Heating and cooling bills that get more expensive every month and a home that never gets warm or cool enough are signs that you may need new insulation. If you purchased an older home with vintage insulation in the attic and basement, it may be time to replace it. There is a range of insulation products available on the market today. When a home is due for insulation replacement or a homeowner wants to maximize energy efficiency, they may wonder if spray foam insulation is safe for homes.
What is spray foam insulation?
Spray foam is two liquid chemicals mixed together before application to create polyurethane. A reaction takes place between the two liquids to create an expanding foam. The two chemicals are:
Reactive isocyanates compounds
Catalysts, polyol, and flame retardant chemicals
The chemicals contain irritants that can affect the skin, eyes, and lungs on their own and during the mixing process. When a professional insulation company works on your home, they'll wear full-body suits with eye protection and respirators to protect themselves. However, once the foam fully dries, it no longer gasses and is safe to be around.
How long does foam insulation take to cure?
When you schedule foam insulation installation for your home, the professionals will likely recommend you vacate your home for 24 hours. While it may not take that full amount of time to cure, by staying out of your home for an entire day, you get peace of mind that when you return home, it'll be safe.
If someone without experience mixes the spray foam chemicals, they may not cure and can continue to off-gas beyond the 24-hour mark. Choosing insulation experts with years of experience to work on your property is critical.
Can you install spray insulation yourself?
If you have an older home, you may be used to doing a lot of projects on your own. It's always tempting to save money by tackling a challenging task by yourself. Given the danger of the chemicals involved, it's not advisable for inexperienced homeowners to install spray foam on their own.
Even if you're confident working with hazardous materials, consider the discomfort and hassle of spending the day in safety gear applying the foam. Gaps and cracks during the application can create significant problems down the road by letting in air and moisture to your property.
What are the benefits of using spray foam insulation?
People choose spray foam for their houses because of its long-lasting benefits and energy efficiency properties. Just a few of the advantages include:
Lower power bills: an air-tight property can lower your energy bills but as much as 40 percent.
It lasts forever: on average, traditional insulation needs replacing every 15 to 20 years. Spray foam lasts forever.
Added strength: once cured, spray insulation provides a durable layer of protection to your home.
A home analyst with St. Louis Insulation can evaluate your property and determine if it's eligible for spray foam.
Book an appointment with St. Louis Insulation to learn more about the safety of safe spray foam insulation for your home.
We're Missouri's premier insulation provider because we bring over a decade of experience to our clients in improving home energy efficiency. The team at St. Louis Insulation loves solving problems. No matter the structure of your property or climate control challenges, we'll provide you with an affordable, effective solution. We're experts in older homes, especially those built before there were national building codes and sincere efforts on the part of builders towards energy efficiency.