Itchy, burning irritated eyes, headache, chest pain, sore throat, running nose, increased mucus in head/throat, breathing problems, cough, bronchitis, skin rash are some of the common complaints from families living in a home with spray foam insulation.
Does your home have a sweet almost chemical like smell that intensifies in the heat (attic on a hot day). Some foams are fishy smelling. Spray foam is NOT suppose to have an odor so if it does you may need to start asking questions.
Do your symptoms go away if you leave your home for awhile? If so – you may have a problem with your foam.
Looking at your foam can sometimes help determine a problem because of physical characteristics, but lots of problem foam homes have ‘ok’ looking foam. Well, ‘ok’ until tested in a chamber to see the gross amount of chemicals that ooze out at low temps of only 73 degrees.
Is your foam sticky, soft and wet or dry and flaky? Is it a cream color or yellow/orange? Is the color consistent or marbled?
Do you smell areas more than other areas? try cutting a mason jar sized piece out and put it in a mason jar, close it up for a day then smell it. Is it potent or no odor? If the whiff test makes your nose cringe, you very well may have a problem.
Did the installer ventilate your home while installing? Did the put a warning sign on your property to stay out for 24-48hr post spray (and during spray)?
If you think your foam is off gassing (yes, that means if it has a smell and sometimes the smell can minimal, but if you have symptoms as stated above with or without the smell) it is best to act sooner than later. We do not know the long term affects from SPF that is not inert. However it is well publicized that the chemical that make up SPF are all very dangerous and many are classified as carcinogens. So its better safe than sorry to have your SPF looked at and you indoor air to be tested if you even suspect you may have something wrong with your spray foam.
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