Hurricane Resistance with Spray Foam Insulation

 

 

Are you looking to add hurricane resistance to your home or commercial building with spray foam? Whether rebuilding in Florida after Hurricane Ian or ensuring your home or commercial building has the best opportunity to withstand a catastrophic storm, spray-applied polyurethane foam is the best choice for insulation and structural integrity.  

Building codes have sought to protect against the risks of these harsh conditions in Florida and other areas most susceptible to hurricanes. Many new regulations have standards to hold up against Category 3 (120 mph sustained) winds. However, as we discovered during Hurricane Ivan, with its sustained wind speeds of ~109 mph, many buildings built to spec failed. Specifically, windows, roofs, doors, and wall surfaces succumbed to massive damage, despite being built to withstand these conditions.  

 

HOW SPRAY FOAM HOLDS UP 

 

In 2007, a study at the University of Florida demonstrated how closed-cell spray-applied polyurethane foam (SPF) insulation material protected the roof from wind uplift and reduced the likelihood of water infiltration during a storm event.  

 

The study had two significant findings:  

 

  1. Using a 3-inch continuous blanket (either single surface or fillets between joists/rafters) of closed-cell SPF insulation on the underside of the roof increased the roof panel’s wind uplift capacity by 2.6 times over mechanical fasteners and nailing patterns.
     
  1. Closed-cell SPF added anywhere from 75 to 300 percent more racking strength. The increase varied based on the substrate materials used (gypsum, OSB, plywood, vinyl siding, or polyiso board).  

  

In plain terms, insulating with spray foam increases the chance that your roof will stay intact and that substrate materials will hold their shape & structure against massive wind loads.  

 

MORE THAN JUST WIND 

 

While hurricane-force winds and uplift are significant issues during storms, the story is often marked by widespread flooding and water damage. Thankfully, SPF wall insulation outperforms every other insulation option for water and mold resistance.   

SPF wall insulation is so superior that the Federal Emergency Management Agency lists closed-cell SPF’s merits in its “Home Builder’s Guide to Coastal Construction.” 

 FEMA notes the increased speed of installation for spray foam, the rigid moisture barrier, and spray foam insulation’s “exceptional flood resistance.” Closed-cell spray foam insulation performs as an air and bulk water barrier and a moisture vapor retarder.   

 

THE BEST OPTION FOR THE BEST OUTCOMES  

Catastrophic weather in coastal areas continues to be a concern. And while no building product is a silver bullet or complete protection from the damages from these storm events, products like Accufoam® can be an intelligent piece of the puzzle in protecting your property from the elements.  you the best opportunity for the best outcome with hurricanes hit, saving you money in the s you the best opportunity for the best outcome with hurricanes hit, saving you money in the storm, and year round with its significantly better insulating capability compared to fibrous materials like batts, cellulose and rockwool.