It's a common misconception that spray polyurethane foam is a new product. However, the commercial production of polyurethane foam began in 1954, and early forms of spray foam were used in roofing for the first time in 1970. Thus, spray foam roofing (such as is installed by professionals like Armstrong Installation Service) has several decades of history behind it, and is by no means a "new" or "experimental" product. If you're considering having spray foam roofing materials used on your home or building, knowing a bit about the history of this product will help you gain a thorough understanding of its safety and utility.
Polyurethane spray foam was initially invented for military use.
Developed in the 1940s, it was initially used in the construction of military airplanes. It was not until about 10 years later that polyurethane foams entered the commercial market. Today, there are several different variants of spray foam used for different purposes. Open-cell foam is used for interior walls, whereas closed-cell spray foam is more often used in roofs and other outdoor applications because of its more compact cell structure and ability to serve as a water barrier.
The device that combines the two components of spray foam was created in 1953.
Spray foam roofing materials are initially present as two liquids. When these liquids come together, they form a dense foam. The apparatus to combine the chemicals was created in 1953 by a scientist named Walter Baugham. It was called the "Blendometer," and today's spray foam applicators are very similar in structure and function to the original Blendometer.
The demand for spray foam roofing rose drastically in the 1970s.
Around this time, the cost of energy begin to rise, and consumers were looking for energy-efficient solutions. Spray foam began to be used as a roofing material because of its ability to insulate and reduce energy bills. Spray foam has had a recent "second rise" in the 2010s, thanks once again to concern for energy conservation.
Studies in the 1980s confirmed the energy-saving affects of spray foam.
With spray foam roofs now present across the nation, some independent laboratories began testing the energy saving ability of spray foam. Oakridge Labs and Texas A&M were among the first organizations to collect and analyze data on spray foam roofing. Their research led to the development of better products, new technologies and new application techniques to make spray foam roofs even more energy-efficient and sustainable.
Some people steer clear of spray foam roofing because they've heard myths that it's fragile or unsafe. However. spray foam roofing has been used for decades, and researchers have found it to be a safe and effective way to reduce a building's energy use. The fact that roofs from the 1970s are still around today should quickly dispel any myths regarding its lack of durability.Share