Case Study: Settle Warehouse Encapsulation

Exterior view of a commercial building being fireproofed inside

Tornado damage paired to a metal warehouse compounds problems

Conner Settle of White Hall Company had more to worry about than just repairing the roof a tornado had torn from his Convent, Louisiana warehouse. While the damage by the storm was a problem, he discerned that there were additional concerns to be considered as he made decisions about how to move forward.

Even with a new roof, the metal warehouse would reach temperatures that most employees would find intolerable. His team had a big cleaning job before the tornado, but with the debris and destruction left in its wake, that job was even bigger. Working in triple digits temperatures would put a damper on even the most diligent workers.

In addition, the newly renovated space would be home to sensitive electronics that also require much cooler, more regulated temperatures to work at full capacity. Clearly, Settle needed more than a quick fix. He needed a cost-effective plan that would alleviate the damage caused by the tornado and prevent further storm damage, that would extend the life of the space, and that would also make it a more hospitable place to work – for both humans and machines.

Certified insulation contractors offer a multi-purpose solution

Settle got in touch with Sunlight Contractors, and the owner Corey Yates, a spray foam specialist with mastery level certification from the SPFA as well as a Building Performance Institute and Gold Star contractor, came out to inspect the site immediately.

His carefully considered proposal offered a means for Settle to immediately repair the tornado damage while also addressing the temperature issue. Corey recommended using open cell spray polyurethane foam as an airtight new cap for the warehouse. The insulation would not only ward off the heat of summer and the chill of winter, both of which have the potential of wreaking havoc on anyone working inside the building, but it would also strengthen the building’s infrastructure, helping it weather future natural disaster with increased robustness. He also recommended insulating the warehouse’s walls with this innovative tool for regulating temperatures.

Before they could do anything, however, Corey and his team had to remove the mildewed, ineffective fiberglass insulation that the previous owners had installed. Not only had the fiberglass been ripped and frayed by years of wear and tear, even during its best days, the impact it would have had on the temperatures within the space were extremely limited. While it was cheap enough to stick the material up under the roof deck, it was costly considering the minimal functionality it served.

After getting rid of the old fiberglass insulation, Corey and the Sunlight Contractors insulation installers applied 6,536 sq. ft. of open cell spray foam at a thickness of 5.5 inches to the warehouse’s metal roof deck sheathing and gable end walls. This step sealed the perimeter of the ceiling, creating a super-insulated airtight cap on the top of the building to stop conditioned air from leaking out and prevent the hot roof from radiating heat inward during the summer. This also eliminates the sweating of cold metal objects above the drop ceiling.

They also installed 4,329 sq. ft. of open cell spray foam at a thickness of 4 inches on the metal walls of the building. The foam expands and fills all voids, gaps, and odd-shaped cavities around pipes, wires and cross bridging. The hearty insulation serves to regulate temperatures throughout the day and over the course of each season. Because spray foam is highly durable, it also provides an extra layer of protection in the event of inclement weather.

Spray foam insulation resolves multiple industrial problems

In less than two days, temperatures had dropped inside Settle’s Convent, Louisiana warehouse from 115°F into the mid-80s. The difference was felt by White Hall staff as they continued their cleanup, and it will be felt by the computers and electronics maintained in the space.

Settle recommends others in the industrial sector look to Sunlight Contractors to help regulate temperatures and shore up infrastructure in metal warehouses and storage units, saying, “Service has been quick, reliable and flexible. They offer all the information you need to make the right decision to meet your needs. [I] would highly recommend [them] to anyone I know and will make them my first choice for any further foam insulation needs.”

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