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spray polyurethane foam kits

Are DIY SPF Application Kits Even Safe and Useful?

You’ve definitely seen a huge amount of advertisement about them especially this Christmas season. You’ve see copywriting convincing you to fill in the nooks, crannies, and leaks from your roof, walls, and other residential surfaces with a spray polyurethane foam insulation spray or straw. In fact, YouTube has a great number of videos that show the seemingly easy way to use them at home.

If a great number of DIY SPF kits are available on the market, then why would renowned companies such as Ener Spray even need to provide services and go through hoops securing certification and regulation? The answer: we only guarantee tried-and-proven methods and solutions when it comes to SPF application. In addition, we work on massive interiors and exteriors too.

In addition, we don’t use one-off DIY SPF application kits. However, it had us curious as well because many are gifting it to their buddies. Even wives are in on the take for their husbands. During our research, we found out how to use these DIY kits — an expert from Fine Homebuilding took one for the team.

Each of these kits includes two tanks of chemicals (parts A and B), 15 ft. of hose, several replaceable nozzles, and a gun that mixes the chemicals and sprays the foam. They’re all closed-cell-type foams. Kits are sold in sizes from about 12 board feet (bd. ft.) to 620 bd. ft.; 1 bd. ft. covers 1 sq. ft. at a thickness of 1 in. The manufacturers say you should assume about 25% waste.

It’s recommended that the chemicals be between 60ºF and 80ºF; the higher end of the spectrum will produce the best yield. If the tanks are colder than 60ºF, they should be warmed over several days in a hot room or immersed in hot tap water for an hour or more. Some manufacturers caution against putting them in direct sunlight or near space heaters, although I’ve talked to weatherization crews that routinely warm foam canisters both ways without problems. (Read More)

Because the writer is an expert who has worked with industry-grade SPF application equipment, he understands how to identify (not measure) whether the chemicals have reached 60-80 Fahrenheit in temperature before using applying it. When you think about it, the average Joe might forego or make mistakes in their measurements.

In fact, incidents involving “spray and pray” are common especially for first-time, inexperienced DIY kit owners. It is for this reason many professionals view the kits as novelties rather than useful (except maybe in experienced hands — as the writer demonstrated above).

Additionally, SPF has health dangers. It is one of the reasons local governments must issue permissions and certifications because SPF in its application state is greatly dangerous. SPF can cause skin, eye, and lung irritation. In addition, it can desensitize the body if you let your skin absorb it.

Building Green has a great explanation about it below.

The issue of the day is spray polyurethane foam (SPF) insulation products. Last month the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a new action plan for a key family of chemicals used in SPF. Isocyanates, such as MDI (methylene diphenyl diisocyanate), are chemicals that react with polyols to form polyurethane. They can also cause skin, eye, and lung irritation, asthma, and chemical sensitization when absorbed through the skin or inhaled.

Polyurethane is in a lot of stuff, from foam mattresses to bowling balls. When it is fully reacted or “cured,” it is stable and its chemistry is not a significant concern. However, some products, however, such as adhesives, coatings, and spray foam, react while being applied by builders or homeowners doing insulation retrofits, and continue to react for some hours afterwards, and may contain “uncured” isocyanates to which people may be exposed.

This is not news: worker protection protocols and quality assurance programs for SPF installation were developed by the SPF industry decades ago. Why the fuss now? (Continue Reading)

So, are DIY kits really effective and safe? We at Ener Spray beg to differ. The health consequences and the experience to use these kits effectively make them a very problematic investment that guarantees no returns even if it is a gift. It’s better to use professional services that keeps in mind your logistics and guarantees only exceptional results in every project.