You have decided to make over your home and want to make your home more energy efficient. Then insulation is a pivotal factor to reduce energy consumption. Spray foam insulation offers an airtight sealed insulation which helps to maximizes energy savings, thus making it a popular choice for many Vancouver homeowners.
Homeowners have an opportunity to save an average of 15 percent on heating and cooling costs if the insulation is done correctly. Yes. around 15% savings!
However, if you are thinking about starting your own DIY spray foam insulation project, you should think again. Most fire officials and those in the industry do not recommend usage of DIY by inexperienced person as it can pose a safety risk and fire hazard.
What is Insulation
Insulation, also called thermal insulation, is a wide term used to identify products that help reduce any loss or gain of heat by providing a obstruction between areas that are substantially differing in temperatures, thus reducing heat transfer.
We have listed some of the many risks associated with spray foam insulation that will make you reconsider before taking on the installation process on your own.
1. Poor Insulation may lead to increase in your utility bills.
For optimal energy efficiency, your home needs to be properly insulated from the its foundation to the roof tops. The barriers are usually placed in areas where air flows out such as between the cavities, inside the walls or in the attic. In addition to walls and attics, insulation should be put in ceilings, basement walls, floors above vented crawl spaces, floors over unheated garages or porches, and in between interior walls—especially bathrooms—as well as ceilings and floors.
Not only does poor insulation cost money and time. it inadvertently increases your energy bills, and disrupts your comfortable life.
The intention is to enfold an uniform wrapper around the home, a “thermal envelope,” with no penetrations. This helps to slowly reduce heat transfer.
2. Chemical inside – Handle with care
Spray foam acts as a safe insulator and also a barrier to toxic vapour, but it’s made up of chemicals and needs to be handled with care. While kits are available at the local hardware stores that you can pick up without any restrictions, and try to install it yourselves, experts recommend people hire only professionals to do the work.
3. Experience is indispensable
If you have no or less experience, and you start a Spray Foam Insulation DIY project. then you can do more damage than any good to your home. Experience in this situation can be indispensable.
Some tips I can share with you. Before starting any insulation kindly prepare all the areas to help prevent any damage. Make sure you test the spray gun first because it is hard to operate and can clog easily if not use correctly.
The two most important factors that effect costing is equipment rental and cost of material. With the right experience, you can save on both.
You spend time trying to unclog the gun over and over again. You may end up spending more time on the project thus increasing the rentals and creating excessive wastage of material.
Please remember because spray foam can’t be removed, every error will require an expensive remedy, causing you to spend much more than your initial estimates.
4. All DIY kits are built for Professional Use Only
If you buy a DIY kit, you will notice that they come with warnings and one specific one is “Professional Use Only” which means that only experienced professionals should handle it.
You also get an instructional DVD. and some goggles and gloves, and a list of other protective clothing needed to keep the installer safe. The entire process needs to be carried out in the right manner and a systematic procedure that many home owners probably may not be aware of.
Be very careful, you may install a product that could perform very poorly in a fire. When you try to install spray foam, there’s a sensitive balance between heat, pressure and spray-gun configuration. Getting just one component wrong can lead to severe cracking, shrinkage, fissures and poor adhesion.
5. If you miss a spot, insulation will not be as effective.
Insulation works effectively only if all the spots are completely filled. The area needs to be completely covered and there should be no gaps. You need to understand how to apply the foam uniformly and at the right levels.
If there are missing spots, gaps that you stand a chance of running the risk of under-insulating your home and dramatically reduce the functionality of your foam.
On the other hand a rental company can monitor material, hose and machine temperatures.
6. A potential fire hazard.
You must consider that you can cause a fire while spraying the foam. The actual vapour itself is flammable, so you cannot have any open flames anywhere around or nearby.
If you try to Install spray foam insulation quickly then it can prove to be very unsafe and fatal to you as well as your home. As it cures, spray polyurethane foam insulation frees a lot of heat, and if the application is too thick, it may burst into flames on that very spot, resulting in a fire engulfing the surroundings
In some cases, if layers of spray foam insulation has not been allowed to cure for the precise time, it can also damage the product and reduce its insulating capabilities.
On the contrary, a professional insulation installer calculates the appropriate time that is required to correctly apply spray foam to eliminate any risks. It proves to be much safer and also more effective.
7. Protective gear needed
There are also health issues associated with the gases that are emitted by the spray, with a requirement that people not occupy their home for at least 24 hours after the spraying has taken place.
Our company is licensed and certified to install the insulation. Our employees spraying the foam use all of the necessary personal protective equipment required on a construction site, as well as other additional gear. They wear a full face mask which offers full face protection. Our professional also have breathing equipment for protection.
8. Do not use too much foam. It can be dangerous
When you are using the closed cell, two-pound spray foam insulation, we recommended only two inches to be applied at a time. The heat generated from these chemicals can pose a risk.
Foam insulation also emits an odour during installation, but you need not worry as it usually disperse .
9. Your chemicals needs to be mixed in the right proportionate.
Similar to any chemical process, the liquid chemical constituent of spray foam insulation must be mixed in good order to provide idealistic performance.
Chemicals need to be of a particular temperature, and only then you can start to spray. Defective spray equipment can lead to off-ratio foam.
If you use an incorrectly mixed spray, the spray foam will pull away from rafters and studs, leaving cracks that may result in expensive damage to your roof.
Experienced technicians like ourselves will carefully review your home’s ventilation and ensure that the application process is safe for residents and workers alike by maintaining a high level of indoor air quality using a specialty industrial-grade exhaust fan.