The real value of foam insulation for steel buildings can be recognized during the application process. Since the materials are spray-applied and adhere to the substrate they come in contact with, every crack and crevice is filled along the way, creating a tight building envelop that amounts to reduced energy consumption. SPF insulation materials provide thermal and moisture management systems for steel buildings.
In addition, compared to other insulation materials such as polystyrene and fiberglass, the R-value of spray-applied polyurethane insulation for steel buildings is almost twice as much. Besides, polyurethane insulation can:
· Increase the structural stability of steel buildings
· Serve as vapor barrier that helps reduce build up of moisture
· Provide acoustical insulation
On the downside, there are many concerns about the use of SPFs for insulation of steel buildings. First, extra care must be taken when handling polyurethane foam insulation because this material is combustible. During storage and installation, they must not be exposed to open flames, cutting and welding torches, electric heaters, high intensity lamps, and smoking materials.
In addition, an SPF system, alone, can be costly when compared to traditional insulation products for steel buildings. During the actual application, fumes and mists from the spraying process are created that can be harmful. Contact with these can pose various health effects to the skin, eyes, and respiratory system. Applicators, helpers, and occupants of steel buildings within close proximity to the spray operation, must protect themselves from fumes, mists, and spills through the use of respirators, solvent resistant gloves, and protective clothing.