Jennifer, I'm not an expert on the health effects of closed cell foam. A lot of people live in houses with closed cell foam and have no health problems from it, at least not short-term, acute problems. I do know of one person who had it removed from her crawl space because she was convinced it caused her dog to get sick, but I know only what she told me.  
Ames® elastomeric waterproof roof coatings are premium coatings that seal out moisture, renew old surfaces and even save energy. We have products specifically formulated for all types of roofs including; Wood, Tar, Metal, Rolled Roofing, EPDM Rubber, Foam and many other surfaces. From flat roof coating to plywood roof coating, Ames’ liquid rubber roof paint coatings form a waterproof seal to preserve and protect your roof. Our white roof coatings reflect sunlight, substantially reducing roof temperatures and helping you save on cooling costs. Ames® products are environmentally friendly, water-based, non-toxic, VOC-free and can be cleaned with water. If you’re looking for how to seal a flat roof, pitched rolled roof, or just about any other kind, our elastomeric waterproof roof coatings can help you get the job done.

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I've seen this only once, and it was with closed cell foam, but I've heard of it happening with open cell foam, too. I don't know the details, but I've heard it could result from a bad batch of chemicals, improper mixing, or too high a temperature. Whatever the cause, it's not a good thing. The photo below shows how the spray foam pulled away from the studs. A little bit of uninsulated area like that adds up to a lot of heat loss/gain when the whole house has that problem, as it did here. https://youtube.com/embed/ggLAUsiuI_o
Sporadic cases of hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) have also been reported in workers exposed to isocyanates. The symptoms may seem like the flu, with fever, muscle aches, and headaches. Other symptoms may include a dry cough, chest tightness, and difficult breathing. Individuals with chronic HP often experience progressively more difficult breathing, fatigue, and weight loss. Individuals with acute HP typically develop symptoms 4–6 hours after exposure.[4]
c) Make sure that the over expanded access is properly removed from the walls. We had a junior cutter taking too much off by bending his saw into the cavity. Look closely at the inside wall corners, and ceiling/wall corners to make sure that the foam is properly removed flush with the studs. If it has not been cut back flush it may lead to uneven drywall finishes .
The drawback to spray foam insulation is it's been known to cause certain health issues such irritation of the eye and the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts. Direct contact can cause inflammation to the skin, and some individuals have been known to break out in a rash on the arms, chest and neck area. Spray foam insulation has also been linked to a few cases of hypersensitivity pneumonitis. This condition can cause:

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I recently did a remodel project for my basement using spray foam insulation. The original builder has used fiberglass, but I wanted the best insulation i could find. We chose closed cell foam because it blocks moisture from getting into the house. It took one day to install and was fumey for about 3 hours. It was pretty cool watching it being done. It comes out as a liquid and then expands rapidly into a foam. It's quick! Then they took a types of saw to shave it flat with the wall studs so we could then go ahead and drywall.
Ames® Roof Coatings are premium elastomeric coatings that seal out moisture, renew old surfaces and even save energy. We have products specifically formulated for all types of roofs including; Wood, Tar, Metal, Rolled Roofing, EPDM Rubber, Foam and many other surfaces. Ames’ coatings form a waterproof seal to preserve and protect your roof. Our white roof coatings reflect sunlight, substantially reducing roof temperatures. Ames® products are environmentally friendly, waterbase, non-toxic, VOC-free and water cleanup. 

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Most flat roofs are not perfectly sloped, causing water to puddle in some areas, in particular around the drains and scuppers. Many roof coatings are not rated or warranted for "ponding water", and thus might fail pre-maturely if exposed to standing water over long periods of time. Serious consideration should be given to the performance and limitations of the coating being selected. Some manufacturers will warranty their coatings including ponding water. Typically, manufacturers for acrylic roof coatings do not include warranties for ponding water, while some polyurethane and silicone roof coatings manufacturers will.

If your foam pulled away just a little bit, Jamie, and they were able to fix it with just a little bit of touching up, then it wasn't as bad as the house where I saw this problem. As the last photo above shows, it had pulled away significantly from the studs and rafters, and it was all over the house. This was closed cell foam, and interestingly, it didn't pull away from the horizontal framing members, just the vertical and sloped ones. They did some touch up, but that wasn't enough. I don't know how this one ended up getting resolved. I think maybe the contractor came back and sprayed cellulose on top of the foam.


My project was a 2 part one.  First the guest house was to be used for an elderly couple with some health issues.  The idea of using chemicals which can be harmful to the respiratory track has made me change my mind about proceeding. The guest house was single story with a low attic height and 600 square feet and the main house (part 2)  is 2,800 sq feet. After reading the comments below, I would like a quote from someone that uses a soy product that is non toxic. .  

Roof coatings made with acrylics, urethanes or asphalt soften under the stress of ponding water or snowpack. Eventually, these roof coatings will bubble and peel away from the substrate, leaving your roof vulnerable to leaks, rot, and decay. However, GacoRoof’s 100% silicone formulation is designed to stand up to whatever the elements dish out. Silicone will withstand areas of ponding water without softening, bubbling or peeling from the substrate. Acrylic, urethane and asphalt roof coatings decompose and wear away from the stress of harsh sunlight, UV rays, and freeze-thaw cycles.

