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When NOT to Use Spray Foam Insulation

When NOT to Use Spray Foam Insulation

March 29, 2019

when not to use spray foam

It’s one of the latest and greatest innovations in home insulation. Offering more coverage and protection from the elements, spray foam insulation is catching on fast as the best option for insulating your home. While the flexibility of spray foam to expand and conform to the space it insulates makes it a versatile product, there are some limits to consider. Before your next insulation upgrade, the pros at DFW Thermal Solutions want to advise you on when NOT to use this insulation.

For areas that are too close to electrical boxes:

 While it is possible to add some insulation between the back of an electrical box and outside wall, you should probably not use spray foam to do this. If you were to get foam inside the box, you can jam up the parts. Furthermore, you are introducing flammable chemicals to your electrical box. If you do decide to use spray foam insulation for this area, you should use low-expanding foam.

For areas too close to ceiling light boxes:

You should not use spray foam to insulate areas around recessed ceiling canister lights. If you spray too close to the top of ceiling light boxes, you can trap heat and increase the risk of a fire. Even if your recessed canister lights are rated for close contact with insulation, you may want to consult with a professional about some other alternatives.  

Open-cell spray foam on your roof:

The potential for open-cell spray foam to rot your roof is a hot topic of debate. Moisture from indoors can escape through open-cell foam and find the cold roof sheathing. From there, it accumulates and eventually rots the roof. Regardless of the climate, you should opt for closed-cell spray foam for roof insulation.

For closed-cavity spaces:

Although the expansion level for spray foam and injection foam is identical, the rate of expansion differs. Injection foam must expand slowly to reduce pressure. If you are installing insulation in closed-cavity spaces, such as between studs in enclosed cavities of walls or brick exteriors, you should opt for injection foam rather than spray foam.

If you have a history of skin, respiratory, or asthma problems:

Because spray foams contain highly reactive chemicals called isocyanates, exposure can cause severe breathing and skin problems. If you have preexisting skin, respiratory, or asthma conditions, you are at an even greater risk of exacerbating these problems when introducing the chemicals in spray foam insulation into your home’s air.

When in Doubt, Consult with a Professional

Are you still unsure whether this insulation is the right solution for an area in your home? The team at DFW Thermal Solutions is here to be your guide! Our experienced contractors and spray team can offer professional advice and reliable service for any of your insulation needs. Just call us at (972) 619-9251 or visit us online to fill out a service request form for a consultation with one of our insulation experts.