In recent years several serious respiratory illnesses have been linked to pollutants found in the air where we live and work. Indoor air pollution has had tragic consequences for residential homes and led to expensive lawsuits.
Poor indoor air quality, even in less drastic circumstances, can have adverse effects on the quality of life or the productivity of a worker. Studies by the environmental protection agency have found that pollutant concentrations inside a building can be 2-5 times higher than outside, exaggerating even a minor irritant. These irritants have two major sources, unwanted air infiltration and chemical pollutants present in the building materials. Spray foam insulation reduces or eliminates both of these sources.
Air infiltration and indoor air quality
When spray foam insulation is applied, it expands to nearly 100 times its original size, filling every crack, and creating an air tight foam seal. An air tight building does require special concern for the ventilation system, but it virtually eliminates the infiltration of unwanted air. Uncontrolled air infiltration can introduce allergens such as dust and pollen or harmful gasses such as carbon-monoxide from nearby roads and parking lots to the indoor air. Spray foam’s airtight seal helps prevent the direct infiltration of harmful irritants, and its low air permeability properties help reduce the negative pressure of an interior structure’s ability to draw air and vapor through the material itself. The reduction in vapor infiltration and condensation also helps reduce the proliferation of mold and the health risks it presents.
Building materials and indoor air quality
Asbestos was once a common insulator until the health risks became apparent. Fiberglass was the immediate substitute, but both asbestos and fiberglass are particulate minerals. Fiberglass has since proven to have equally evident, although less severe, health risks.
Spray foam is a non-particle based material, and contains no micro-fibers or organic dust. Spray foam is also formaldehyde, HFCF, HFA, and HFC free. One or all of these harmful chemicals are present in nearly all traditional insulation materials.