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Dennis Davidson
Posted: Mar 16, 2009 11:33 AM
Interior contractors becoming roofers
I'd like to get some feed back regarding the idea of interior foam contractors getting into the roofing market.

My personal opinion - it's like asking someone that grows apples to start growing oranges. They are both trees but have very different requirements to properly grow.
Posted: Mar 16, 2009 01:32 PM
I started off building my own coolers and freezers with spray foam back in the late 90's because I was didn't have the money to hire someone to do the work.

Although I am a pretty decent sprayer, just after Hurricane Katrina, I moved into the roofing part by doing my own roof on my 50,000 sq. ft processing facility.

My first roof was 6000 sq. ft and was a T&G that we removed all of the pebbles off of. Applied 1 1/2 to 2 inches of 3 Pound and coated with an elatomeric silicone coating.

By the time that I got finished with my 50,000 sq. ft facility a month later, I was too embarrased to show anyone the flat roof that I had done when I started. Somehow it works, but it is rougher than trying to collect on a Madoof Investment.

As I have said in other post, whenever I think that I am getting good, I visit one of my competitors roofs that was done in 1981. It is as flat as a good concrete finish in a drive way with no waves and no noticable rises or pitches.

I have been doing this since 2005 and I am about a 7 on a scale of 1-10. What I would have given to work with someone that knew how to do this in the beginning. That experience would have been invaluable.

I still charge for a 10's work though! One day, my competitors will be looking at my work and saying, "We still aren't as good as that seafood guy!"

Hats off to you seasoned veterans. I can attest that it is not as easy as just pulling the trigger. A lot of planning and preparation goes into making a decent looking SPF Roof.

P.S. Its raining today, no spraying in South Louisiana
Dennis Davidson
Posted: Mar 17, 2009 08:03 AM
Any interior guys thinking of getting into roofing should ask for help. There are some contractors out there that you can hire on a per job basis to help train you and your crews. My brother and I have worked with other contractors around the country many times. We think of it as helping the foam industry as a whole, not as helping our competitors.
We were very fortunate to have our father around to teach us about foam equipment and how to spray. He started his own foam roofing co. in 1963.
My brother became an instructor at a spray foam school and I have been hired by contractors as a foam & coatings instructor several times.
My point is, ask for help before you start spraying a roof. Practice spraying smooth foam on your interior jobs. The worst thing you can do is to jump right into foam roofing. (Unless you have your own buildings to practice on.)
Posted: Mar 17, 2009 02:38 PM
We could have used you in the beginning and can probably still use you today.

My first roof on my building, I didn't do a tape line anywhere. Looked like Kindergarten at best.

The second one that I did taped everything in nice pretty lines took my time on my penetrations and voila, looked ten times better than the first one.

I don't care who you are, but if you have not seen someone do it before, it will take you a long time to get good. We finally had one of WDG's Applicators come down and show us the ropes and we are getting pretty good for a change.

Dennis Davidson
Posted: Mar 18, 2009 07:10 PM
My brother use to run the foam school for WDG. He was their first instructor when they started out.
We can make ourselves available to help out you or anyone else interested, especially newer guys.

Posted: Mar 20, 2009 07:35 AM
I have had the pleasure of working with Macs and his brother. Folks it dont get any better than this. Iam now a instructor Myself with over 20 years of applacations and availble as well.
Dennis Davidson
Posted: Mar 20, 2009 08:56 AM
Acrylic55 - Thank's for the compliment!
As far as field experience goes, I don't think any other current foam instructor has more than you do.
For those just starting into spray foam or thinking about it, I would definitely go to a spray foam school to get a basic understanding of the world of foam from someone like Acrylic55. Then seek out a seasoned contractor willing to help you utilize the knowledge gained in a foam school and put it to work in the field.
Posted: Mar 29, 2009 04:35 PM
...yeppers mac,,,
its kinda like roofers tryin to do interior work,,,
its more than just sprayin foam in a wall cavity willy nilly every now and again,,,

or in my neighborhood,,,the machinist/part time foamer,,,the drywaller/part time foamer,,,the filterglass installer/part time foamer,,,or the roofer(pick your type)/part time foamer,,,
thanx airtight,,may i have another,,,lol
Dennis Davidson
Posted: Mar 30, 2009 09:29 AM
Actually, I know several "foam roofers" that also do interior, including me. Yes, interior foam is different than roofing. I'm not knocking interior guys, it's hard work too. But foam roofing is 10 times harder to get it right! The point of this topic is that spraying interior foam is a difficult job while a properly applied foam roof is an art.
Posted: Mar 30, 2009 09:10 PM
thats for sure. My roofs look a helluva lot better today than six months ago.

I still can't get over a roof that Bayer installed in uptown New Orleans. 75 X 140 and there is not a dip anywhere in sight. I even laid down on it and scanned over the entire length and found no flaws. Checked the depth and found 2 inches uniformly throughout.

Boy, I hope my Gama 250 puts me in the same category as these guys. My stuff looks good, but definately not that good. Maybe is this darn E-20 and not me.

I need to come spray a roof with you old timers so ya'll can set me straight!

Dennis Davidson
Posted: Apr 01, 2009 10:57 AM
In my prime I was that good! I could consistently lay out a smooth uniform roof at any thickness (using and old H-II and a "D" or "AR" gun). In fact, when I was a Dow Corning Applicator their third party inspection company (Atec Inspections) would bring their new inspectors on my roofs to show them what a foam roof should look like. I was equally that good with coatings. I could spray a 30,000 sq ft roof and have a variance of only 2mils across the entire surface.
The roof your looking at could have been sprayed using a robot.
Gerry Wagoner
Posted: Apr 27, 2009 02:38 PM
The roof in question was likely sprayed with a robot.

I well remember my first roof in 1984. Highly undulated and ugly. But they worked and worked well.

The old D gun had a more loyal following than the original Probler. Oddly enough, our first FoamCat & foamcat gun sprayed some really nice roof foam. R-11 foam was a tad easier to spray too.

But it can be done well and should be.

Do it well, and do it for a profit,


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