Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) insulation can offer important, and valuable, benefits to property owners. SPF is often critically important to keeping your building’s roof secure from the elements.
As with other chemical substances, SPF must be handled with extreme care by those who are applying it. From how to operate commercial spray foam machines to safe workplace practices, there are some vital safety measures that must be observed by SPF insulation contractors.
For starters, the care of commercial spray foam machines and related spray foam equipment is crucial to ensure safety, proper installation and optimum performance.
SPF equipment should be inspected, cleaned, and repaired regularly. In fact, proper maintenance of all equipment is vital to keeping it in running order. With this said, contractors should always have a current supply of spare parts in their rig to minimize downtime in the case that equipment failure occurs during an SPF job.
Also, you should always store SPF chemicals within the spray foam manufacturer’s recommended temperature range. Storing products outside of these temperature parameters can lead to reduced shelf life, and can make the insulation itself challenging to apply correctly.
Finally, during installation, commercial spray foam machines and chemicals should be set to the SPF manufacturer-recommended temperatures and pressures to yield ideal SPF.
Check Out These EPA-Recommended Best Practices
Safe work practices should always be in place to prevent exposure at every stage of SPF installation. People who are not involved in the installation process should leave the premises during application.
SPF applicators and team members should incorporate “best practices” based on what kind of SPF product you are using, as recommended by the product’s manufacturer, to avoid exposure to chemicals.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there are several spray foam and commercial spray foam machine best practices professionals should follow, including:
Training and comprehension
- Participate in free online training for necessary information.
- Receive hands-on, real-world classroom training on the safe uses of SPF.
- Always read the product and equipment manufacturer’s label and safety data sheet and follow directions to reach consistent curing conditions and times.
- Carefully manage the temperature and other area conditions while the insulation dries or cures.
- Ensure all of your application helpers fully understand in advance how to safely handle equipment, such as commercial spray foam machines, chemicals, the risks of exposure, aspects that impact curing, and provide the appropriate safety and protective equipment at each job site.
Preparation for SPF application
- Ensure your professionals and their team are all healthy enough to wear a respirator.
- Vacate building occupants and other workers who may be unprotected.
- Review the product manufacturer’s label and safety data sheet (SDS), and follow directions to achieve consistent curing conditions and times.
- To avoid chemical exposure, always handle and store chemical ingredients properly.
Spraying, streaming, or beading application process
- Before getting started, isolate the job site to prevent isocyanates and other chemical vapors from dispersing to other rooms or floors of the building.
- Ensure your workers wear protective safety equipment at all times to prevent exposure to vapor, mist, particulates and dust. Safety pieces should include a respirator, and chemical resistant gloves and clothing.
- Make sure the area is well-ventilated.
Clean up after preparation, application, and trimming
- Clean your job site thoroughly to avoid exposing other workers to dust and particles that may contain dangerous chemicals,
We hope these best practices can help you educate your SPF team about the risks of spray foam installation, and how to protect you, your team and the building occupants to avoid harmful situations.
Intech Equipment & Supply provides resources, training and a broad selection of personal safety equipment available via our online store to help you make sure that your job site is safe and productive.
Intech provides top SPF insulation equipment, sprayfoam rigs and more. We are committed to helping you with the knowledge, equipment and parts you need to be successful.
Call us at 866-652-9975 or visit our online store for details.