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The Continuing Rise of Spray Foam - PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION

The Continuing Rise of Spray Foam transcript
February 21, 2023 at 9:00 a.m.

Editor's note: The following is the transcript of a live interview with Rick Duncan from SPFA. You can read the interview below or listen to the podcast.

Speaker 1: Welcome to Roofing Road Trips with Heidi. Explore the roofing industry through the eyes of a long-term professional within the trade, listen for insights, interviews, and exciting news in the roofing industry today.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Hello and welcome to another Roofing Road Trips from RoofersCoffeeShop. This is Heidi Ellsworth and I am road tripping across country to talk to a new friend who I have just met, Rick Duncan. And Rick is with a spray foam association, and actually it's SPFA, Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance. If you haven't heard of them, they do some amazing work, they are doing great things around sustainability, around helping contractors and roofing companies really get the right products in the right place. So Rick, welcome to Roofing Road Trips.

Rick Duncan: Well, thank you Heidi, and thank you to the RoofersCoffeeShop to provide this invitation. So, looking forward to today.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Well, we're so excited. We are partners now, the SPFA and RoofersCoffeeShop. So we're going to be at your trade show and you have a directory on RoofersCoffeeShop, and we are renting all your articles and promoting your trade show. So it's a great partnership.

Rick Duncan: Excellent. And we're looking forward to having you there this year.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: It is going to be great. So before we dive into all of that, I would love it if you would introduce yourself to everyone and tell us a little bit about SPFA.

Rick Duncan: Okay. Again, my name is Rick Duncan. I'm the executive director for the Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance. We don't usually use that long name, we're just simply the SPFA. And the SPFA is a non-profit trade association that was founded by spray foam roofing contractors in the late 1980s, 1987 to be exact. We've had a couple of different names over the years. And in 2003, we became an independent trade association, and we are primarily represent spray foam contractors that do both spray foam roofing systems as well as spray foam insulation. Since that time, we've grown to more than 700 different contractor businesses in our directory, and we have nearly 100 suppliers and distributor members and 25 consultants. So we provide education, certification programs, technical documentation, government affairs, and basically an entire representation for all spray foam contractors.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Wow. How important is that? That's very cool. And I didn't know I should, but from the '80s, that's impressive.

Rick Duncan: Yes. Yes.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: I would love to hear some of your expertise since you are so involved with this on what you're seeing happening in the market today with spray foam.

Rick Duncan: Well, the industry from the roofing side has been growing steadily since we started spray foaming roofs in the late 1970s. And we've also witnessed a pretty significant growth in the insulation market over the past 15 to 20 years with the emphasis on more efficient buildings, homeowners looking to save money on their heating and cooling cost, we've seen a dramatic rise in the use of spray foam insulation. Some of that has been driven by the fact that now buildings need to be more airtight and spray foam is the only insulation that also provides an air barrier in a single installation. But even more recently, in the past five years or so, we've seen the emergence of a third new market for spray foam products, and that is in geotechnical applications. We have a number of our contractors, in addition to doing either spray foam roofing or insulation, are also doing geotechnical applications where they inject spray foam underneath of a slab of concrete and bring it back to a level state. So that's a growing part of our industry as well.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Very cool. Yeah, I hadn't even thought about that. That makes a lot of sense, especially with everything that's going on, I mean, right now more than ever on instability of a lot of the land and foundations that are going on. So what are you seeing with roofing contractors or contractors in general adding spray foam as a solution within their offerings for their business?

Rick Duncan: Well, what we're seeing some of the demand now for spray foam roofing is really categorized in five areas. We look at efficiency, energy efficiency is key today as we go to a fossil fuel free economy, we're looking at using wind energy and solar panels and other renewables. So it's going to be really important to make your buildings more energy efficient. So spray foam provides a continuous monolithic insulation on the top of a roof without any gaps or fasteners, and it's simply more energy efficient at the same R-value. It also provides an opportunity for low solar heat gain, we can use reflective coatings. It's self-flashing, and the self-flashing part of spray foam makes it uniquely positioned to work with things like the supports for solar panels, which we're seeing installed on more and more roofs. Another area is durability. Spray foam roofs are known to be extremely resistant to weather conditions like hail and high winds, and is very sustainable.

