Contact: Marie Francis (202) 249-6514
Learn What to Expect During Installation Process
WASHINGTON (May 29, 2013)
- With summer just around the corner, many homeowners searching for ways to reduce air conditioning bills are considering installing
spray polyurethane foam (SPF)
. Homeowners stand to reap many benefits from this insulation like reduced air infiltration that can lower energy costs and improve indoor comfort. When having SPF insulation installed, homeowners should work with a
who can fully explain the product and the installation process.
"Spray polyurethane foam can help homeowners keep their houses cooler during the summer because it resists the transfer of heat very well, but installing SPF is not a DIY project," said Peter Davis, chair of the
Spray Foam Coalition
, an organization that is part of the Center for the Polyurethanes Industry of the American Chemistry Council. "It's important for homeowners to select a professional contractor who can educate them on the product, installation process and industry best practices for building occupants and workers who apply SPF."
The Spray Foam Coalition offers the following tips for consumers to consider when selecting a professional SPF contractor:
There are several ways to find and select a professional contractor, including the
of the Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA), which lists contractors by area, and the
of the Insulation Contractors Association of America, which lists contractors by product and service.
Always choose a spray polyurethane foam contractor that has appropriate training in SPF installation.
As with other home improvement service providers, it is important to ask professional SPF contractors about their experience, training, insurance and licenses. It is also helpful to request that a contractor provide customer references.
Homeowners should ask a professional contractor to explain the benefits of SPF; the appropriate areas to use it in the home; the properties of the product; and which type of SPF to use in your climate and application.
Homeowners and contractors should discuss in detail what to expect during the installation process; mechanical ventilation needs during and after SPF installation; safety best practices; and how long people and pets need to remain out of the home or building.
After SPF is applied and cured, it is considered to be relatively inert, which means the chemicals are finished reacting. Ask your professional contractor about the product's curing time and safety practices, such as how the contractor plans to isolate and mark off the work area, and when it is safe to re-enter the space.
The Spray Foam Coalition also outlines some things to expect when having SPF installed:
Installation time varies depending on the size of the job and the ease of access to the site. A small amount of SPF applied to a home's interior can take as little as an hour or two to complete. Most homes can be completed in less than a day once any prep work is done.
While the foam can be sprayed and completed in a matter of hours, people and pets need to remain out of the home for the amount of time recommended by the SPF manufacturer. The SPF contractor will limit access to the site to workers wearing proper personal protective equipment.
There are a number of variables that affect how long it takes for SPF to cure, including temperature, humidity levels and the SPF's formula. Homeowners should discuss with their contractor the amount of time they need to wait before re-entering the home.
The SPF contractor will extinguish all flames in the area where SPF is being applied, as well as in neighboring rooms and behind walls, such as pilot lights used in natural gas stoves or ovens, furnaces, water heaters and clothes dryers.
SPF installers wear personal protective equipment during and immediately following the application of the product to avoid contact with the reacting chemicals.
With proper installation and mechanical ventilation, SPF insulation is not odorous after it has been applied and allowed time to cure. If a homeowner is concerned about odors that they think may be related to the SPF installation, they should contact their contractor.
The contractor cleans the work site thoroughly before the homeowners and their pets, children and other service providers re-enter the space.
For more information about SPF and its benefits, visit