Generally, spray polyurethane foams, or spray foams, are used to seal cracks and gaps and insulate buildings. Spray foam can make any building energy-efficient, allowing the property owners to save money on energy bills in the long run.
However, spray foam can generate toxic emissions during building renovations and demolitions or when the material isn’t handled correctly. Spray foam contains harmful chemicals that can increase a person’s risk of developing asthma and experiencing severe eye and skin irritation.
Fortunately, there are many ways to tell if your spray foam is bad. Once you notice any of these bad spray foam signs, hire professionals right away to mitigate the problem.
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1. Spray Foam Is Oozing Out of the Cracks
For spray foam to insulate your building and provide benefits, it should be properly applied around the ductwork, rim joists, and electrical or piping penetrations, not on the surface. So, if you see spray foam oozing out of the cracks, be wary.
Oozing spray foam is an issue as this releases harmful particles, like formaldehyde gas, into the air. This gas can cause watery eyes, burning sensations in the nose and throat, and skin irritation.
2. Bad Smell Indoors
How your building smells inside can speak volumes about the condition of the spray foam you’re using. Often, a bad or foul odor is a tell-tale sign that you have bad spray foam and that it has accumulated mold over time.
Leaving this problem unresolved can attract germs and bacteria and make your interiors a breeding ground for diseases.
Aside from serious health risks, mold can also weaken the structure of your building. This will make your property at high risk of collapsing, especially if your area is prone to typhoons, hurricanes, and other catastrophes.
3. Unhardened Spray Foam
The process of applying spray foam requires time. If the spray foam is properly applied, it will cure for about 8 to 24 hours. If you’re noticing that your spray foam is still soft even after a day, you probably have bad spray foam in your building.
You can also determine whether the spray foam has been cured or not by using a knife. If you’re able to cut through the spray foam with one quick motion, then it’s still uncured.
When touched or disturbed uncured spray foam can throw off two forms of toxic poison:
- uncured chemical dust
- off-gassing of the volatile organic compounds
These can cause severe headaches, loss of coordination, and nausea. Excessive exposure to uncured spray foam can also damage the kidney, liver, and central nervous system.
4. Dark-Colored Spray Foam
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be an expert in spray foam to assess its condition. Paying attention to the color of your spray foam after its application will enable you to determine its quality.
After the curing process, spray foams should be a white color. Seeing your spray foam harden to any color other than white is a red flag, as this usually signifies problems. For example, seeing black or dark spots in your spray foam means that the mixture wasn’t made with equal parts of components A and B.
In spray foams, component A is comprised of methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) and polymeric methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (pMDI), and component B is a blend of polyols, flame retardant, surfactant, and catalysts. Off-ratio spray foam will be crunchier and more brittle and can crack very easily.
Dark-colored spray foams can also signify the presence of mold. As mentioned, mold can pose serious health risks to the people living in the building.
Hire Professionals ASAP
Seeing any of the signs listed above should prompt you to call professionals right away. Never attempt to fix or handle spray foam on your own, as this can only do more harm than good. Without the right equipment and experience, spray foam can take a toll on your health.
Don’t take any chances and opt to hire professionals to treat problems with your spray foam. This is where we come into the picture. Our team behind Star Spray Foam Insulation has provided home maintenance services to residential buildings for two decades. We offer high-quality insulation services, which include the installation and repair of spray foams.
If you’re interested in learning more about us or our services, contact us at 504-291-0100 or fill out this form to schedule an appointment. We’ll provide the essential services to ensure that your home is safe from the dangers of bad spray foam!
MORE FROM STAR SPRAY FOAM
Star Spray Foam insulation is proud to provide affordable, efficient insulation services to the community of New Orleans. We have built a reputation in the NOLA area for efficient, high-quality insulation at an affordable cost.
We use quality materials to maximize the amount of heat retained inside your home – and we install them for you hassle-free.