What is Spray Foam?

What is Spray Foam?

We receive several calls and questions about spray foam each day asking for quotes and when can you install it, yet, when asked why spray foam, very few answer, “Because it’s the BEST option.”   At Emerald Coast Energy Solutions (ECES) we don’t offer spray foam and wanted to take the time to educate our customers and give you a better understanding of why we made that decision NOT to offer spray foam.  Spray foam is used as an alternative to blown-in and batt insulation.  It is composed of isocyanate and poly resin which come together at the tip of a wand and when combined creates a chemical reaction making an expandable foam.  Polyurethane, the most common type of spray foam was used by the military in the 1940’s and applied to airplanes.  Only in 1979 was polyurethane introduced as a building insulator.

Pros & Cons

Spray foam has it benefits.  When applied as insulation it does save on energy costs and lowers utility bills.  Studies by the US DOE (Department of Energy) show that 40% of a home’s energy is lost as the result of air infiltration through walls, windows and doorways.  Homes treated with spray foam insulation typically see a reduction in energy usage.  Even though spray foam is efficient, there is a growing health risk involved using spray foam.  You can learn more from the EPA (US Environmental Protection Agency); Health concerns about Spray Polyurethane foam.   These concerns are why ECES chooses not to support or install this product to protect our customers.

A little more about spray foam and isocyanate.  Isocyanate are powerful irritants to the eyes, gastrointestinal, and respiratory tracks.  Exposure to isocyanate may cause inflammation, eye and lung irritation, asthma and “sensitization.  According to the EPA, exposure to isocyanate should be minimized.  Sporadic cases of hypersensitivity pneumonitis have also been reported in workers exposed to isocyanates.   The symptoms may seem like the flu, muscle aches and headaches.  Other symptoms include a dry cough, chest tightness and difficult breathing.  I am not trying to scare or say spray foam is a bad product.  Thousands of jobs are installed correctly every year with great results.  It is the small percent which concerns me.  CBC Market place covered one story in Florida which you can view here.

Alternatives

The alternative to having isocyanate sprayed in your home is our environmentally friendly blown-in-insulation and our eShield Radiant Barrier.

If you are looking for ways to make your home more energy efficient, contact one of our experts at Emerald Coast Energy Solutions. 

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