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Spray Foam Insulation Inspections

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Spray Polyurethane Foam Insulation 
Nuisance Odor Investigations

If you have any questions about your Spray Foam Insulation give us a call.  We can establish the origin of Spray Foam Insulation odors, the installed condition of the Spray Foam Insulation, and the determine if the design of your home and HVAC system are correct for Spray Foam Insulation.  We provide Spray Foam Insulation consulting throughout the country.  

 

With the rapid increase in the “Green” movement and the push for more energy efficient homes, spray polyurethane foam Spray Foam Insulation is growing substantially.  As with most new building products, the Spray Foam Insulation industry has had its own set of unique challenges that include the recognized need for training and certification for installers. 

 

Along with the recognized need for Spray Foam Insulation training are the results of inadequate applicator training, nuisance odors and occupant sensitivity to Spray Foam Insulation.  These occupant related complaints have led to a rise in Spray Foam Insulation investigations by many who have little understanding of Spray Foam Insulation and how it can alter the indoor environment even when correctly installed.

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Spray Polyurethane Foam SPF Insulation Inspections

An IEP (indoor environmental professional) that is attempting to identify how a product may be impacting a home’s indoor air quality and the home’s occupants must begin with the identification and assessment of the product itself. 

The first step of any product failure investigation would be to identify the product, and then the inspection of the applied product.  The actual inspection of the applied product is critical in establishing if the product has been installed in accordance with the manufactures installation specifications and/or industry standards.   Only then can there be a determination of correct or incorrect installation and/or product failure. 

The American Chemistry Council Spray Foam Coalition published the guidance document titled “Spray Polyurethane Foam: Guidance on Sampling Techniques for the Inspection of Installed SPF” which should be used to inspect the current condition of the installed SPF.

IAQ Solutions will inspect the installed condition of the Spray Foam Insulation in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications and the SPFA Inspection Criteria.

 

  • The investigation of SPF or Spray Foam Insulation Inspection for occupant complaints must begin with the identification of the installed SPF Insulation and then

  • The physical inspection of the installed Spray Polyurethane Foam SPF Insulation

    • The physical inspection of the applied Spray Foam Insulation is to establish if the applied SPF Insulation is installed correctly or misapplied and the possible cause and origin of the occupant complaint

  • The investigation must begin with the physical inspection of the Spray Foam Insulation

  • Has the applicator met the Project specifications and 

  • The manufacturer’s installation requirements?

    • Is the Spray Foam Insulation, SPF Insulation Installed Correctly?

 

A potential case for product failure or product defect where the product may be negatively impacting the occupants must begin with the establishment of correct product installation and performance.

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Spray Polyurethane Foam SPF Odor Investigations

When it comes to the investigation of nuisance odors associated with the application of spray polyurethane foam SPF insulation, I’ve found that most of the investigations typically involve little more than varied attempts at trying to chemically associate the odor with the off-gassing of the Spray Foam Insulation.

 

I’ve been assessing spray polyurethane foam insulation SPF for several years on too many properties to list. I’ve assessed a dozen or so product lines both closed and open cell for manufactures, builders, homeowners, and applicators. The properties ranged from universities, community centers, offices, homes, both new construction and retrofit applications.

 

In my experience, Spray Foam Insulation investigations can be categorized in three distinct categories. The first two seem to be the primary areas of Spray Foam Insulation investigations. The first category is simply misapplied Spray Foam Insulation, the second is presence of pre-existing or recently introduced contaminants and the third would be occupant exposure and sensitization during Spray Foam Insulation application.

 

By using these three assessment categories, I have had great luck in identifying the catalyst of the odor and associated complaint.  It has also helped raise awareness that it’s not always the SPF Spray Polyurethane FoamInsulation.

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Why Choose Florida IAQs for Spray Foam Insulation?

By expanding my approach to SPF investigations, I have found that not all SPF insulation complaints are a result of misapplied SPF.  This has led to my believing that I’m simply ignoring the issue of misapplied SPF or the concerns with occupant exposure to the application of SPF insulation.  That could not be further from the truth.  Of the three categories discussed in this presentation, two directly address the areas I’m often accused of either avoiding or ignoring.

It’s the second category that seems to raise concern with other IEP’s investigating SPF Insulation nuisance odors and complaints.  However, I stand behind this category and strongly believe that many homes have a presence of pre-existing or recently introduced contaminants.  I also believe that as a responsible IEP, I owe it to the occupants to look at all areas of the home to ensure the occupant’s health and safety.

 

The SPF Insulation industry has a tough road ahead of them in setting attainable goals and standards that can be enforced to help prevent categories one and three.  Of the three categories, the easiest to prevent and avoid is also the category with the greatest impact on the occupants, category three. 

 

To ensure SPF is applied correctly and avoid occupant exposure during application, we strongly encourage all SPF applicators participate in the SPFA's The Spray Polyurethane Foam Professional Certification Program (“SPFA PCP”)

 

By inspecting homes and directly addressing each of these three assessment categories, I have had great luck in identifying the catalyst of odors and associated complaints when SPF insulation is added to a home. 

 

The use of these three categories has also helped raise awareness that it’s not always the SPF.

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