Spray foam insulation or spray polyurethane foam (SPF) is an alternative to traditional building insulation such as fiberglass. A two-component mixture composed of isocyanate and polyol resin comes together at the tip of a gun, and forms an expanding foam that is sprayed onto roof tiles, concrete slabs, into wall cavities, or through holes drilled in into a cavity of a finished wall.

I did a LOT of prep before using this product. Cleaned, vacuumed, installed additional insulation etc etc etc. This spray foam was easy to work with, and did it's job as it was supposed to. If you are curious, this kit was purchased because - every "foam insulation company" I contacted either did not call back (due to no interest) OR this was too small of a job. That is why I went DIY on this one, that and: I was advised by one of these companies that they have a minimum $2k job because ... (insert your answer here, but I will choose that everyone needs to eat). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggLAUsiuI_o&app=desktop
Though foam insulation has a higher upfront cost than fiberglass or cellulose, it recoups this expenditure in a relatively short period of time. Additionally, the insulation’s permanence means that it will continue to generate savings over the life of your structure. The durability of this insulation means that you can rest easy in the knowledge that at least one component of your structure will stand the test of time. https://youtube.com/v/ggLAUsiuI_o
I used this for the rim-joist in our home. A couple things: I put 1in solid core foam (cut to size) in each bay before using the spray foam. I also was able to do a relatively 'thick' spray to close off any potential gaps that may have existed. I turned off the HVAC and turned on some fans in the windows to exhaust out the fumes, and wore a mask (3m respirator).

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:
The problem was that the installer was doing his first spray foam job ever, and the thickness of the insulation varied from zero (visible roof deck) to about 9". Unfortunately, good average thickness doesn't cut it. The coverage needs to be uniform because a lot of heat will go through the under-insulated areas. (See my article on flat or lumpy insulation performance.)

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I did a LOT of prep before using this product. Cleaned, vacuumed, installed additional insulation etc etc etc. This spray foam was easy to work with, and did it's job as it was supposed to. If you are curious, this kit was purchased because - every "foam insulation company" I contacted either did not call back (due to no interest) OR this was too small of a job. That is why I went DIY on this one, that and: I was advised by one of these companies that they have a minimum $2k job because ... (insert your answer here, but I will choose that everyone needs to eat).
Closed-cell (aka two-pound foam) is denser than open-cell at about 2 pounds per cubic foot. Its R-Value is between 6-6.5 per inch. As a result, this kind of foam is much more expensive than its counterpart. The reason closed-cell doesn't need a vapor retarder is because it already has one. It's permeance is 0.8 perm, which means it can handle cold climates without the use of an additional board or drywall. Closed-cell uses hydroflurocarbons (HFCs) as part of its makeup. However, this material has been known to have a high global warming effect. If you want a green insulation solution, this is not the material to use. A way to avoid this and still use closed-cell is by installing it alongside fiberglass batts. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggLAUsiuI_o&feature=youtube_gdata
Here's a simpler, less expensive alternative: Cut some 2-inch-thick rigid-foam insulation and glue it to the subfloor between the joists or support it with nails driven partway into the joists. Then fill any gaps between the edges of the foam boards and the joists using the canned spray foam sold at home centers or hardware stores. An even easier option is to nail the foam panels against the bottom edge of the joists and seal the joints with canned foam, but you'll lose some headroom and access to any pipes and wires between the joists. As with spray-foam kits, protect yourself and the floor from the dripping globs of canned foam. A full face shield, gloves, and a hat would be a good start.

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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.

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Was hesitant to buy this product because of some of the reviews but glad I did. It does just what it says and we even got the square footage out of it. You just need to read ALL the directions first and it wouldn't hurt to read some of the helpful hints in some of the reviews. It does only cover 1 inch at 600 square feet and is extremely easy to apply. Very satisfied customer!
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.
However, coating asphalt shingles and built-up composition roofs requires more caution. The National Roofing Contractors Association’s (NRCA) director of technical services has stated "The roofing industry is aware of a number of issues that could have negative consequences for field application of coatings over asphalt shingle roof systems. Anyone considering this type of application should be aware of the concerns so they can weigh them against the benefits claimed in coating product promotional materials."[2]
For large jobs, professionals such as Dr. Energy Saver use two-part foam, which comes in larger containers. With 2-part spray foam, it's necessary to mix separate resin and catalyst compounds at the application nozzle. Combining these ingredients starts a chemical reaction that creates expanding foam. Contractors use small 2-part foam "kits" to air-seal an attic or to seal and insulate ductwork. To insulate an entire attic or wood-framed wall with spray foam, the resin and catalyst compounds are pumped to the application nozzle from 50-gallon drums in a specially equipped truck.

