Spray Foam Insulation: Do-it-yourself or Hire a Professional?

Spray foam insulation has an almost unchallenged reputation as the best insulating product on the market.  It’s versatile, and it delivers results.  It’s a sealant, an insulator, and a sound proofed – and it even adds structural strength to the area where it’s applied.  In terms of the overall product benefits, there really isn’t a product or a combination of products that can compete with the efficacy of the spray foam product.

More and more industry professionals are recommending and installing spray foam.   At the same time, many home improvement centers are promoting the DIY approach to spray foam.  In fact, there are many good reasons to leave the spray foam insulation to the experts.  It’s a project that demands experience and expertise.  The product itself requires special handling, and the install requires the skill and proficiency of an installer who knows the ins and outs.

Spray foam insulation, like any specialized application, is worth doing right the first time.  A re-work or a re-do can be problematic and costly, not to mention stressful.  An expert knows how to prepare the work site properly.  An expert understands the nuances of the product. An expert appreciates the complexities of the installation.  And above all, an expert knows how to properly safeguard occupants (or residents) during an install.

The do-it-yourself approach has potential for bad outcomes.  Of course, there are health and safety concerns, but there’s also the chance of doing damage to the home.  The best advice is to be safe, rather than sorry.  The professionals are trained – they know how to handle the spray foam compounds properly, and they are qualified in the operation of the specialized application equipment.  A good contractor is also licensed and certified, and for good reason.

Probably the best reason to avoid the DIY approach is the unique nature of the spray foam compound. The preparation, mixing and application of the chemicals demands expertise.  As well, care and attention to detail is required during the installation.  Beyond that, application layering, timing and curing are critical to a proper install.  An expert installer brings it all to the job, including the appropriate safety equipment and the right protective wear.

From time to time, the so-called “expert” may not be such an expert.  A reputable, established contractor should provide a product guarantee from the manufacturer, and a company guarantee on the work performed.  Anything else may result in pitfalls, especially during the long term, and long after the installation.  Choosing the right contractor is therefore vital, and once again, it’s better to be safe than sorry when making the hiring decision.

With annual growth of close to 40%, spray foam insulation has garnered much attention in recent years.  As such, the Canadian Urethane Foam Contractors Association encourages consumers to choose their insulation contractor carefully and assess any warranties and guarantees with care.  Of course, the very best scenario is to be an informed, astute and discriminating consumer.  It makes for better decision making all around.