Research Studies

The proof is in the performance

Research has been conducted on the performance of spray foam roofing systems since the 1970s, including studies spanning nearly 20 years of use. No surprise to us, the results are conclusive. Here is a sampling of studies and findings:


Texas A&M Study

A Comparison of Built-Up and Foam Roofing Systems – In 1974, dissatisfied with the performance of traditional tar and gravel built-up roofing (BUR) systems, the Physical Plant Department of Texas A&M University began looking for viable roofing alternatives. Impressed with the advantages of sprayed polyurethane foam (SPF) roofs, they issued contracts to reroof several buildings with SPF systems and began monitoring these installations. Based on their performance, only SPF roofs have been installed for new roof applications since 1977.
Read the report


Performance Based Studies Research Group

In 1995, DFW Urethane contracted with the Performance Based Studies Research Group (PBSRG), operated by the Del E. Webb School of Construction at Arizona State University. The PBSRG conducts research on the performance of contractors and construction systems. Its Alpha Roof Rating System Program, originally developed by PBSRG Director Dr. Dean Kashiwagi in the mid-1990s, serves as an all-encompassing continuous improvement program. The Alpha program has resulted in the documented performance of an SPF roofing system that can last for more than 20 years – the “Alpha System.”
See DFW Urethane’s latest performance ratings


SPF Roofing Stands up to Hurricane Winds

Reports by the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) on how structures were impacted by hurricanes Katrina and Rita are quite favorable toward spray foam roofing. See select quotes, summaries and the complete 270-page report.
Access the links


Navy Study

The Naval Civil Engineering Laboratory’s “Investigation of Spray-Applied Polyurethane Foam Roofing Systems-II” was initiated in a continuing effort to reduce maintenance and repair costs of the extensive roofing systems at Naval installations. It was conducted over nearly 10 years to measure the performance of SPF roofing systems and protective elastomeric coating systems.
Read the summary


Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) Roofing Systems: Life Expectancy, Durability & Life Cycle Costs

This article by Mason Knowles, president of Mason Knowles Consulting, LLC, describes the origins and initial findings of Dr. Dean Kashiwagi’s groundbreaking performance-based roof surveys; the findings of an independent, third-party investigation of SPF roofing systems by Dr. René Dupuis of Structural Research, Inc.; research on moisture intrusion, wind resistance and long-term costs; and the impact of roofing waste on landfills.
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Sustainability Characteristics of SPF Roofing and Insulation Systems – A Review of Work to Date.

Building owners have used spray polyurethane foam (SPF) as a roofing, insulation and sealing product for many years. Recent research and performance studies on SPF applications demonstrate many sustainable characteristics of the material. As documented in the many studies cited in this article, SPF roofing systems have a long life, are renewable, save energy, add durability to buildings, control moisture in buildings, and contribute very little to the waste stream. The use of SPF systems can significantly affect the durability and climate control of a building, increase structural strength, provide effective air barriers and control moisture.
Learn more about SPF’s sustainability


Field Performance of Spray Polyurethane Foam Flashings

This study, by structural researcher René M. Dupuis, documents the results of a survey chartered to determine the viability of the SPF material as a flashing material over a wide range of substrates. The use of SPF and appropriate coatings were observed to work quite well as singular flashing systems. The use of metal counterflashing was not seen to be required as part of an SPF roof system. SPF as a flashing material in concert with an SPF roofing system offered the advantages of no seams or joints to allow for water penetration, and no differential movement between materials. Read the full report