Spray Foam Insulation Chicago, IL
Welcome to IL Spray Foam Insulation, the highest quality spray foam insulation Chicago, Illinois has to offer. We pride ourselves with an unmatchable insulation service and that old-fashioned clean-up-after-yourself attitude. Whatever the size of your project may be, our expert industry technicians here at have got you covered.
There’s always a lot of questions involved when you start thinking about spray foam insulation in Chicago. How is it done? How much does it cost? Why can’t I do it myself? And the list goes on and before you know the time has run out. And all the problems of lack of insulation are knocking at your doorstep. Spray foam insulation is reliable and cost-effective when done the right way. However, most residents get stuck when taking the next big step forward.
Our website is designed to help you from getting stuck in decision making when the time comes instead of acting right away. And for that to happen you’ll be provided with all the information you need on how it’s done plus why you may not want to do it yourself.
How is Spray Foam Insulation Installed?
Spray foam insulation is an insulation product that usually comes in two cylinders as a kit containing two components namely MDI and polyol blend which are mixed to react on-site.
Spray foam insulation unlike any other type of insulation comes in liquid form. As a result of its liquid nature, we are forced to install it in a different way. Unlike fiberglass which is patted into the wall or cellulose which is blown spray foam insulation is rather sprayed. This can be clearly understood from the name “spray foam insulation” which means foam that is sprayed.
You’ll notice that the word “foam” is used rather than “liquid” and you might wonder why not “sprayed liquid” instead since we have already made it clear that it comes in liquid form. Yes, it does come in the form of liquid as a product but undergoes a certain procedure that turns it into the foam during the application phase. This is one of the major roles of a technician at IL Spray Foam Insulation Chicago.
This is achieved when a reaction occurs by mixing two separate liquid components that react together on-site to produce foam. What makes spray foam insulation so different is not only its liquid nature but the fact that the product itself has to undergo a further processing stage to arrive at the end product. In this case, the two liquids do not serve as the end product. Both liquid components have to react together expanding into the foam to provide insulation. This brings about other activities such as mixing and the use of the spraying equipment.
The Basics of Spray Foam Installation in Chicago
Having discussed all the major differences that bring about the unique method of installing foam it’s a good idea to have a clear understanding of what this actually translates to in the application process. The various differences found in spray foam insulation such as in the mixing stage and the use of the spraying equipment give birth to all the components of the SF insulation process. Starting from mixing of the liquid, the spraying, the curing stage, and scraping off excess. These various activities to be carried out are guided by certain requirements to make the process a successful one as we will discuss shortly.
Although many people like to think of spray foam insulation closely related to the process of spraying paint this can only align with the technique of spraying but not necessarily the same process.
Think of the spray foam insulation process as a process of preparation, application, and curing followed by techniques to help guide you through.
Steps and Procedures of Spray Foam Insulation
This is the foremost stage in spray foam insulation where there are a lot of boxes to be checked. The preparation process can be split into two stages first getting the equipment ready and the environment in which it is to be applied.
For the surrounding environment, everything is kept clean and tidy starting from the floors to the walls. Brooms and vacuum cleaners are good resources to help in removing dirt and the rest of the clutter. Walls are best treated with dry clothing or using a scrub to get rid of anything that will have contact with the wall restricting the foam from having direct contact.
2. Assembling the Equipment
Spray foam insulation products come in kits consisting of two cylinders and the spraying equipment. There are different manufacturers of these kits and every kit has its own unique handbook. All the rules and important things to take note of are found in the handbook which will serve as the main source of reference.
The kit comes with a set of spray nozzles with different uses. Most kits have already hoses and the guns attached so an applicator doesn’t have to waste too much time. However, the bigger kits come in separate tanks. On the smaller kits, a safety trigger is attached to the gun which has to be pressed initially before actual spraying starts. The nozzles are then attached to the end of the gun snapped into a lever stationed at the top of the gun.
Nozzles are replaced by pulling down on the lever at the lower end to lift the hook for the nozzle to escape.
3. Checking all Safety Guidelines
Safety instructions are a must to take note of. Every certified spray foam contractor is made to pass through the Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA) Accreditation courses offered by the manufacturers with guidelines from the CPI. Our technicians at Chicago Spray Foam Insulation make sure they read the handbook in case if there is a change from manufacturer to manufacturer.
