4 Do’s and Don’ts of Doing a Spray Foam Home Insulation Job

There are many reasons why many people choose to hire insulation contractors to take care of home insulation. These projects, while they may seem like a walk-through on paper, are very challenging!

Many who DIY their home insulation do it wrong and even risk falling sick. Some even report no improvement in their utility bill expenses.

When you are called upon to insulate a home, you should carry out an insulation project that meets the goals of your client and is long-lasting. To do that, you first have to ensure that you are using high quality equipment by choosing from the best commercial spray foam insulation kits.

Below are the dos and don’ts you need to keep in mind to be certain perform a home insulation job that will make you a highly sought-for contractor.

Do get a good look at the house to determine the best way to insulate it

Before you get into your spray foam rig and head on to work, visit your client’s home to perform a site survey.

Check on factors such as the age and condition of the house, whether the house has been insulated before, the structure of the house including the material make up, and the expected life cycle of insulation material.

Don’t use spray foam over other insulation

You should remove any other insulation that is present before starting an insulation job. Previous insulation can make the new insulation less effective and reduce durability.

Some homeowners may want to add spray foam insulation to their houses which are already insulated using fiberglass. In such cases, you can decide to take the job although that is not recommended for two reasons.

One, when you spray a thin layer of foam over fiberglass, the top of the foam maintains a temperature that is below the dew point. That means that when warm, moist air comes into contact with the fiberglass, it will condense. That will cause moisture to be trapped on the walls, leading to the formation of the dreaded mold.

When the home is exclusively insulated with spray foam, warm, moist air cannot get to the surface.

Secondly, foam also doesn’t stick well on fiberglass. That means that with time, the home will end up with a mixture of warm and cold air. When the cold air condenses on surfaces, it can lead to the formation of molds.

Do know the different types of spray foams and when to use them

When should you use high-density, medium-density, or low-density spray foam?

High-density spray foams are ideal when you need more strength and insulation value. It is best for roofing and exterior insulation projects. High-density spray foams are especially useful in windy areas where houses and buildings are prone to wind uplifts because they foam very strong bonds.

Medium-density foam sprays are closed-cell spray foams. They are best used for places that need the greatest R-value (insulating effectiveness) insulation per inch. These include places such as attic spaces and ceilings. Medium-density foam is also great as a sound barrier.

Low-density spray foam is an open-cell foam insulation method that keeps air from passing through cracks, seams, and joints. It is, however, not active against moisture. You can use it on walls, vented and unvented attics, ceilings and ducts, and crawl spaces. It is excellent when you want to move away from hardened foam.

Low-density spray foam remains an excellent insulator, long after a building has settled and shifted. It also absorbs sound, making it useful for sound insulation.

Ultimately, to choose the right type of spray, consider the recommended home insulation R-values.

Don’t block ventilation

Spray foam insulated homes need ventilation.  Every house needs a certain level of airflow to get rid of the nasty indoor air. Complete lack of airflow is toxic. Pollutant levels can be five times higher in enclosed spaces than outdoors.

Gases such as carbon dioxide need to be kept out of the home. Other potential indoor pollutants include compounds emitted by furnishings, plywood, and plastics.  Indoor air that is highly laden with chemicals can cause skin irritation or even cancer.

In a case where you need to block existing ventilation, inform your client that they need to invest in a mechanical ventilation system. Such a system circulates air through ducts and fans as opposed to small holes in the house.

Final Words

Homes are made differently. Employ custom methods when you are doing each spray foam job. Study the state and structure of the home to determine which spray foam method is most ideal.

Also, use the correct spray foam density for different areas such as the roof, the inner walls, and the attic. Consider the recommended R-values for the various parts in a home.

Most importantly, inform your client on the ventilation hazards of spray forming. That will help them make advance plans for excellent air quality in their home.

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