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Get the Power to Seal & Insulate Perfectly in Just 5 Minutes. The Foam it Green Promise: 1>Simpler, Easier, Faster Spray Foam 2>No Special Skills or Know How 3>Professional Results or Better Saves You Time, Money and Hassles. Delivers to your door, ready to use. Just follow the simple instructions. Saves Energy with High R-value Closed Cell Foam. R-Value of 7 in Just 1 Inch. Provides a seamless air barrier in 1 step. This Kit Provides Approx. 602 Square Feet at 1” thickness of cured foam. Class I E-84 Fire-Retardant Foam that meets building code specs. This Anti-Microbial Formula passed the stringent ASTM G-21 test for preventing mold growth on the surface of the foam. Includes everything you need to complete your project. Weighs 120 lbs, including steel canisters pressured with nitrogen. Orders with multiple kits on it may ship via LTL instead of UPS. The LTL carrier calls to arrange a convenient delivery time. Usually Ships Same Business Day. See Manufacturer for returns and warranty policy.
We have a 1950's ranch in Atlanta and are interviewing foam contractors to spray open cell under the roof, with an "ankle wall" out towards the eaves to seal the attic. My wife and daughters are chemically sensitive, so I'm trying to figure out how to minimize the fumes coming into the house. Additionally, at least one contractor has offered (for > $900) to remove our existing rock wool & R-13 fibreglass from the attic floor to "increase cross-ventilation into the attic". Seems to me I can't both minimize fumes AND increase cross-ventilation. They also offered to spray a fire-retardant on for >$600. Would ventilation during installation help any or woud the retardant seal off the foam and help that way? Thanks...
Sean, thanks for jumping in and answering John's questions. About choosing the right foam, I intentionally avoided the open cell vs. closed cell foam debate. I did this partly because it's worthy of an article all by itself, but mainly I didn't include it because, despite all the warnings the two sides issue about the other, I've never personally seen a problem caused by using open cell where they should've used closed cell or vice versa. I'm sure things like that happen; I just haven't seen it yet.
RE: my June 12 post...We went ahead and had the attic sprayed with a Soy-based product. Stayed in a hotel for 3 nites. Still smelled a little bad but that's gone away over time. I'm very glad we didn't use the other foam as even that much outgassing of a petrochemical could have sent my wife to the hospital. Unfortunately, the spray crew didn't speak English(at least not to me) and were kinda lazy, so they ended up spraying over some can fixtures from the kitchen below that were not insulation-contact rated. So I hired an electrician to come out, pull down the cans, pull out what he thought was an appropriate amount of foam to create a big enough air space and then re-install the cans. I billed the firm for the electrician plus an extra night we had to stay in the hotel and they paid, no questions asked. Guess they knew they had screwed up.  
I am an Architect in Toronto. I am designing a new roof addition to a row house building. Because of existing conditions and the shape of the new roof. It may be easiest to use closed cell spray foam within the areas of the joists. My question is when spray foam is used in this situation do I need to worry about how the joist members may be thermal bridges? It is not common to provide a little bit of rigid insulation to protect the joist members? The additional layer of outboard insulation will require an extra layer of plywood above the insulation which will add to cost.
Most closed-cell spray foam is now formed using hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) blowing agents that have high global warming potential, partially or completely offsetting the climate benefits of the energy savings they can offer. In the United States, HFCs are scheduled to be phased out by January, 2021. A few spray foam suppliers have started supplying spray foam blown with hydrofluoroolefin (HFO) blowing agents without this problem as of early 2017.[14]

Demilec, a company located in Texas, has invented a type of insulation foam that can help all of the cracks and uneven pavement problems. Geolift can help to lift existing concrete surfaces and fix those problem areas around your house with much less labor. Geolift works for driveways, sidewalks, patios, garage floors, even pool decks. And yes, it is a foam, just like your beloved spray foam!

In a single application, Heatlok Soy 200 Plus can create a specialized engineered building envelope, which provides better thermal resistance, excellent air barrier, and a recognized vapor retarder. Demilec continues to strive toward innovative, scientific advancements in high-efficiency spray foam insulation solutions, intumescent and elastomeric coatings, high-performance quality products, and superior service.
In the case you have above the installer wasn't reading his foam. They must be trained to do that as they spray. Temps and conditions are constantly changing thru out the day. Either he wasn't properly trained or if he was,he wasn't doing his job! This is a serious problem with people jumping in to the foam business. A lot of homeowners and builders are looking the best price and end up with someone who doesn't know what they are doing. Hope this info helps. Foam insulation is a great product. It just has to be done right by someone who knows what they are doing.
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:

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]
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Most closed-cell spray foam is now formed using hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) blowing agents that have high global warming potential, partially or completely offsetting the climate benefits of the energy savings they can offer. In the United States, HFCs are scheduled to be phased out by January, 2021. A few spray foam suppliers have started supplying spray foam blown with hydrofluoroolefin (HFO) blowing agents without this problem as of early 2017.[14] 

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DID YOU KNOW? Spray FOam insulation out-performs conventional insulation materials because they (conventional insulation materials) trap still-dry air and if that air moves or becomes wet, the thermal resistance can drop by 50%. Spray Foam protects against air infiltration, which can increase energy costs in buildings by 10 to 40%. Eliminate these drafts and live in a more energy-efficient, comfortable and healthier building by choosing spray foam insulation.

The problem was that the installer was doing his first spray foam job ever, and the thickness of the insulation varied from zero (visible roof deck) to about 9". Unfortunately, good average thickness doesn't cut it. The coverage needs to be uniform because a lot of heat will go through the under-insulated areas. (See my article on flat or lumpy insulation performance.) https://m.youtube.com/embed/ggLAUsiuI_o
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