as possible.”

Will from O'Fallon, MO