One of the most popular forms of insulation in homes today is spray foam, also known as SPF or spray polyurethane foam. Spray foam insulation is a great option because it is easily installed and creates an airtight barrier that also protects against noise and pollutants.
At Harris Insulation, we love installing spray foam insulation in Little Rock, AR. However, we’ve heard some questions and concerns from our clients regarding whether spray foam insulation is safe and whether or not it can harm their residences. Because we like spray foam insulation so much, we wanted to address these issues and assure clients that spray foam insulation is, in fact, a safe and effective insulation solution!
What is spray foam insulation?
Spray polyurethane foam is a heat-activated polymer that is sprayed into the area you wish to insulate. Two ingredients are mixed on-site and sprayed through a heated hose, causing a chemical reaction. The insulation expands into a foam-like substance, then hardens in place, creating a firm wall of insulation.
There are two types of spray foam: open cell and closed cell. Open cell insulation is less dense and has a lower R-value. Closed cell is much more dense and is less permeable, acting as a barrier against water vapor as well as heat.
Spray foam insulation is synthetic, and rodents or pests are less likely to inhabit it. It more accurately expands and fills all holes and crevices in walls, creating a more airtight insulated area. This type of insulation is also relatively easy to apply.
Safety of spray foam insulation in Little Rock, AR
So, spray foam has some great benefits, but is it safe for both your house and your health? In short, the answer is yes! Spray foam should not harm your residence if it is installed properly by a professional. Most problems occur when the chemicals are not mixed properly.
Spray foam is not toxic. It does not contain formaldehyde, bleach or any volatile organic compounds (VOCs). However, an incorrect chemical mixture on-site could result in odors or health problems for you or your family. Installation typically requires 24 to 48 hours of ventilation to remove any fumes or odors from your house, so it is recommended that inhabitants stay out of the house during this time.
Additionally, air quality should not be an issue with spray foam insulation because it does not have any loose fibers that can travel around your home, and helps to prevent additional dust, allergens and mold.
As for your house, spray foam should not cause structural problems. Closed cell spray foam insulation can actually improve the structure of your home because of its rigidity, making it a good option for roofs in areas with lots of wind.
One common concern with spray foam insulation is that it rots roofs. However, this issue is most common in cold climates and is the result of a vapor-retardant barrier not being installed over the spray foam. This also may occur if the spray foam is installed incorrectly with some areas left exposed, meaning air and humidity can find its way in and cause problems. To avoid these issues, work with an experienced professional.
If you’re interested in installing spray foam insulation in Little Rock, AR, call Harris Insulation. We have almost 40 years of experience in installing many types of insulation for residential and commercial clients. Give us a call today!