There are an array of different forms of insulation you may turn to when you need to tighten up your home, but the one that often gets reached for most by unknowing homeowners is spray foam insulation. This stuff comes in a can, which makes it incredibly easy to use, it is totally portable, and it can be installed in the tightest of places. While spray foam insulation is good for a lot of insulating projects around the house, there are some situations when spray foam insulation will not be the best choice. Here is a quick look at three situations when spray foam insulation would be a bad idea.
Never used spray foam insulation in mold-prone areas.
In the basement, around leaky pipes, underneath your home—all of these are examples of spots around the house where moisture can be a big problem. Unfortunately, moisture and spray foam insulation do not get along. If the area where the insulation is used is prone to mold, the mold can get into the insulation itself and make it incredibly difficult to remove. Because spray foam insulation creates a watertight barrier, any moisture that gets trapped between the insulation and the surface of a wall, floor, or pipe will be prone to mold growth as well.
Avoid using spray foam insulation around your chimney.
Those tiny cracks and crevices between the chimney and the roof or the walls may look like ideal places for spray foam insulation to create a tighter seal. However, spray foam insulation is not fire proof and is often made of combustible materials. Therefore, using this form of insulation around a heated home element like the chimney is a really bad idea that could enhance risks of a fire down the road. Likewise, it is not a good idea to use the insulation around a hot water heater or near home heating elements that get hot to the touch.
Skip using spray foam insulation around outlets.
If you don't have a lot of insulation in your walls, you will definitely feel air flow when you place your hand near an electrical outlet. Spray foam insulation is often used inside the walls, but it is not a good idea to tackle this issue with a can of spray foam on your own. The foam expands as it dries, which means it can extend into the small junction box that houses the main wiring to the outlet and this can create a fire hazard. Instead, use foam-backed outlet covers to block out drafts around your outlets.