Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) Roofing Contractor Qualifications
Fixing your flat roof can be a costly commitment, so it makes sense that you want to find the right partner. Not only do you want somebody that is reliable, but you want a team that has gone through the proper training and certification programs.
At West Roofing Systems, we have been installing Spray Polyurethane Foam Roofing Systems for over 38 years. During that time, we have put the utmost importance on training and certifications for our team members.
That’s why we put together this article, to walk you through what credentials an SPF roofing team should have along with where to find reliable contractors in your area.
Why are Proper Qualifications Important?
The application of spray foam roofing is a process unlike other roofing systems; the contractor needs to be precise with the application and have a solid understanding of the chemicals they are using.
SPF roofing is installed in 4 steps:
- Preparing the existing substrate
- Applying the layer of Spray Polyurethane Foam
- Apply base Silicone coating
- Applying top Silicone coating along with granules
If any of these steps are performed improperly, your roof will not be seamless and waterproof. It may not protect from damage but also cause more damage. Unlike traditional roofing, it takes specialized knowledge of the SPF chemicals and a precise hand to correctly apply the SPF roofing system.
Certifications and Training
With any construction profession, there are certifications and training programs that are designed to keep the contractor safe, protect your property along with the people around the project site. If you know what kind of certification to look for, you will be able to identify a reliable contractor.
SPFA Professional Certification Program (PCP)
The Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA) is one of the industry’s largest organizations. They offer educational and technical resources for the spray polyurethane foam industry.
The SPFA has an ISO-17024 compliant certification program that has multiple levels, requires the contractor to pass an exam and meet the criteria for a certification. These courses can cost anywhere between $1,450 and $2,100 and requires annual certification renewal.
The four levels of the SPFA Professional Certification Program (PCP) are:
- SPFA PCP Assistant Certification – Individuals involved in the assistance of the installation of spray polyurethane foam in thermal insulation or roofing installations.
- SPFA PCP Installer Certification – Individuals who have some experience in spraying foam with the guidance of a more experienced Master Installer or Project Manager.
- SPFA PCP Master Installer – Individuals who have extensive experience spraying SPF in various applications, and has demonstrated competence in SPF applications through a field examination.
- SPFA PCP Project Manager – Individuals who are involved in all aspects of the installation and project management of SPF.
Spray Polyurethane Foam Chemical Health and Safety Training
In addition to the PCP training, individual team members can take the SPFA Spray Polyurethane Foam Chemical Health and Safety Training, which is offered by the American Chemistry Council and Center for the Polyurethanes Industry.
While the PCP program is for project management and proper installation, the Health and Safety Training covers personal protective equipment, engineering controls and the handling and disposal of SPF.
When you are talking to a prospective contractor, make sure that they put an emphasis on continual training and education. It’s important to make sure that their teams are not only keeping up with skills, techniques, and regulations but that they are also learning about new equipment and materials that could make your project easier or cost-effective.
At West Roofing Systems, our teams hold many certifications: OSHA 500, 510, 7500 Certified Trainer, NRCA Certified in Fall Protection among others. Boz regularly conducts training for our teams and makes sure that everyone is up to date on safety and installation standards.
Where to Find Reliable Contractors
There are a few ways to find a reliable contractor for your commercial flat roof. The first is the steadfast, asking for recommendations. You can join groups for facility managers, property owners and the like to access an experienced network that is there to help you.
You can also find reliable contractors by using trustworthy databases. When looking for a reliable SPF roofing contractor, you can use the following:
- Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA)
- National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA)
- Better Business Bureau (BBB)
What to Ask Your Contractors
You will probably talk to multiple contractors during your search. To ensure you ask all the questions, it helps to know what you should look for ahead of time. Create a list with the essential information you want to ask and follow that list every time you interview a potential contractor.
Here are a few things you should consider asking:
Safety at your facility should be the number one priority; you want to hire a company with an excellent safety record to protect them team and yours as well. Consider these things when talking you your contractor about safety:
- Experience Modification Rate – insurance companies use to rate a contractor’s previous claim experience and can help you decide if they are a safe contractor. You want a contractor with an EMR at or below 1.0.
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration Citations – OSHA keeps a database of all citations that are issued to contractors, you can find them at https://www.osha.gov/.
- Insurance – Make sure your contractor is backed by an A+ rated insurance company. Reliable insurance companies do not back poor performing contractors.
After you have narrowed down your list of potential contractors, you have every right to ask for their references. Upon request, a contractor should be able to provide a list of current or past clients for you to contact to get more insight on how they work.
Have some questions prepared and reach out to a few contacts on their reference list. If they agreed to be a reference, they shouldn’t have a problem answering a few questions on the contractor’s behalf.
It’s not uncommon to ask a potential contractor for a portfolio of work. This portfolio could include photos, videos, interviews and written descriptions of completed projects. There are a few reasons why you should ask to see a potential contractor’s portfolio:
- Shows their proven successes
- Adds credibility for the contractor
- Ability to see quality of past projects
Investing in a commercial roofing project can be a daunting task. But by being prepared and asking the right questions, you can find the right contractor to deliver high-quality work for a good price.
Although it would be just as easy for you to choose a different commercial roofing contractor in your area; choosing West Roofing Systems as turnkey roofing company will provide you with highly trained teams and award-winning service. Our services are flexible and diverse; we can recoat, repair or replace your facility’s roof so that it lasts decades.
Author: Jack Moore
Jack Moore is President and CEO of West Roofing Systems, Inc. With 21 years of SPF Roofing experience, West Roofing Systems has received numerous accolades for his leadership in the commercial roofing industry, including 18 industry excellence awards from the Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance. He is an active member of the National Roofing Contractor’s Association and the Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance.