The weather outside is frightful and you’re thinking about how to keep the temperature inside of your home delightful. You may have heard about spray foam insulation and how it is such a great way for you to save on heating costs, but is a do-it-yourself kit the right choice for you and your home? in this blog post, we’ll talk about DIY spray foam kits – what they are and how they work – and why you might just be better off just hiring a professional for your insulation project.
Evergreen Insulation has been in business in Spokane and Northern Idaho for more than 50 years working with polyurethane spray foam insulation. While we don’t use or sell the kits that you might find out at your local hardware store, we have been installing this groundbreaking technology for decades, so we know how to get the job done right. We’ve also heard a lot of horror stories about what can happen when an inexperienced homeowner has tried to use these kits, and some of the results aren’t too pretty.
In an effort to keep our customers well-educated on all things insulation we have collected and compiled some information to help you determine if one of these DIY kits is right for your home or project.
Can You Install Your Own Spray Foam Insulation?
The short answer is yes, however, the question you should really be asking is: should you? We think not. While spray foam is an excellent product that can provide a superior level of insulation when done right, it’s not always easy to install. It can be tricky for homeowners who don’t have any experience working with this material to do a job well.
One thing to keep in mind is that spray foam must be applied evenly in order for it to be an effective insulator. While a professional installer usually knows what they are doing, as they know all the tips and tricks and have years of experience, working with this sticky substance can be frustrating and difficult for someone who doesn’t.
So if you want to install spray foam yourself, what you really need to be asking is “do I have the time and patience to learn this skill?”
What is a Spray Foam Insulation Kit?
Spray foam kits that can typically be found at your local hardware store use low pressure and can be used to insulate particular areas inside your home. If you have some experience, you can use these kits to quickly insulate some of the nooks and crannies around your house that may be producing drafts, such as around doors and windows. For the most part, spray foam kits are meant to fill in small spaces or gaps. Larger DIY kits can be useful for larger areas such as attics or exposed walls, but these kinds of DIY projects are best left up to homeowners who already have some experience.
A DIY spray foam insulation kit is generally comprised of polyurethane which is expelled at low pressure. These kits have been steadily gaining in popularity because they are inexpensive and already come pre-packaged with all of the necessary hardware for a quick and easy installation.
When choosing a kit, you may want to take into consideration the option of open cell vs. closed cell spray foam. Closed cell foam is typically more expensive but performs better, while open cell spray foam can be applied in tighter spaces. Open cell foam is also typically more lightweight and has a higher capacity for expansion, conversely, closed-cell insulation is much more dense and doesn’t expand nearly as much.
Homeowners should be aware that although these kits might seem accessible and simple to use, DIY spray foam requires some knowledge and a bit of a knack for handy work to be able to be installed successfully.
How Do These Kits Work?
Many DIY foam kits have two components. These two components are combined during the application process through the use of a trigger. When the two elements meet, a chemical reaction takes place to produce a foamy mixture. This mixture will quickly expand and harden forming your installation.
Component A: Typically composed of polyurethane.
Component B: Varies depending on the manufacturer, but is usually a mix of fatty acids and resins that act as surfactants in order to stabilize the foam. One example is propylene glycol monolaurate.
When the A and B components mix and a reaction occurs, they create a foam that can be sprayed or applied in layers.
Pros and Cons of DIY Spray Foam Kits
A DIY spray foam kit can be a great choice for homeowners who want to save a few pennies and stay in full control of their projects. When used correctly, these do-it-yourself kits can provide an excellent value.
However, homeowners should remember that applying their own spray foam may not be quite as easy as it sounds. When done incorrectly or without extreme care, you can have a major mess on your hands and even a potential safety hazard.
- Small jobs can be completed successfully in one day
- Requires some skill and know how
- Can be a safety hazard
- Difficult to work with
Why Hire A Professional Contractor Instead of DIY
- A professional contractor has experience in the field and knows how to get the job done right. They can calculate how much insulation is needed for your project, and they can apply it quickly and efficiently.
- An amateur contractor may end up causing more harm than good. They may not have the skills or experience required, which can result in making mistakes that compromise your home’s overall insulation efficiency.
- A professional will be licensed, bonded and insured, which means they are credible, experienced and have the right qualifications for your project. Insurance and bonding also means that if they make a mistake, you’re covered from any liability.
- Hiring a professional means that you can rest assured knowing your insulation project is done right and that the results are durable, efficient and long-lasting.
- If you try to do the work yourself and mess it up, it is possible that you may need to tear it all out and start over, wasting valuable time and money in the process.
If you’re on a tight budget and are determined to take on your own insulation project, go ahead and purchase one of the many DIY spray foam insulation kits that are available. However, we want to make sure that your project goes well from the very beginning, so keep in mind that these products can be a hassle to use without prior experience or help.
You may come to find that doing an installation job yourself will take much longer than anticipated, and you may not be able to give the results you’re looking for. If you do find this to be the case, our professionals are standing by to provide you with an estimate as well as a guaranteed installation time that will save on your budget and keep your home comfortable for years to come!