One of the most common questions I am asked is about the possible damage to pipes and household wiring from spray foam.
While there may be some debate about whether spray foam can damage the insulation covering household wiring, industry guidelines state that, when properly applied, spray foam is perfectly safe and can be applied to wiring.
There are some other factors to consider when applying spray foam to seal up recessed lighting fixtures and other similar fixtures so they receive enough ventilation to avoid overheating, but a true professional knows when, where, and how to apply foam in these areas.
Can you cover the old-fashioned knob and tube wiring? Can spray foam be applied over empty electrical conduits? Can you apply spray foam to metal pipes?
In this article, I will answer these questions and more.
Where is it Safe to Apply Spray Foam?
One of the tricks of the trade, so to speak, is planning. Before my team begins spraying foam, we go over the particulars of the area that is to receive spray foam.
I can point out which areas are to be covered, if there is anything to avoid, and if there are areas that require a bit of special attention.
When speaking of electrical outlets, junction boxes, or lighting fixtures, this planning is not only just a “good idea”, but it’s actually vital to ensure not only future access but to prevent possible fires from overheating fixtures.
Can spray foam be applied to electrical conduits? Yes, it can. In fact, this is quite common. The electrician or contractor can use hidden conduits to route wiring without having to break open the spray foam that was previously installed.
Can you spray over old-fashioned Knob and tube wiring? No, you shouldn’t. In fact, if your classic home still has this type of wiring, you should seriously consider upgrading to building code-rated wiring to prevent a possible fire. You cannot apply any type of insulation to this type of wiring, by the way, not just spray foam.
Is spray foam corrosive to metal pipes? No, it isn’t, so it is perfectly safe to apply spray foam to metal pipes.
Of course, my answers to the questions above are contingent on having a professional mix and install the spray foam.
Yes, there are DIY spray foam kits, but there is so much you need to know before you spray anything bigger than your dog’s house.
Some of the most commonly asked questions I receive include:
- Can spray foam be applied to any surface? As long as the surface is clean, dry, and free from oil residue or dust, there is almost nothing spray foam won’t stick to. I believe there are a few very slippery surfaces, such as some polyethylene liners that can be tricky. But with a little surface prep (usually roughing up the exterior with a bit of sandpaper), there is very little that spray foam will NOT stick to.
- Do you use a spray foam wand to get spray foam into tight areas? Currently, there is no magic wand or other devices for this purpose. Spray foam will fill any crack or crevice without the need for a wand, which is why it probably hasn’t been developed yet.
- Can my contractor or other workers be inside the house while spray foam is applied? No. Everyone needs to stay out of the building while spray foam is being applied and for at least four hours afterward. You can sustain permanent respiratory damage from these airborne chemicals, which is why you will see our workers with what looks like hazmat suits and gas masks. Once dry, spray foam is harmless, but that takes between 4 and 24 hours depending on the temperatures and humidity levels.
- Can spray foam increase a home’s value? Oh yes! Take a look at some of the listings on the market and you’ll see people advertising their low utility bills because of spray foam as a selling point. Imagine if you had to choose from two identical homes, one with spray foam and one with pink fiberglass insulation. Which would you choose?
- Can you spray interior walls and ceilings to reduce noise? Yes, you can. Not only will spray foam insulate the room from the outside, but it also reduces airborne sound transfer.
- Can installing spray foam save money in other areas besides utility bills? The answer to this one is yes. You can reduce the size of the HVAC system you buy when you match the size of the HVAC system with the sealed spray foam building envelope. I can help you figure out what size HVAC system you will need and it’s certain to be smaller than the one you are using now. In some cases, a closed cell spray foam application can eliminate the need to use a vapor barrier. This will depend on your particular building and I will be happy to discuss this possibility.
Spray foam has been used successfully in both commercial and residential housing for at least 30 years, so the above questions aren’t being left to chance. We already know the answers!
There is really just one question left:
Why Should I Choose Chicago Green?
This is an important question and not one that I take lightly.
The contractor you choose to apply your spray foam can make or break your insulating project.
Chicago Green Insulation has been in business since 2002. We are the #1 authority and have more 5-star customer reviews than any other company that I am aware of.
Spray foam isn’t for everyone and I will tell you if spray foam isn’t right for your home and what you should consider instead. Try getting that kind of service from anyone else!
Lower utility bills and comfort are just a FOAM call away, so why not call right now while you’re thinking about it?
I will be happy to give you an estimate and answer any other questions or concerns that you might have.
Call us for a quote today!