richard kurtz lapolla spray foam airtight multi-family

Lapolla Chairman, Richard Kurtz, Cutting Energy Costs At His and Others’ Buildings

ricahrd kurtz lapolla airtight spray foam multi-family

Kevin R. Wexler/Photographer

As a landlord, Richard Kurtz of the Kamson Corp. in Englewood Cliffs faced a few expenses that just seemed to keep growing: insurance. Taxes. And heating costs.

He couldn't do much about the first two, but he decided to tackle energy costs at the roughly 14,000 apartments Kamson owns in the Northeast. That led him to become a majority shareholder about a decade ago in a Houston-based company, Lapolla Industries Inc., which makes spray foam insulation and other energy-saving products.

Kurtz, who also is the chairman of Lapolla's board, said that through Lapolla's AirTight division, he has cut energy costs in half at his apartment complexes in Lodi and Garfield by adding spray foam insulation, wireless thermostats and more efficient boilers and water heaters.

Now, Kurtz plans to do the same at his other complexes, and he's also reaching out to other landlords. Lapolla's AirTight division recently signed a $1 million-plus contract to improve the energy efficiency at Jacob Ford Village, a 270-unit Morristown complex owned by Rochester, N.Y.-based Home Properties.

"This is serious savings for a landlord," Kurtz said. "I feel saving on energy offers the greatest upside and success for property owners." It's also better for the environment, he added.

The AirTight program costs $3,000 to $4,000 per apartment, Kurtz said, but the savings on utility bills will allow property owners to recover those costs in five to eight years. Most of Kamson's portfolio consists of two-and three-story garden apartment complexes, and the company pays heating costs in 90 percent of them.

Brent Kohere, regional vice president for Home Properties, said he was drawn to AirTight's program because AirTight offers a turnkey package, including helping his company get state rebates for the improvements.

"We're looking at some substantial energy savings," Kohere said. Between the rebates and the energy savings, he said, "it essentially pays for itself over a few years."

Kurtz gives much of the credit for AirTight to Bill Murphy, a longtime Kamson employee who developed the program.

"Landlords seem to be more interested now in getting more efficient heating systems than in the past," said Murphy.


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lapolla spray foam cold weather insulation tips

Lapolla Tech Tip – Cold Weather

Cold weather brings additional challenges for the spray foam contractor. These challenges are easily addressed, but not easily remembered until the contractor begins to experience the issues which are always present during cold weather application The first issue is being aware that the temperature is about to change, and ordering the appropriate reactivity product to address the upcoming change. Below is a chart showing the lower end of the application range for each product.

When spray applied polyurethane foam is applied in colder conditions than intended for the formulated reactivity, the results can include a smooth glossy surface, friability, poor yield, and poor adhesion. There is some ability, although limited, to adjust for fluctuations in temperature. Often referred to as “dialing in” a foam during the application, the applicator can adjust the preheats and hose temperatures as well as the pressure of the proportioning unit.

The proper storage of both components is critical for a successful application during cold weather conditions. Both components must be at a minimum of 70°F to insure that the supply pumps can move the material to the spray machine at an appropriate rate. Both materials will thicken as they cool. The resin or “B” side will get very thick and hard to pump very quickly as the temperature drops below 70°F. In addition, depending on the machine being used, some machines may not have the capability to heat the material to the required application temperature.

Each machine is only capable of producing a specific amount of heat. If the temperature difference between the beginning temperature of the material and the required temperature for application is greater than the machine can supply the result will be poor foam quality. This may also cause off ratio foam, down time and may damage your equipment.

cold weather home commercial spray foamAs always, please do not hesitate to contact your Lapolla salesman or technical staff with questions of field application issues. Once you are on the job, should problems occur, you risk down time. As we all know, if the applicator is not spraying foam, nobody is making money.

Here are some additional tips for successful cold weather spray foam application.

Warm up the substrate as much as possible before spraying. Torpedo heater can be used prior to spraying, however, all open flame heaters must be turned off while you are spraying. Please remember that the use of propane and gas fired heaters will result in high humidity levels. This humidity may condense on cold substrates creating moisture issues such as poor adhesion or shrinkage. Applicators should avoid the use of gas fired heaters if possible to reduce this risk. Blocking soffits and exterior penetrations will help retain some of the heat.

Keep the hose off the snow, ice, and concrete. These will draw heat off the hose as fast as the proportioner can heat it.

Use the sun to your advantage. The sun is the largest heater you have. Start spraying on the sunny side and follow the sun around through the day.

Whenever possible, maintain heat in the area for 24 to 48 hours after spraying to help with the curing process.

Order you materials far enough in advance to give them time to warm up (about 10 degrees per 24 hours). Do not store drums in direct contact with concrete. Keep them on the pallets while in storage. When the materials are in the truck, place something under the drums to raise them an inch or two off the floor to allow warm air to circulate underneath them.

Do not allow the dynamic pressure to drop below 1000 psi. Pressures less than 1000 psi can result in a poor mix in the gun.

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American Chemistry Council (ACC) launches new SPF Safety Website

The American Chemistry Council’s (ACC) Center for the Polyurethanes Industry (CPI), in cooperation with the Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA), is pleased to announce the launch of a new Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) Health and Safety website, . The website provides a wealth of information on SPF, arranged by topics of interest to construction and weatherization professionals, homeowners and Do-It-Yourselfers.

SPF insulation and insulating foam sealants continue to gain popularity due to their ability to reduce home heating and cooling costs.  This website is intended for anyone interested in SPF insulation or insulating foam sealants, from SPF contractors/builders and weatherization professionals to Do-It-Yourselfers (DIYers) and homeowners.

DC 315 Passes NFPA 286 Over Lapolla Closed-Cell Spray Foam

Testing satisfies the requirements of the ICC regarding acceptable testing certification requirements

International Fireproof Technology, Inc. ran a NFPA 286 test of DC 315 over Lapolla FL 2000 2lb/ft³ closed-cell spray polyurethane foam. This testing satisfies the requirements of the ICC regarding acceptable testing certification requirements to be used in lieu of the requirement for a 15 minute thermal barrier when applied over Lapolla FL 2000 closed-cell spray polyurethane foam.

Gary Wolfe, Executive Vice President of IFTI states, “We have proven that DC 315, when applied to our specifications, per the test reports, is a low cost, easy to use solution to a building code issue.” Mr. Wolfe goes on to say, “We have passed NFPA 286 testing now on both open cell and close cell foams, using both the NFPA 286 standards to show the power and performance of our DC 315”.

“I would like to personally thank all the staff of Lapolla Polyurethanes that have been working with us on testing, and their efforts to educate the market on proper application of Ignition and Thermal Barriers to satisfy the codes.”

Please contact International Fireproof Technology, Inc at 949-975-8588 or email for additional information. will be updated over the next couple of weeks with current tests results.