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 a professional installer before you start any project involving spray foam.
Spray Foam Insulation is Best For Florida Climate
Florida’s climate is a humid subtropical climate, which means you must take extra caution when attempting DIY spray foam insulation projects. Humidity and high temperatures can cause the spray foam to expand prematurely and could result in an inconsistent and uneven application of the product. Additionally, DIYers may not be aware that they need to account for Florida’s hurricane season when planning their project. Because of high winds and the potential for storms, DIYers should consider hiring a professional installer to ensure that their home is properly protected against weather damage.
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 insulation value, or 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. A high r value means it has a higher resistance to heat flow. 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 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 Florida, you know that bad weather can pop up at any moment. You should always check the weather forecast before attempting a DIY spray foam insulation project. If there is any chance that Florida’s hurricane or stormy season may be impacting your efforts, 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 Florida’s unpredictable climate. They also have access to the right safety gear and equipment needed for a successful installation.
If you’re considering calling a professional, contact your local Energy Monster team, located in Largo, FL. We are your experts on improving energy efficiency and the comfort of your home. Fill out the contact form or call today for more information on how we can make your home comfortable all year round.