The Dangers of Using Spray Foam Insulation
On the surface, spray foam insulation’s popularity seems warranted. It’s been proven to reduce energy costs for homeowners. It seemingly lasts forever. It creates an airtight home that keeps out pesky bugs and damaging moisture. It’s been touted as “generally” safe for homeowners, provided the foam has had enough time to fully cure.
But some of its supposed benefits can also be considered its weakest links.
Exposure to Toxic Chemicals
Knowing how spray foam insulation is applied can help you to be aware of the effects it may later have on your health.
Generally, spray foam insulation installation is a process completed by professionals with the right tools, training, and equipment. The chemicals using in spray foam can be immediately hazardous to a person’s health if not properly handled.
Workers must use the right protective gear to shield their eyes, nose, and throat from the damaging VOCs in the isocyanate. They avoid all skin contact with the chemicals. Residents are required to leave the home for at least 24 hours after the insulation has been applied.
In short, this stuff is seriously harmful if not handled properly.
What’s worse is that improper application of the spray foam could have lingering consequences on your health. If you become exposed to the harmful chemicals in spray foam before it has a chance to fully cure, you could risk developing asthma or other breathing problems, along with eye and skin irritation.
If the foam were to crack or break due to poor installation, you could also be subjected to foul odors.
The Downsides of an Airtight Home
Having a perfectly sealed home sounds like a homeowner’s dream, but it has its share of disadvantages.
For starters, airtightness means that any moisture that becomes trapped within the home has nowhere to go. Without a proper ventilation system, moisture can cause excess damage to your home that will negate any savings you’ve incurred from using spray foam.
It can also cause the quality of your indoor air to plummet if you don’t have other systems in place to improve it. Low indoor air quality can be associated with numerous health issues, including dry skin, stuffiness, and allergies, to name a few.
Spray Foam Is Permanent
The good news is that spray foam is a permanent insulation solution. The bad news is that spray foam is a permanent insulation solution. In this case, permanency cuts both ways. You’ll be glad knowing your investment will carry you years into the future and continue to deliver cost-saving benefits. But, spray foam is almost impossible to get rid of, even if it’s found to be defective. If your foam isn’t properly cured or begins to crack due to improper installation, you’ll likely have to live with its effects for a long time. Your home may become uninhabitable if the negative effects are severe enough.