Should I Vacate After Spray Foam is Installed?

spray foam insulation
Spray foam insulation being installed in an attic.

Danny and Joe welcome callers’ questions each week on the Today’s Homeowner Radio Show.

Here’s a question from our March 28 broadcast:

Jim needs advice before scheduling for a spray foam installation project.  He wants to know how long he would have to vacate his home.

We tell Jim it’s recommended to leave the house for 24 hours but since Jim is having “spot repairs” done that he should be safe returning in a few hours.   It’s advised that he ventilate the area and maybe add a few fans.

How well insulation works is expressed by its R-value, which measures resistance to the flow of heat. The higher the R-value, the better it insulates per inch of thickness.

The amount of insulation recommended for your home is dependent on where you live, but here are some general guidelines:

Attic Insulation: Houses in a cold climate should have a minimum of R-49 in the attic, which is equivalent to approximately 16″ of fiberglass insulation. Warmer climates only require an R-38 or higher, or about 12″ or more.

Wall Insulation: While wall insulation is limited by the width of the studs, different materials provide higher or lower R-values. Fiberglass batts for standard 2×4 walls are now available in low, medium, and high-density products that range from R-11 to R-15. Sprayed foam insulation in the same wall cavity can range from an R-14 to an R-28 depending on the product that is used.

Floor Insulation: While there are additional considerations—such as venting and moisture problems—to take into account when you insulate under floors, the United States Department of Energy recommends an R-25 rating in cold climates and an R-11 in warmer parts of the country.

Listen to the embedded audio clip above for the answer! Read the blog from the March 28 show and listen to the full broadcast here


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