Does Spray Foam Insulation Harm Indoor Air Quality?

Does Spray Foam Insulation Harm Indoor Air Quality?

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Brrrr, it’s beginning to get nippy exterior. Now is an efficient time to seal drafts for a comfy heat residence.

Spray foam insulation or spray polyurethane foam (SPF) insulation could be very efficient in boosting residence power efficiency and luxury. Unfortunately, it has quite a few downsides, together with its results on indoor air high quality. As extra proof surfaces concerning the issues in spray foam, many individuals are selecting to keep away from these merchandise and search safer options.

Hazardous Chemicals

Some of the chemical substances contained in spray foam are thought of to be hazardous to human well being by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Some foams comprise the poisonous flame retardant TCPP. Applying spray foam also releases isocyanates. Exposure to isocyanates may cause pores and skin, eye, and lung irritation and bronchial asthma, and there’s no acknowledged protected stage of publicity by the EPA. Isocyanates are thought of to be a number one chemical reason for bronchial asthma within the office.

Occupants ought to depart the house throughout and after spray foam utility. And insulation technicians ought to use eye, pores and skin, and respiratory safety when making use of spray foam merchandise. Homes and buildings should be correctly cleaned and ventilated after application to cut back publicity to dangerous chemical substances and mud. Even when correctly utilized, there are lots of issues related to these insulation merchandise.

Off-Gassing and Indoor Air Pollution

Spray foam insulation can proceed to off-gas chemical substances, inflicting indoor air air pollution. This is very problematic when the 2 brokers aren’t correctly ready, combined, and cured beneath the fitting situations. If polyurethane foam insulation causes an indoor air high quality challenge, it’s tough to take away as a result of spray foam sticks tenaciously to supplies. Therefore, removing isn’t really useful by the Environmental Working Group. Some folks have found indoor air air pollution points after making use of these merchandise however have issue rectifying the state of affairs.

Advantages of Spray Foam Insulation

Despite all of the disadvantages, there are lots of benefits to those merchandise. Spray foam insulation is an effective way to seal gaps and cracks. It has a excessive R-value with nice power efficiency and gives glorious insulation. Closed-cell spray foam additionally blocks water vapor, thus offering a moisture barrier. This implies that it may well assist cease moisture issues and leaks, deterring mildew progress. It additionally has an extended lifespan and is efficient for a few years.

Insulate With Care

If you do determine to insulate your property with spray foam, don’t apply spray polyurethane foam as a DIY undertaking. Rather, train warning in selecting a qualified contractor. Find knowledgeable who is correctly educated, skilled, insured, and licensed. Research the corporate and converse with present prospects and skim shopper critiques, and guarantee they observe affordable security practices.

There are safer options to spray foams for a lot of tasks, together with cellulose and cotton insulation. Many of those merchandise don’t off-gas and are constituted of pure, recycled supplies. Unfortunately, cellulose and cotton insulation merchandise shouldn’t be put in in areas with moisture points.

Because we spend a lot time in our houses, indoor air quality is crucial for general well being. If potential, reduce or keep away from using spray foam merchandise, particularly when safer options are efficient. This is very necessary for folks with respiratory points and chemical sensitivity. If you do determine to maneuver ahead, train warning when hiring an insulation contractor.

This article was initially revealed on November 4, 2019.