A spray foam roof can last indefinitely as long as you keep it inspected and coated. And I think one of the ways that as we're seeing an increased demand for spray foam roofs, the question is how can a roofing contractor start incorporating spray foam in their business? Well, probably the best way to get started is to reach out to a distributor or a manufacturer of spray foam roofing systems. They're well-equipped to provide materials, equipment, and training to get you started. And once you get going, SPFA provides a number of resources including tech docs, specifications, tech tips, as well as an ISO compliant professional certification program. And for our roofing side, we have a four level individual certification that assures that an installer has met the required knowledge, skills, and abilities of each level. So that's a good way to get started.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah, that's great. And all the resources they need, because through your directories and through your membership guides, they can find those manufacturers and distributors to talk to.

Rick Duncan: Absolutely. We have an online directory with all of our members, which can be categorized by manufacturers or contractors, as well as a printed annual directory of all of our members. So there are two ways to get that information.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah, that's excellent. Well, another place to get information on spray foam is the SprayFoam 2023 Convention and Expo, and that is a great place. So, please tell us about that convention and expo and what people can expect.

Rick Duncan: Well, our annual SprayFoam 2023 Convention and Expo is going to take place from February 12th through 15th in Daytona Beach, Florida. It's the world's largest trade show for the spray foam industry. It attracts more than 1,500 attendees and has over 96 exhibitors in our exhibit hall. And our staff and many volunteers have been working very hard since this summer to put on this event and make it a success.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: What are some of the major highlights that you're seeing for this year's event?

Rick Duncan: Well, we have a number of things going on. We have, first of all, during the first two days of our event, we have two full days of PCP or we call it Professional Certification Program activities. And these include exam prep courses and written exams for all eight levels of our individual certification. Keep in mind that we have four levels for roofing and four levels for insulation, and we also have free field exams during those two days to achieve the master level certification in both insulation and roofing. Also, during those first two days, if you're not interested in going through certification or if you've already been certified, we have some specialized training that includes a two-day Air Barrier Association of America applicators course. And also this year, for the first time, we have a two-day Building Science Fundamentals course, which is being taught by Dr. Joe Lstiburek, who is one of the world's leading experts in building science.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Wow.

Rick Duncan: And if you're not interested in learning, we also have an activity and we have our annual golf event on the afternoon the second day. Then on days three and four is where the real part of our show starts. We start in the morning with the general session keynote featuring Marcus Sheridan, who's going to be talking about engaging on sales and marketing techniques. Also, during those next two days, we have five different sessions, each 45 minutes long, and in each of those sessions we have nine tracks. We have a total of 45 different breakout sessions covering a wide range of topics such as business, legal, safety, quality, regulations, and government affairs, as well as technical topics on insulation and roofing.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Wow.

Rick Duncan: And during one of the afternoon of the first day of the show, we have our National Industry Excellence Awards. That's a luncheon where we recognize the best spray foam applications in seven different categories. And then in the afternoon of both days, we have an exhibit hall with more than 95 exhibitors covering over 60,000 square feet. That's 600 squares for you roofers, which includes showcasing a wide variety of new materials, state-of-the-art equipment, accessories and services for the spray foam insulation and roofing contractors. And then mixed in with all this, we have some other events that will help people relax, as I mentioned earlier, the golf tournament, we have an opening reception, we have a spouse activity program, and also our closing reception. So it gives people plenty of opportunities to network with others in the industry.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: It sounds great. I love how many classes you have too, because that continuing education is so important, and I am really looking forward to hearing the keynote speaker. I mean, I love sales and marketing anyway, and so when I saw that, I was like, "Ooh, this is going to be really good."

