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The Use of Polyurethane Foam Technology in Historic

Renovation and Remediation Work

Roswell Flower Memorial Library

Washington Street
Watertown, NY  13601

1998 Renovation – Architect: Crawford & Sterns;
General Contractor: Midstate Construction Services, Inc

The Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library, commonly known as the Flower Library, is the principle research center for Jefferson County. Staffed by a group of dedicated and competent volunteers, it has collected the best assortment of genealogical and historical materials in the county. The library underwent extensive renovation work in 1998 to remediate problems related to plaster and paint damage on the inside of the dome (Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library Web Site).

Roof-top access to dome attic

Architectural section at dome

The goal of this project was to eliminate heat loss and moisture migration into the attic above the domed wire lath and plaster ceiling in the center of the building.  The domed ceiling had been tarred to prevent leakage, but the moisture problem had persisted.  The center skylight well was a tapered cylinder (“the drum”) extending from the center of the inner dome up to the skylight at the top of the outer dome. The dome was sprayed with 2.5" (R=14) of medium density closed-cell polyurethane foam (R=14, perm. <1).  The dome was covered with a layer of 15-lb. felt to allow the retrofit to be reversible. The foam application was extended out across the light cove to provide a complete air seal from the conditioned space below

15-lb felt release material

Tarred plaster on wire lath

Starting at the barrel

Continue on to the conclusion.