spray polyurethane foam, health and safety

Installing Low Pressure Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) Insulation as a Weatherization Professional

As part of the polyurethanes industry’s ongoing to commitment to product stewardship, CPI prepared this guidance video called “Working Safely with Low-Pressure Spray Polyurethane Foam Insulation,” for professionals who apply low-pressure spray polyurethane foam application. You can watch the video below or download it here (right click, "save target as").

This video provides general guidance for professionals on how to apply low-pressure spray polyurethane foam. It is intended as a supplement to other job safety information already available such as specialized training, Safety Data Sheets (SDS), product label information and other materials.

As energy efficiency continues to grow in importance, so does the use and knowledge of spray polyurethane foam (SPF) for the weatherization contractor/professional. Government incentives, along with public interest, have put a spotlight on reducing energy usage. It also has helped fuel growth in the “green jobs” segment. As the home weatherization and green building industries respond to growing demand, SPF insulation continues to gain popularity for its ease-of-use and ability to help reduce energy bills and improve indoor comfort.  And reduced energy use to heat and cool a home helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions, too.

Who is this site for?  By weatherization professional, we mean a contractor working on a job for hire to install a particular kind of SPF called low pressure two-component foam often sold in kits.  These contractors can also install another type of product, insulating foam sealant (sometimes called one-component foam (OCF) or “foam in a can.”) 

This mini-site does not address high pressure two-component spray polyurethane foam systems or the professional contractors who install this specialized product.  If you are a contractor installing high pressure two-component SPF insulation, refer to information and guidance specific to this material in the “I’m an SPF contractor/building and construction professional.”

Improving Energy Efficiency

There are usually many holes, gaps, and cracks found around the doors, window frames, pipes and plumbing lines, electrical outlets, attics and basements and many other areas in a home or building. Often, older homes and buildings have outdated or inefficient insulation systems. This allows outside air to leak into the building. When added up, these gaps and cracks can be equal to having a window or door open. In older homes that have not been weatherized, it is estimated that 20-50% of heating and cooling bills are wasted on air leakage (source: Michigan Energy Options).

The U.S. Department of Energy. “Energy Savers: Tips on Saving Energy & Money at Home” website provides information about the different types of SPF insulation that you may consider using as a weatherization professional – and offers some important safe use and handling guidance.

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