Where Should You Not Use Spray Foam Insulation?

If you want to insulate your home, spray foam insulation is all the rage. And while this air-tight seal is taking over the market, there are a few things you should know about spray foam. For example, where should you not use spray foam insulation at home?

Places such as the electric circuits, the roof, ceiling light boxes, etc., should not come in contact with spray foam insulation. Given the spray’s ability to reach the narrowest recesses, you should use it carefully. Practicing safe insulation techniques for your safety and your home is crucial.

Keeping these in mind, let’s check out a few more places where you should not use foam spray insulation. While it is foolproof, spray foam insulation does have its dangers. We will cover these places in detail to help you stay safe. Let us begin!

7 Places To Keep Your Spray Foam Insulation Away From

While spray foam insulation has extensive utility for sealing cracks and ensuring comfortable airflow indoors, you ought to be careful. So let us check out the top seven places where you should not use the spray foam: 

1. Do Not Use Near Electric Spark or Open Flame

If you have a damaged or open wire cut, do not go near it while holding a spray foam insulator. The foam reactions quickly to spark or flame and spreads in no time. This puts you and your nearby household items at risk. 

While installing the insulation, the canned spray lets out a large amount of polyethylene (PU), quickly reacting to nearby flames. The risks involving their phenomenon can harm your life and the surrounding goods. So before spraying in an area with a change of fire ignition, start by cleaning the area first. Spray-insulating the house comes with proper safety precautions. So before you begin, try to:

  • Keep all lights and fans switched off to avoid short circuits.
  • Keep the doors and windows open a little for proper air circulation.

Take some time as the insulation will take a while to dry and form a waterproof and damage-proof sleeve. So patience and precautions are ideal for spraying the insulator at your home. 

Read: Ductwork Insulation: Everything You Need To Know

2. Do Not Use Near the Roof

While the spray foam can seal up any surface, you must be careful about your chosen surface. For example, using it near the roof might end badly. The foam is made up of harmful chemicals, which will rot your roof before sealing any holes. 

If you spray foam over your roof, it will face direct sunlight and rain, speeding up the damage and eroding process. Not to forget, indoor humidity and moisture ideally escape from your roof. However, if you apply a sealant over the exit, the water will accumulate over the adhesive on the rooftop and start to rust and rot in the targeted areas. 

A damaged roof can gravely affect your home’s structural integrity. Therefore, experts advise that you spray foam to insulate only the closed-cell spray and not the open-cell spray for maximum air circulation efficiency. 

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3. Around Doors and Windows

Doors and windows depending on their mobility. You need to open and close them throughout the day. So when using the spray foam insulation, try not to activate it near any doors and windows. Operating them can usually become challenging if the spray seals up any hinges. 

If you need to seal an area near a door or window, try to cover the openings to avoid mishaps. You can also use low-expansion foam. These have good flexibility and can clean easily without jamming up on the hinges. Another way to spray around doors and windows is to isolate the area initially. 

  • Apply a thin first layer that cannot scatter.
  • Give it time to harden and seal over the desired surface.
  • Apply a second coat which will drape perfectly over the first, and prevent it from spewing over other objects.

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4. Near Electric Circuits

Spray foam insulations do not suit areas with electric circuit boxes. This is risky business, and it is better to keep the spray foam away. The reason for this is that one accidental move can start a fire. If the insulation reaches the electric circuit box and the system, it will jam the components. 

As we mentioned before, foam insulations contain hazardous and toxic chemicals. If these dangerous toxins come in contact with the electric circuits, they will start an instant fire, endangering your house and property. 

One way to keep such risks at bay is to use low-expanding foam. While it is also flammable, it’s easy to clean and remove before it touches any electric surface. It’s also not too sticky and comes off easily with some help. Try taking a professional’s help to insulate such portions with high levels of risk. 

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5. Do Not Use Over Your Skin

Spray foam insulators come with several harsh chemicals, notably:

  • Isocyanate 
  • Polyol
  • Polyurethane, etc.

Careless exposure to these chemicals can trigger skin and health problems if you are not too careful. You might also start to feel a little sick after using it, especially if you have pre-existing medical conditions, such as:

  • Asthma
  • Respiratory problems
  • Skin problems

These ailments make it all the worse for you to tackle the side effects of being in contact with the insulation. Not to mention, prolonged exposure can lead to breathing issues which are highly risky for anyone with cardiac and respiratory problems. In such cases, we advise you seek a professional’s help installing the insulation. 

An expert insulation expert comes in a full PPC suit to ensure that the foam does not touch their skin and mouth. This type of professionalism ensures their safety over other insulation.

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6. Closed Cavity Places

While spray foam insulation can reach all nooks and crannies, closed cavity spaces are not one of them. These include spots like:

  • Closed cavity studs in brick walls
  • Cavity walls in brick exteriors

These places are the hardest to reach for insulation. Fortunately, a solution to these stubborn areas is injection foams. It is a perfect alternative to spray foam insulation and is slow to expand for even spreading. Not to forget, there are many benefits to using injection foams for issues like this:

  • It helps to seal up the most minute space entirely and ensure proper heat circulation within a room.
  • Keeps away pests, mites, and bugs from thriving over walls and ceiling cracks
  • They are generally non-toxic in nature.
  • It does not shrink too much due to weather changes.
  • Injection foam is fire resistant and stays put for years to come!

7. Do Not Spray Too Close to Ceiling Light Boxes

Spray foam insulation and recessed canister lights do not go hand-in-hand. These lights come with a lightbox that generally emits heat while active. Insulating near the light box can trap the heat, preventing it from escaping. 
If the insulation accidentally traps the heat inside for too long, the bulb inside might break down and cause a fire. It is a risky mistake, so you must never use something as sturdy as foam insulation near canister lights for sealing. Call for a professional’s help if you need to fill the neighboring area to maintain an optimum room temperature.