You can save a lot of money on your home heating and cooling bills if you install proper insulation (find out how much with this foam calculator). You can go with the old fiberglass standby, but this can leave many cracks that allow hot air to leak either out or in. Spray foam insulation can solve this problem if it is installed well. It will stick to the insides and coat your entire home to prevent air leaks.

spray foam installation basement walls

Spray foam insulation should be installed by professionals in order to assure a good job. There are many intricacies with mixture, temperature, and application that make applying spray foam a challenging task. And even the pros make mistakes. Here are four common spray foam insulation mistakes to avoid:

* Thickness of foam

The two general types of spray foam are closed and open cell. Open cell fills the entire space provided for it, so thickness is never going to be an issue. On the other hand, closed cell foam does not expand as much. Therefore, it forms more of a coating on the walls. If the coat is not thick enough, then your insulation will be compromised. Your installer needs to make sure that the spray is coating thick enough and uniform throughout the entire room.

* Incomplete coverage

Foam can be an excellent means of insulating a large house. Unfortunately, the bigger it is, the more likely you are to encounter this problem. An installer may simply miss one particularly leaky spot. In this case, presenting problems can range from poor temperature regulation to internal home damage as a result of allowing humid and hot air to seep into your cooled house. This can lead to water damage and ceiling leaks if not controlled.

* Inadequate assessment of the building envelope

The spray foam installer needs to be fully aware of all the different crevices of the home to cover. Specifically, he or she must know where all the interfaces to the outside are located. This constitutes the building envelope. If a spot is missed, even if it does not allow air to seep through, it will still be a problem. Building materials can conduct heat and will do little to prevent heat transfer if they are not properly insulated.

Certainly, you want proper insulation. However, if the installer does not understand where the building envelope is within your home, you may be given too much spray foam. You will pay for everything they spray, and that includes the excessive foam as a result of the installer’s lack of knowledge.

* Foam contraction

Rarely, the foam can contract and peel away from the walls. This may be due to bad luck or negligence in terms of mixing or temperature control during installation. At any rate, it is a problem that will need to be addressed. Even relatively small leaks can make a huge difference in your atmosphere control costs.


The moral of the story is that you should seek out the best experts you can find. Inexperienced installers can make mistakes that negate the benefits of spray foam insulation. The best way to go about finding the more skilled installers is to look up online reviews. Do not skimp on your research. A qualified installer can save you a lot of money and discomfort in the long term.

James Hofman is a writer for an insulation company. He enjoys writing about about construction related topics. 

For more to look out for with Spray Foam Insulation, see this article from one-time contributor Allison Bailes4 Pitfalls of Spray Foam Insulation.

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