Safety can start from wearing the proper safety equipment, making sure the cylinders are at the right temperature of about 24 degrees Celsius, and making sure there aren’t any external chemical threats on the loose. This can involve switching off of HVAC devices, keeping a first aid kit close by, proper ventilation, and making sure there are no air or chemical leaks. Apart from equipment and home safety, there’s a greater need for personal protection. Personal protection can be made available for the eyes, hands, skin, and lungs. These are the four main aspects of personal protection achieved by wearing a bodysuit, respirator, safety glasses, and gloves.
At IL Spray Foam Insulation Chicago, all our workers are encouraged to have a written job site safety plan. You can have access to more guidance on best practices from the American Chemistry Council and the ACC Center for the Polyurethanes Industry.
4. Spraying the Foam
Spraying is where a lot of things can go wrong and a person can easily get distracted. All other items are moved out of the way and the room is completely cleared. Nozzles are frequently replaced during the spraying process as soon as they get clogged with expanded foam stuck within. It may take about 30 seconds before the foam expands but the switching is carried out very fast. Again this is another big differentiator that separates foam spraying and paint spraying.
As soon as the two-components are released from the cylinders after pressing the trigger the two components come up to the nozzle and mix with the help of a spiral tube. In the kit, there is a petroleum jelly serving as a lubricant applied time after time whenever the nozzle has to be changed or fixed in the first place. The required temperature of the cylinders has to be reached for maximum yield.
Immediately after the setup is finished the spraying immediately begins. But before then a quick shake is given to the cylinders/tanks to mix things up. Before the actual procedure starts the cylinders are opened to have a quick spray test. This is done to ensure quality and an even combination of both components. Standing at least 6 inches away from the wall the foam is sprayed with a regulated hand movement to create a double coat expanding into 1-inch called “lifts”. Once the wall cavity is filled the sprayed foam is left to expand for 2 minutes before applying the remaining “lifts”.
All applied lifts are left to cure before fresh layers are put on to ensure that all lifts properly cure. Throughout this procedure, all electrical structures such as sockets and other restricted spraying areas are sealed or wrapped in plastic.
5. Trimming off the Edges and Final Touches
Once the foam is fully sprayed and left to rest for a couple of minutes it expands more than 30 times its original size. The end result should be a nice and firm foam texture. In most cases, the foam might expand pass the wall framing that is later trimmed. Using a utility knife or a curry comb excess chunks of foam are trimmed or scraped off. Even much larger chunks can be treated using a handsaw. For the final touches missed spots are targeted and treated with sealant foams.
Once this is done the protective coating is applied as required by the manufacturer’s datasheet. Our spray foam insulation Chicago technicians on-site will go through this so you don’t have to worry much about it. The cleaning immediately follows after and the insulation contractor can call you to be on your way home.
It’s important to note that SPF products are made by several manufacturers and almost every manufacturer has a set of guidelines on how to install a particular product. For example, a seasoned professional at IL Spray Foam Insulation Chicago will not necessarily go-ahead to install a Froth-Pak 200 in the same way he will install a tiger foam E-84.
After revealing all of the techniques and procedures of spray foam installation we can now dive into a more important matter.
Should You Do It Yourself
Nowadays any home improvement option out there has a DIY method of doing it. And with little surprise spray foam insulation also has a DIY approach to it. And so you might be tempted – why not just jump into it after all it may cost you less money. That is what comes to the minds of many homeowners whenever they are looking for an alternative to hiring a licensed spray foam insulation contractor in Chicago. So is this the right choice to make or is this just an easy route to failure at this stage.
Spray foam insulation products, unlike any other home improvement products, are products that need handling not only in the installation aspect but in the technical know-how as well. Unfortunately, unlike any other product, spray foam is not something that you can handle with your bare hands. Remember that it’s a complete chemical reaction taking place within your building. And these chemicals are not any ordinary chemicals
As a result of how complicated this process can get it has brought about hundreds of regulations guiding it some coming from the U.S. Government bodies and other various safety councils.
Why you should not DIY Spray Foam Insulation Chicago
Apart from the health problems, this may cause, there can be harsh economic consequences’ if it’s not installed the right way. All insulation products come with various technical specifications starting from the thickness grading and mode of application. These specifications if interpreted the wrong way can lead to over-spraying translating into poor insulation.
A building is a complete thermal envelope with many components contributing to its gross performance. Shifting or altering the thermal envelope of one area can largely affect the rest of the building science.
As a homeowner without the necessary knowledge and equipment to carry out a full inspection which subsequently leads to an insulation plan, you have a high risk of making decisions that may cause your home series of hazards. It is important to understand the assembly of every section of the house from the attic to the floor to ensure a healthy and efficient air sealing. This is why it’s best to leave it to the certified spray foam insulation installers for maximum investment returns.
