Spray foam insulation is extremely popular, and for good reason. It not only acts as an air barrier but is also mold-resistant and can be easily installed in a crawl space or confined area where water or air leakage can cause havoc. Spray foam insulation projects are an attractive option for homeowners looking to save money and help the environment.
DIY spray foam insulation is a great way to do your part in reducing energy consumption, but it can also be dangerous if not installed correctly. This post will provide tips for installing spray foam insulation yourself, mishaps that may occur when DIY installers fail to follow instructions, and the importance of calling spray foam insulation contractors for your project.
Spray Foam Insulation is Best For Massachusetts Climate
If you live in New England, you know how up and down the weather can be. One day it’s warm and the next we have ten feet of snow. Using the best form of insulation in your home can help keep your indoor air quality clean, reduce heat transfer keeping heat inside and cold air out, and improve the energy efficiency in your home allowing your air conditioning unit to not work as hard.
During the winter, we crank up the heat, especially in the Northeast. Spray foam insulation is the best at air sealing ensuring cold air and moisture stay out. You have many options for insulation including fiberglass insulation or cellulose insulation, but spray foam insulation is a must have to keep your home warm and dry this winter.
If you do decide to install the spray foam insulation yourself, see below for some tips to keep in mind.
Tips for DIY Spray Foam Insulation
As with any DIY project, it is important to plan ahead. Make sure you know what supplies you will need and map out the steps of the project before beginning. This will help minimize mistakes and ensure a successful installation. You will also need to decide what type of insulation to use.
Spray foam comes in two different types: closed-cell foam and open-cell foam. Closed-cell foam is more rigid foam and does not allow water to pass through, whereas open-cell spray foam does. Closed-cell spray foam is also very dense, whereas open cell foam is light and easier to work with.
You should also take into account the recommended R-value. You should ensure the R-value of the insulation meets the standards for the area you live in along with where you are installing the insulation. For example, the R-Value for installing wall insulation in Massachusetts is going to be different than in Florida. High R-values mean it has a higher thermal resistance. Knowing the proper R-value is important for keeping your home comfortable.
Consider Spray Foam Kits
DIYers can purchase a spray foam insulation kit which will help simplify the installation process. Spray foam insulation kits include all of the supplies you need, as well as clear instructions on how to use them. Most DIY spray foam kits will be easy to use and install in areas such as wall cavities and crawl spaces. Check the packaging and choose one that is fire retardant to keep your home safe. You can check your local hardware store for a spray foam kit.
It is crucial for DIYers to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer when installing spray foam insulation. Failing to do so can result in an inconsistent and dangerous application of the product. If not done properly, you will need to call a professional to fix the problem, which will end up costing you more money.
Wear Protective Gear
Make sure you have proper protective gear when working with spray foam, such as a respirator, chemical-resistant gloves, and goggles. The fumes from the spray foam can be harmful if inhaled, and the overspray can irritate the eyes and skin. To make it easier to install, you will need a spray nozzle or some form of a foam blowing agent.
Allow for Proper Curing
Spray foam insulation is not the same as traditional fiberglass insulation. It will take time to cure and should be allowed at least 24 hours before installing drywall or other materials over the top surface. Check the instructions if you buy a spray foam insulation kit. Some spray foam kits are quick cure and may not take as long to set.
Keep Your Floor Clear
DIYers must make sure their floors are clear when working with spray foam insulation projects. If there is any spillage, it could damage carpeting and floorboards if left for too long without proper clean-up procedures.
Check the Weather Forecast
If you live in Massachusetts, you know that winter weather can cause havoc and last for a long period of time. You should always check the weather forecast before attempting a DIY spray foam insulation project. If there is any chance that New England winter storms can put a stall in your project, it would be wise to call in a professional installer before beginning work on your home’s insulation. Storms could potentially damage improperly installed spray foam insulation, which may result in an unsafe living environment and more money spent to fix these mistakes.
Common Mistakes of DIY Spray Foam Insulation
Failing to follow instructions:
As mentioned earlier, it is crucial that DIYers follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer when installing spray foam insulation. A spray foam kit will include detailed instructions and warnings. Failing to do so can result in an inconsistent and dangerous product application.
Not allowing for proper curing time:
Spray foam insulation is not the same as traditional fiberglass insulation. It will take time to cure and should be allowed at least 24 hours before installing drywall or other materials over the top surface.
Not wearing protective gear:
When working with spray foam insulation (closed-cell or open-cell spray foam), it is important to wear protective gear. This can save your eyes, skin, and respiratory system from being irritated.
Why You Should Call a Professional
It may seem like an attractive DIY option to save money on your energy bills by installing open-cell or closed-cell spray foam yourself, but hiring a professional is still necessary to ensure you have a successful project that meets all safety standards. Professionals have the experience and knowledge to install spray foam insulation correctly, even in Massachusetts’s unpredictable climate. They also have access to the right safety gear and equipment needed for a successful installation.
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If you’re considering calling a professional, contact your local Energy Monster team, located in Worcester, MA. We are your experts on improving energy efficiency and the comfort of your home, whether it’s an update to your current home or new construction. Call us today
for a free quote and more information on how we can make your home comfortable all year round.