If you are like most people here in North Carolina and elsewhere across the country, you want your home to be as energy efficient as possible. Keeping the utility bills down, especially in summer, is a priority. When you asked around, you discovered spray foam insulation. Perhaps your neighbors, friends or family have it in their homes, and they told you that it does what it advertises.
That may be true, but some significant downsides to spray foam insulation exist that could put you and your family at risk. Before you decide to use this type of insulation, you may want to understand the downsides, including the risks to your health.
What could go wrong with spray foam insulation?
Lower utility bills may not be worth the following problems with this insulation:
- If the insulation does not meet with current building codes, it may not work as intended and could present problems if you attempt to sell your home.
- If the spray foam fails to fill every gap, it could allow moisture, small animals and bugs into the walls of your home, which could cause problems at some point.
- Improperly installed spray foam insulation could cause water damage, which could turn into a mold issue that could jeopardize your health.
- This is a more costly option than other forms of insulation.
- This type of insulation takes time to cure. This means that you and your family will probably need to vacate the premises until it does.
- The people who install it will wear protective gear, including a respirator. Think about what this could mean for you if you return to your home before it cures, or if it fails to cure properly at all.
- The chemicals could affect your stomach, eyes and lungs.
- Long-term exposure to the chemicals could cause chemical bronchitis or asthma.
- The chemicals could skin rashes, inflammation and swelling.
- The foam may shrink over time and cause numerous issues.
Spray foam insulation is not something that an amateur should install. This is certainly not a do-it-yourself project. If the contractor you hire and trust fails to do it properly, you could experience one or all of the above issues. Your contractor should have the experience to make sure that nothing goes wrong.
If something does go wrong, it could be due to your contractor's negligence. Legal remedies may be available if this is the case. Your first inclination could be health issues, so be sure to watch your and your family's health closely if you decide to use this insulation.