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How spray foam can help aid remediation efforts following extreme weather events

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Extreme weather events like hurricanes and floods can cause serious damage to buildings. As a result, these extreme weather events can cause various kinds of damage to buildings including:

  • Wind damage (for instance, shingle and/or roof uplift, cladding uplift, impact damage from debris, structural movements and finish cracks)
  • Water damage as a result of wind-driven rain ingress, roof, wall and window leaks, and water ingress at wind/impact damage points
  • Flooding-related issues particularly in basements, crawlspaces and living areas

The damage sustained, whether wind-driven or water-driven, can be extensive and expensive to repair. Spray foam insulation can be a key component in the design of building assemblies against future disaster-driven damage. Following a hurricane or flooding, like the recent Hurricane Sandy in the New York and New Jersey area, spray foam like Icynene, is an investment future preparedness and protection.

The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has identified closed-cell spray foams as a flood-resistant material used in coastal homes due to its resilience.  The agency indicates in its Coastal Building Materials Technical Fact Sheet number 8, that flooding accounts for a large percentage of the damage caused by a coastal storm. Building materials exposed to flooding must be resilient enough to sustain a certain amount of water exposure in order to avoid the need for complete replacement after the flood.”

The agency also defines any flood-resistant material as “any building material capable of withstanding direct and prolonged contact with floodwaters without sustaining significant damage.”

Whether open-cell or closed-cell, spray foam insulation is not only effective air-barrier and helps minimize heating and cooling costs, but offers additional benefits – particularly in extreme weather events.  Closed-cell spray foam can be used a water-resistant barrier to help deflect moisture away, while open-cell spray foam breathes for bi-directional drying. In upcoming blog posts, Building Genius addresses how spray foam in roofing, walls and basement/crawlspaces can help protect against extreme weather.

Your clients can learn more about how spray foam insulation aids remediation efforts here.

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