Spray foam insulation is popular among builders and
renovators alike and for a good reason. When installed properly, it is a very
effective form of insulation which doesn’t sag or need topping up over time.
Homes are a long term investment, and it makes sense that homeowners want to
invest in insulation that will stand the test of time as well. But what happens
when it is not installed correctly?
Have Hot or Cold areas of my Home.
Hot or cold areas in your home are indeed a sign of a problem that goes beyond discomfort alone. If the problem is bad enough, then where those hot and cold areas meet condensation can form and depending on where it is, could lead to mold and mildew growth. The problem can be one of several factors:
Air Leakage Sites Missed: Once the room is sprayed, the area should be sealed completely. If certain hard to reach areas have been skipped or missed altogether, then your energy bills will be high, and your comfort levels will be low.
Insulation is not thick enough: The thickness of the insulation is a significant factor when determining the R-value achieved. Different types of insulation require different thicknesses to achieve the desired results. It is your contractor’s job to know and understand these requirements. Having a decent level of thickness over most of the job with some low or high spots just isn’t good enough. Air will transfer, and you will be left in the cold. You need that air barrier to be intact for ideal effectiveness.
Spray Foam Insulation is Pulling Away from the Frame
Spray foam pulling away from the frame is a big problem, and it is going to be a headache correcting the problem. It is a problem that usually occurs because chemicals have been improperly mixed or because you received a bad batch of chemicals. It can also arise from the temperature being too high, though. For whatever reason, if you notice your spray foam pulling away from your walls or frame, then you need to get in touch with your contractor right away because something is wrong. The foam will have to be painstakingly removed, and fresh foam will have to be sprayed.
Contractor is Using More Foam
Spray foam should only be added to the envelope of the home. You want air moving freely within your walls; it is the exterior environment that we are sealing out. Therefore, spray foam should only be added to the envelope of your home, and you should hire a contractor that is able to determine what constitutes the envelope. If you see interior walls sprayed, then you know that either your contractor does not understand his duties, or that an expensive mistake has been made. Either way, you will want to bring that up to your contractor promptly.
Smell Coming From My Walls
When installing spray foam, you will notice an odor. That is normal and to be expected as with all building materials. Usually, the odor dissipates within an hour or so depending on how well ventilated the room in question is. Sometimes though, a mistake is made, and that odor becomes a permanent feature of the home. Often bad odors result from the product being applied too quickly. If this is the case, the contractor may not have achieved the desired thickness to create an air barrier and decide to touch it up as they go. This is a terrible idea because if the first layer isn’t allowed time to cool, then both layers will become too hot and result in an odor that can be permanent and even lead to health problem
Have it Done, Have it Done Right! Let’s face it; spray foam insulation is not cheap. It is a high quality, environmentally friendly product that requires professional training to install, and that comes with a price tag. When done correctly, you will make up for the cost via energy bill savings and superior comfort. When done improperly, it is a great cause for concern. Hire a contractor you can trust, and don’t be afraid to ask about experience and request references. You want this job done once and done well. Removing improperly installed spray foam insulation is tedious work at best and a complete nightmare at worst.
We at Chase Insulation have been strictly adhering to building codes while properly installing insulation in Southwestern Ontario for over 10 years. We live and work in our communities, and we regard all of our customers as neighbours.