Spray foam is a unique insulation product. Unlike any other material, it is constructed onsite, according to the expertise of the spray foam applicator. To achieve all the benefits that accompany correctly mixed and applied spray foam insulation, the most important choice is the company you hire for the job.
Polyurethane foams, which are commonly known as spray foams, starts out as two different liquids. A isocyanate and a polyol resin – which are mixed together to create a rigid (closed) or semi-rigid (open) foam.
Insulation spray foam is shot onto a surface at about 1,200 pounds of pressure and at a temperature of about 200 degrees. An open cell mixture expands at a ratio of 1:120 for open cell foam and 20-30 times for closed cell. Once the foam is cured, in a process that takes anywhere from 23-72 hours, it hardens.
The harmful nature of asbestos is well known but the same can’t be said of fiberglass, since it is still widely used in house building. Fiberglass rose in popularity because it was a safer alternative to asbestos, but overtime it has been discovered that it poses many of the same threats.
Both asbestos and fiberglass give off Violate Organic Compounds – or VoCs. VoCs are airborne substances which are harmful to humans in large amounts or through repeated exposure. Many are carcinogens, and often will cause an array of breathing complications – and both are true of the VoCs expelled from fiberglass.
Spray foam is a welcome addition to the world of insulation not only because it’s more effective but because it is safer. But that isn’t to say precautions shouldn’t be taken to make use of it safely.
Using spray foam as means of insulation is a fairly new application and because of this proper safety precautions aren’t always taken into account by those who work with it. That’s why EcoLogic’s motto is “There Is No Substitute for Experience.” No good can come from a poor application of spray foam. It can result in voids, gaps and unsightly overspray. And as in true of all poorly done construction work, improperly applied spray foam can pose health and safety concerns as well.
There is an immediate threat posed to construction workers who are working in rooms where spray foam has been applied before it has been given time to cure. People working with and around spray foam should always wear respiratory masks to protect themselves from fumes until the foam has been cured and hardened. But if the solution was improperly mixed or applied, it can result in harmful off-gassing which can development of asthma in those who are repeatedly exposed to it. There is also the chance of fire, albeit small, during the application process. One may result from spraying new material in a section of already applied, rising foam, and from improperly mixing of chemicals.
All of these pitfalls are easily avoided by a knowledgeable and expert spray foam applicator like the ones found at Ecologic.