Rick Duncan: Yeah, we're excited to have Marcus this year.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah. We're honored that we're going to have a booth on that exhibit floor, so we'll be there for the first time RoofersCoffeeShop, and we're going to be bringing all kinds of fun swag and doing some live interviews from the show, so that will be really fun too. And you just can't complain when you're talking about Daytona Beach in the middle of the winter.

Rick Duncan: Absolutely.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: I love it. As you're talking to your membership into roofing contractors overall out there, what is so important about them coming to this convention specifically?

Rick Duncan: Well, as I mentioned earlier, this is the world's largest trade show for the spray foam industry, and it's really a one-stop shop for spray foam contractors. You can attend, well, not individually, but you can attend up to 45 breakout sessions. If you bring nine people, you can get all 45 covered. But we cover a wide range of topics that are going to help you to improve your business, increase your knowledge, and sharpen your skills. And you also will have a great opportunity to network with other contractors, industry leaders and manufacturers, so you can see some of the latest developments and materials and equipment that are available to help you grow your business. So we find this as a great opportunity to spend four days making your business better.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: You know what, that networking, being able to talk to other contractors and what they're doing with spray foam, the type of projects that they're doing, and then talking to the manufacturers, service providers, I think that's invaluable. And I think that's a lot of times you come back with so many nuggets, but that one-on-one that you have with other contractors that are offering the same services as you do, who maybe are not your direct competitors, they're in another part of the country, that can really make a huge difference in finding new techniques, new ways of doing things. That's sometimes some of my favorite part.

Rick Duncan: Yes, absolutely.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Okay. How can our contractors register and attend the SprayFoam 2023 Convention and Expo?

Rick Duncan: Okay. It is really easy. That's the easiest question of the day. You go to our website, which is www.sprayfoam.org, and you see on the main page, there's a link to our show, just click on that link, or if you want to go directly to it, it's simply sprayfoam.org/sprayfoam23, and that will get you right to our registration page. You'll also see on that landing page, all the information about the show, including details on our breakout sessions, the exhibitors, and the exhibit hall layout. You also get some information about our National Industry Excellence Awards and our other social events that we're having during the conference. So the whole conference, all the information is available there.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: That's excellent. And people should be getting their hotels right away, I mean, because there's a lot going on in Daytona Beach, right?

Rick Duncan: Absolutely. Our show is actually the week before the Daytona 500. So we were able to get the hotel reserve for that time, but right after that, the following weekend, the Daytona 500 starts. So we have some people that are actually staying for that, so they're getting two for one.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Awesome.

Rick Duncan: But yes, the hotels are filling fast, our host hotel is sold out, that's the Daytona Grande, but we have some arrangements with some nearby hotels, including the Hilton and a few others, all within walking distance of the Ocean Center.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: That's great. We were there last year for the Florida Roofing Show, and it's a great convention hall, it's a great location. So I can see that this show is going to be excellent and at the perfect time of year.

Rick Duncan: Absolutely. Yeah. And we're looking forward to it.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah, me too. Well, thank you so much. Thank you for sharing this information. I'm really excited to learn more. You'll see me in a lot of those classes. This is such an important part of the roofing industry, and then we're honored to be able to bring it to the forefront through the RoofersCoffeeShop and also be there. So thank you for the information, and thank you for having us.

Rick Duncan: Well, thank you, Heidi. We look forward to seeing you in Daytona.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: We will see you in Daytona. And for everyone listening, you can find all this information, like we said, sprayfoam.org, or on the directory on RoofersCoffeeShop, you can find all kinds of information, great articles, videos, all the things you need to really research and learn more about spray foam. As always, please listen to all of our podcasts, which are under the read list and watch initiative with Roofing Road Trips under podcasts, or on your favorite podcast channel, be sure to subscribe and hit the notifications so you don't miss a single episode. We'll be seeing you next time on Roofing Road Trips.

Speaker 1: Make sure to subscribe to our channel and leave a review. Thanks for listening. This has been Roofing Road Trips with Heidi from the Rooferscoffeeshop.com.



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