Note: The practice of foam insulating the attic has raised eyebrows in the building industry because "standard" roofing techniques call for the attic to be ventilated; however, in a vented attic situation it will become approximately 130 degrees in the summer. There's no reason for an air-conditioning and vent-ductwork to have to work in that type of severe conditions. By applying Icynene right on the underside of the roof deck, the severe temperatures no longer exist in the attic. In short, the attic is now a "conditioned" space of the house that is just as comfortable as any other room in the home. This is called a "Compact Roof", which means you can frame right up against it. The one drawback of using expanded foam on the inside of the roof is that this will cause the temperature of the shingles to rise, but how much is not yet known. And how much damage a rise in temperatures could cause is debatable.


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Apply coating when the roof is dry and the sealant has set. You will be using a 9-inch heavy-duty frame, ½-inch paint roller for spreading coating on roof or 1-1/4-inch roller for dipping in pail, and a 5–to-6-foot extension pole. Use a 3/4-inch roller with basecoats and emulsions. Map out your roof and make each pail fill that area. See Elastek Product Sheets for recommended coverage. An inexpensive 3-inch or 4-inch brush should be used to reach areas not possible with a roller. Use a stiff paintbrush for applying 103 Crack & Joint Sealant.

Spray polyurethane foam (SPF) is a spray-applied plastic that is widely used to insulate buildings and seal cracks and gaps, making the building more energy-efficient and comfortable. SPF insulation is known to resist heat transfer extremely well, and it offers a highly effective solution in reducing unwanted air infiltration through cracks, seams, and joints. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggLAUsiuI_o&feature=share
Liquid Roof is a liquefied version of a synthetic rubber typically referred to as EPDM. The letters EPDM stand for ethylene, propylene, diene monomer and M class. Prior to the liquefied version emerging on to the market, rolls of the rubber were used for waterproofing roofs. The liquids are much easier to apply. Can fill cracks and crevices. Liquid EPDM can go where the sheet version could never effectively coat. The liquid roof coatings have more uses. They can be used on RV roofs and other vehicles. They can be applied to a wide range of roofing materials including metal, fiberglass and wood (although wood is not a warrantied application and require the use of the ProFlex primer first). Always consult your roofer to determine if aftermarket coatings are acceptable given the condition of your overall roof. The use of an undercoating means the liquid roof can be applied to built-up and asphalt-based coatings (with the use of the ProFlex primer).

Before filling the wall cavity, spray the perimeter with a 1/2-in. layer, which will expand to a 1-in. layer. These layers are called “lifts.” This will ensure that the foam penetrates any voids where the studs meet the sheathing. This also reduces the risk of bulges in the sheathing. If foam is sprayed into a large gap between the stud and the sheathing and is immediately covered by a thick layer, the pressure of the expanding foam can actually push out any sheathing that isn’t securely fastened. Wait a few minutes after picture-framing the cavity before you go back and lay down the first layer in the center of the wall.


Although spray foam insulation has been in use since the 1940s, primarily for aircraft, for the past 30 years, continual product innovation has seen the increased adoption of spray foam insulation in residential and commercial construction. The rapid growth of sprayed foam insulation in building construction, thanks in part to its immediate and long-term benefits, has allowed the insulation material to sit confidently alongside traditional insulation types in providing thermal comfort for building occupants.
Before you decide on spray foam or another method of insulation, it's important to understand the superiority of spray foam compared to traditional materials. When compared to fiberglass batts, spray foam offers nearly double the R-value per inch, achieves air-sealing and insulation in one step, won't be damaged by mold or moisture, and won't settle, compress, or otherwise be damaged to the point it needs replacement.

how much will spray foam save me


Sporadic cases of hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) have also been reported in workers exposed to isocyanates. The symptoms may seem like the flu, with fever, muscle aches, and headaches. Other symptoms may include a dry cough, chest tightness, and difficult breathing. Individuals with chronic HP often experience progressively more difficult breathing, fatigue, and weight loss. Individuals with acute HP typically develop symptoms 4–6 hours after exposure.[4]
Our roof coating sprayers are designed to provide the coverage, flow rate, and pressure needed for all your applications. Durable Graco roof coating sprayers are equipped with valuable features that make them extremely versatile. High-quality parts plus gas, electric, air driven, and hydraulic options means we’ll have a sprayer that fits your needs. Our systems are designed to be used with elastomeric roof coatings, silicone roof coatings, acrylic roof coatings, asphalts, rubber roof coatings, and other materials.
These coatings contain various types of acrylic polymer, and are typically formulated to help extend the coating’s life and improve durability. Acrylic coatings are available in a number of colors but are most commonly used as white reflective coatings. Thanks to its durability and low cost, many contractors and facility managers believe this to be the best roof coating.
Sporadic cases of hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) have also been reported in workers exposed to isocyanates. The symptoms may seem like the flu, with fever, muscle aches, and headaches. Other symptoms may include a dry cough, chest tightness, and difficult breathing. Individuals with chronic HP often experience progressively more difficult breathing, fatigue, and weight loss. Individuals with acute HP typically develop symptoms 4–6 hours after exposure.[4] http://youtube.com/v/ggLAUsiuI_o?version=3
Polyurethane is a closed-cell foam insulation material that initially contains a low-conductivity gas in its cells.[5] As a result of the high thermal resistance of the gas, spray polyurethane insulation typically has an initial R-value around R-3.4 to R-6.7 per inch.[5] In comparison, blown fiberglass typically has an R-Value of only R-3 to R-4 per inch.[6] https://youtu.be/ggLAUsiuI_o
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