Tips for Ensuring A Successful Spray Foam Installation

Tips for Ensuring A Successful Spray Foam Installation

NEW LONDON, CT – April 17, 2018 – Spray foam insulation can keep your house warm and cozy, and lower your electric bills. But in most cases it's not a do-it-yourself job.

It takes a qualified contractor to properly prepare and apply the foam insulation, both for safety and to ensure the best results.

Here's some guidance from the Spray Foam Coalition on what to expect from a spray foam insulation contract and while they are on the job.

  • Installation time varies depending on the size of the job and the ease of access to the site. A small amount of SPF applied to a home’s interior can take as little as an hour or two to complete. Small spaces can typically be completed in a day once any prep work is done.
  • While the foam can be sprayed and completed in a matter of hours, people and pets need to remain out of the home for the amount of time recommended by the SPF manufacturer. 
  • There are a number of variables that affect how long it takes for SPF to cure, including temperature, humidity levels and the SPF's formula. Homeowners should discuss with their contractor the amount of time they need to wait before re-entering the home.
  • Contractor’s should turn of all gas valves etc. in the area where SPF is being applied, as well as in neighboring rooms and behind walls, such as pilot lights used in natural gas stoves or ovens, furnaces, water heaters and clothes dryers.
  • With proper installation and mechanical ventilation, foam insulation is not odorous after it has been applied and allowed time to cure. If a homeowner is concerned about odors that they think may be related to the Commercial installation, they should contact their contractor.
  • The contractor cleans the work site thoroughly before the homeowners and their pets, children and other service providers re-enter the space.

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Can I retrofit my home with spray foam insulation?

All spray foam insulations starts as a liquid that instantly expands to fill between the studs in a wall cavity or ceiling joists. Most of these expanding foam insulations, like air sealing or attic insulation must be installed in an open cavity. Because of that, you can’t re-insulate existing walls with these products unless you are doing a complete renovation and opening the walls or ceilings.

But you can still retrofit your home with spray foam insulation in a couple of different ways:

Insulate your crawlspace

Create a conditioned or closed crawlspace by adding spray foam insulation to the walls and adding mechanical ventilation. This seals and insulates the crawlspace, which helps keep the temperatures more moderate in the area. Many times this can help reduce drafts and cold floors in the interior of the home because the living space is now on top of a semi-conditioned space.

Seal off a vented crawlspace by adding spray foam insulation to the crawlspace ceiling. The insulation is applied in direct contact with the underside of the sub floor, not to the walls. This essentially seals the crawlspace from home which can reduce drafts and cold floors in the interior of the home.

Insulate your attic

Create a conditioned or closed attic by adding spray foam insulation to the underside of the roof deck and the rafters and removing vents in the attic. This seals and insulates the attic, which helps keep the temperatures more moderate, usually only about a 10-15 degree temperature difference from the inside of the home. Having a semi-conditioned space over your conditioned space will improve the overall comfort in your living spaces, and if your ducts run through the attic, it will increase the efficiency of your HVAC unit.

Seal off an unconditioned or vented attic by adding spray foam insulation between the joists in the attic floors and an ignition or thermal barrier to meet your local building codes. This also would involve removing the existing insulation in the attic. As with a vented crawlspace, this seals the attic off from the rest of the home to help prevent air leaks and increase the comfort of your home.

Seal your HVAC ducts

You can seal your HVAC ducts with spray foam insulation to prevent unconditioned air from the attic or crawlspace from leaking into the ducts and conditioned air from escaping through holes in your ducts. This can improve the efficiency of your HVAC unit and increase the comfort of your home.

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