Congratulations! You’re a contractor or home builder. You’ve succeeded in helping the homeowner understand the benefits of using spray foam insulation vs. old school fiberglass batts. They understand the economical benefits to their budget by using spray foam; it creates an airtight seal keeping warm air inside during the winter and blazing hot air outside during the summer months, thus reducing their overall energy bill.
Now, the job falls on your shoulders to make sure they receive the high quality insulation they are expecting. As the popularity of spray foam has quickly increased, so has the need for contractors to adapt their services to include spray foam installation. This quick change has proven detrimental in many ways to the overall quality of the resulting spray foam insulation.
Contractors need to focus on:
- Quality Control – You must have at least a simple quality control program to ensure consistency across insulation projects. If your focus doesn’t start here, your business won’t succeed.
- Good Form – Consistent spray control must be used to avoid large gaps in spray foam.
- Correct Mix – Proper care should be taken by frequently checking the mix ratio of your proportioners, pumps and sprayers. Incorrect mix ratios can diminish the R-value, performance and longevity of the spray foam.
- Temperature Control – Just as the correct mix is critical, the correct application temperature must also be maintained in order to ensure high performance. However, that’s not the only reason to pay attention to temperature control. The yield of your spray foam can decrease if the foam is too cold. Inconsistent and excessive localized heat can result in burned product. This affects your bottom line and the profitability of your projects.
There are several spray foam training programs available to contractors to help. I recommend finding one in your area or attending an industry conference. Whether you’re brand new to the industry or a veteran, there is not a better time than now to increase your knowledge and techniques.
For temperature control, I recommend an insulated heating blanket. Some advantages of the insulated blanket over the “strap” or “band” type heaters are:
- Lower energy usage (heats your product not the air)
- More even heat (more surface area for your product to absorb the heat)
- Heats the entire drum which means less heat damage to your product
- The ambient conditions have less effect (more effective in cold climates)