Some other dangers of DIY Spray Foam Insulation
Is Using Spray Foam Insulation in Chicago Safe?
The safety of any product that comes into our homes and plans to stay for a long time is something paramount and shouldn’t be joked with. Over the years following the incredible journey of spray foam insulation this has remained the hardest part for most people and the one which is unforgiving if gotten wrong. With as accessible as enough information that is available and with all the expertise available at people’s doorsteps this still stands as a huge barrier for some. Perhaps this is a product with one of the highest myths surrounding it in recent times.
It baffles some of us to understand why people agree to hang plastic bags filled with water in front of their windows to chase away flies but find it hard to understand why an insulation material should be installed in their homes. As far as the American Chemistry Council is concerned spray foam insulation is safe for what it’s meant to be used for.
Notice that the phrase “safe for what it’s meant to be used for” is being used. Now, of course – every product out there is safe for what’s meant for. So what could this mean? Spray foam insulation is considered as a high-performance solution material that helps insulate an entire building but quite harmful when left active in certain circumstances. For example, coming in contact with the human skin or inhaling it through the lungs. If exposed to the skin, eyes, and lungs it may lead to certain symptoms that are harmful to once health.
Based on this issue protective equipment must be brought into use to completely eliminate the health risks of getting in contact with the substance. Once spray foam is already installed and left to cure there’s nothing left to worry about. Our technicians here at IL Spray Foam Insulation Chicago have the task to make sure this happens.
What makes spray foam safe?
From one of our earliest discussions, we talked about spray foam insulation as a liquid-based product. Like every other chemical out there it has a stable state in which it exists. Luckily spray foam exists in a very stable state at room temperature after it has cured. This allows it not to take part in any other chemical reactions once it’s mixed and left to cure after spraying. In this state, you can even come in contact with it and it does not further release any harmful gases which might cause a treat to your respiratory health.
For many people, there can’t be more benefits to spray foam insulation apart from its powerful insulation abilities. Yet surprisingly spray foam insulation can further add to your health rather than reduce it. As a result of its ability to create an airtight barrier, it prevents the flow of moisture and humid air which results in the growth of mold. This condition is excellent to protect your home from molds and prevents you from having any allergies because of the clean air environment.
Spray Foam Insulation is Eco-friendly
Nowadays we leave in an environment focused era. At a time where almost every action we take can bring up or bring down the morals based on how environment-friendly that action is. It’s a day and time whereby our main goal is to preserve energy and prevent environmental pollution. And here at IL Spray Foam Insulation Chicago, we value the environment more than the service. So you’d come to a time whereby you have to ask yourself is this actually eco-friendly. The short answer is yes cured SPF is eco-friendly and we’ll explain shortly.
To understand and know if a product is environment-friendly we take a look at how it’s disposed after use. There are laws at the federal, state, and local level regulating how items like this are disposed on a day to day basis. However, for SPF the products exist either as a liquid before application or as cured SPF after application. The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) lists cured as a non-hazardous waste which means it can be disposed as normal waste.
Although cured foam is considered eco-friendly the chemical components of the A-side and B side before reaction are considered hazardous and not eco-friendly. This is proof that the worst attributes of SPF products are encountered only when the product is in liquid form and the best attributes are on the opposite side. For more information on disposing leftover SPF chemicals contained in the A and B side, you can reach out to the responsible agencies resource.
How much does Spray Foam Insulation Cost?
After reading so much to get here it’s finally time to rack up the numbers and weigh in your opportunity. The first thing to consider is the size of your home and the second part of it is to decide whether you need an open-cell or closed-cell insulation. On average, a 1500 square foot house can cost anywhere about $1500 – $2000. With that being said closed-cell insulation can cost as little as $1 to $2 and for the open cell it might cost about $2 to $3 each per square feet depending on the thickness.
The bottom line is that there are multiple factors that contribute to the pricing. You’ve to narrow down the amount of the material needed, the insulation product to be used, any additional labor needed, and other few things.
Now that you’ve managed to learn this much about spray foam insulation in Chicago, this might be a great time to make a decision that will have a liquid-based impact on the healthy performance of your building.
With coverage of Danville, Decatur and Champaign, our service at IL Spray Foam Insulation Chicago is positioned to be fast and straight forward. Call us today and our service team will receive you and guide you through the next steps forward.