Progressive Foam Technologies Inc.

Progressive Foam Technologies Inc. believes mastery of one product type and industry is preferable to competence in multiple markets. “Most other foam companies make insulation as well as a number of completely different product types like packaging, foam cups, food service containers or any number of other products,” Vice President of Sales Jason Culpepper says. “Our focus is 100 percent on the siding insulation industry, and our goal every day is to be the best provider of siding insulation on the market.”

Since 1992, the Beach City, Ohio-based company has manufactured, designed and sold innovative siding insulation products embraced by residential contractors across the United States and Canada. Progressive Foam’s flagship product is Fullback, a contoured insulation product that fits between siding and exterior walls in the exact shape of the siding, improving its durability and lifespan. Initially designed and patented specifically for use with vinyl siding, Fullback today is also available for use with fiber cement and steel siding.

The company also manufactures Linebacker, a siding insulation product with built-in alignment ridges that allow for perfect installation of plank-style fiber cement and composite wood sidings; Halfback, a universal siding insulation product; and Pro-Fold, a fanfolded underlayment product. The company manufactures its products in-house in a 110,000-square-foot facility in Beach City as well as through contract manufacturers.

Progressive Foam’s insulation products are sold through distributors and by vinyl siding manufacturers, which incorporate Fullback into their own products. Some of these manufacturers include Exterior Portfolio by Crane, the first siding manufacturer to embrace the product; and CertainTeed, which uses it in their CedarBoards siding product. 

In addition to using Fullback on the vinyl siding they produce, siding manufacturers also license the use of Progressive Foam’s proprietary lamination technology to bind the siding to the foam insulation.

Offering products through siding manufacturers allows the company to offer hundreds of sizes, colors, textures and other varieties of Fullback vinyl siding insulation. Customized systems are also available to contractors, Culpepper notes.  

“One of the most important things we’ve done in our 21 years is provide excellent marketing support,” he adds. “We work with contractors to customize the system that is best for them and give them the marketing support they need to communicate the advantages of our products.”

Adding Value

All of Progressive Foam’s products offer significant benefits to end users in terms of durability, appearance, energy efficiency, ease of maintenance and long-term cost savings, the company says. 

FullbackV siding insulation for vinyl, in particular, increases a siding panel’s impact resistance, reducing the impact of objects such as hail,  rocks thrown from a lawnmower  or a stray baseball. The insulation also eliminates the hollow space between siding and walls, making it more difficult for wind to get beneath the siding. Fullback is also highly permeable, allowing the wall to dry and eliminating the potential for mold, mildew and rot.

The aesthetic advantages of Progressive Foam’s products include the “curb appeal” that they give to homes by adding straighter lines and symmetry to siding panels. Fullback Insulation also adds a “real wood” look to vinyl siding by tightening its seams and adding strength to each panel. 

Progressive Foam’s products have R-values ranging between 2.0 and 3.5, giving the homes on which they are installed greater energy efficiency. “One of our focuses is to show how insulation products are completely necessary on a new siding job and how they add value,” Culpepper says. “Our products give homeowners real energy savings along with their new siding.”

The Neopor Advantage

Several of Progressive Foam’s product lines gained additional advantages recently. The company is now incorporating Neopor, a material manufactured by BASF, into its Fullback fiber cement and Linebacker lines.

Neopor foams contain graphite, which increases their insulation performance. The product offers up to 20 percent higher insulating performance than conventional expandable polystyrene products. Progressive Foam explains Neopor® 

insulating materials do not contain CFCs, HCFCs, HFCs or other halogenated cell gases. 

Progressive Foam is the first company in the United States to widely use Neopor in siding insulation applications. “We’ve been a major mouthpiece for BASF helping to get this product in front of consumers,” Culpepper says. 

Expanding Markets

Progressive Foam is starting to see increased demand for all of its product lines as the residential housing market continues to recover after the recession. The market decline proved particularly challenging for the company because contractors who historically used its products relied heavily on consumer financing. 

“Our business relied heavily on the structure of easy financing for high-end siding jobs that was in place before the recession,  and during the recession financing became much harder to get,” Culpepper says. “With more cash purchasers it became more important than it was previously to provide some options at lower price points, for value-minded consumers. Our distributors and contractors were asking for this, as they wanted to continue to buy from us, but many of their customers didn’t have the  budgets for siding jobs that they had before the recession.”

The company’s Pro-Fold line was specifically marketed to meet demand for a more commodity-oriented product. The fan-folded underlayment product can be paired with any type of siding to provide energy savings and enhanced home appearance. 

The insulation also contains an insecticide that protects it from termite damage; this insecticide is used at low concentrations, making it safe for installers and homeowners. 

“We felt we needed to broaden our product offering to make it easier for our contractors and distributors to meet the market where it was,” Culpepper says. “Pro-Fold has a lower price point than the rest of our products, and can be installed quickly and easily.”

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