I read lots of online forums where people discuss issues with their pole buildings. One all too common complaint is their roofs “drip”. For these people, they saved a few dollars when their buildings were built, by making no provision to control condensation from forming on the underside of the building’s roof steel, only to have the grief of how to solve the problem after the fact.
I have to confess, I have recommended to more than one person to investigate using spray foam insulation as a possible solution. While I’ve never used it myself, I have heard many reports of condensation issues being resolved by proper application.
Could be I will have to rethink my stance, not due necessarily to performance issues, but due to alleged health risks.
It may turn out the problems with spray foam insulation in buildings may be bigger and wider spread than Chinese Drywall. Attorneys have filed federal law suits against numerous spray foam manufacturers and installers throughout the country. The first cases were filed against Demilec USA LLC and Masco Services Group Corp. Even more law suits appear to be on the horizon with buildings containing problematic spray foam from a wide range of manufacturers and installers.
Spray foam insulation, also known as SPF, has become a very popular method of insulation over the past few years. The insulation is manufactured at the building site by the installer mixing side A and side B and spraying it to the underside of roof steel and exterior walls. The foam is supposed to become inert and nontoxic. If the foam is off ratio, if all of the variables are not taken into consideration properly during installation (temperature, humidity, mixture, ventilation, properly working equipment etc.), if the foam is bad, or if the foam is expired, if the spray method is not correct, if the building is not properly ventilated, etc., the foam, and all of its chemical components, may not cure properly. If this happens, the foam can give off very toxic gas and dangerous chemicals inside the building.
Also at risk, are the building owners who may have been directly exposed to the off gassing during installation.
Spray foam problems have caused some building owners to be unable to occupy their buildings. As of today, the Consumer Product Safety Commission does not have an acceptable and safe method to remediate problematic spray foam.
I will stick with the same recommendation I have been making for years – when installing a steel roof, always place a properly sealed, insulated vapor barrier between the roof framing and the roofing. It is an investment well worth making, and safe for use.