We all crave our homes to be as comfortable as possible no matter the prevailing weather conditions. This is best achieved by deterring air, moisture, and even bugs from creeping into our living spaces. Spray foam insulation has repeatedly proven to be a high-performance weatherproofing product, but only when done correctly (you can check out stellrr.com for expert spray foam insulation installers). Once you understand the benefits of spray foam insulation, there is no turning back. Its versatility as an insulation product has made it soar in popularity among builders and homeowners since it first came into the market nearly 40 years ago. However, like all popular products, spray foam attracts its share of misuses and misleading claims giving headaches to interested homeowners.
While we all love and appreciate the vast benefits of spray foam, it should not be used everywhere and on everything. Hiring a contractor with a keen eye for instructions that come with spray foam is vital to achieving optimal results and avoiding common problems associated with its misuse.
#1: High Expansion Spray Foam Around Doors and Windows
One common application area of spray foams is sealing spaces around windows and doors. Spray foams can be either high or low-expansion. From the name, high expansion spray foams are used to fill huge spaces, while low foam expansion is suitable for small spaces. Avoid using high-expansion spray foam for tight spaces between windows and doors as it could jam them, making opening difficult. Use low spray foam instead.
#2: High Expansion Spray Foam Around Electrical Circuits
Sealing off areas around exposed electrical circuits with spray foam can be tempting, such as the space between an electrical box and an exterior wall. However, using high expansion spray foams around these regions is not advisable. The foam can quickly get into the box, jamming electrical circuits as it expands. Use a low-expanding spray foam between such spaces as it will fill it up without much force. You should be extra careful during the process since spray foams comprise flammable chemicals that could be hazardous before it cures (between 8-10 hours after application).
#3: Around Ceiling Lights, Light Boxes, and Fans
Using spray foams around recessing fixtures such as ceiling lights, light boxes, and fans is generally not a good idea. The fixtures may easily overheat due to trapped heat, increasing the risk of fires. Spray foam can catch fire even after they have been completely cured. Only use spray foams around ceiling lights that have been rated for close contact insulation and ensure to involve a qualified professional.
#4: Open-Cell Spray foam On the Roof
Open-cell spray foam is designed not to be encapsulated entirely hence a more breathable and flexible material. This means it allows moisture through from one side to the other. For this reason, it’s not recommended to use open-cell spray foam on the roof as it will lead to moisture gathering between the roof and the separating wood. This will cause the roof to rot with time, leading to costly repairs or, in the worst case, a costly roof overhaul. Consider using closed-cell spray foam for insulating your roof regardless of the prevailing climate in your area.
#5: Near a Spark or Open Flame
Spray foams contain highly volatile polyurethane components, and it’s crucial to ensure it doesn’t come into contact with a spark or an open flame during installation. Adopt measures such as not smoking, switching off lights, and keeping windows open during installation, more so with expanding spray foam types. Be extra vigilant when installing expanding spray foam in crawl spaces as there is a higher risk of gas accumulating and a spark igniting.
While spray foam is an excellent product with high insulating and air sealing properties, it can be hazardous to a person’s health if not properly handled. Proper protective gear is paramount if you’re looking to install it yourself. This will help shield sensitive parts of the body such as your eyes, nose, and throat from potentially damaging volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the isocyanate. People with skin and respiratory problems like asthma should avoid contact with chemicals altogether. Everyone should stay away from the property for at least 24 hours after the spray foam has been applied.
The bottom line is that if you think spray foam insulation is suitable for your property, consider due research on the best application procedures applicable to your specific insulation goals. It’s always crucial and recommended to consider the services of a dependable insulation company to be assured of a proper job and safe application. You should realize that instances of improper installation yielding various unwanted results such as roof damage, superheating, and even health complications are prevalent.