Problems With Spray Foam Insulation in Attics

disadvantages of spray foam insulation

Every home requires insulation to ensure an energy-efficient home. Without proper insulation, you can put your home at risk for drafts, mold growth, and higher energy bills.

Certain areas in your home, like attics and crawl spaces, require extra insulation attention. For open areas like crawl spaces and attics, spray foam insulation works great for sealing and insulating these spaces. However, problems with spray foam insulation in attics may arise over the years with improper insulation.

Continue reading to explore some of the most common problems with spray foam insulation and how a professional team of attic experts can help you avoid inconvenient and costly spray foam insulation in attic problems.

What Is Spray Foam Insulation?

Spray foam insulation refers to a product used to insulate homes. Typically, you will find two different kinds of spray foam insulation: open-cell foam and closed-cell foam. The chemicals in spray foam insulation work to both seal and insulate the area, preventing airflow.

Attic Spray Foam Insulation Problems

Problems and Disadvantages of Spray Foam Insulation

Have you wondered, “what are the disadvantages of spray foam insulation?” If so, below, we provide a comprehensive list of spray foam insulation disadvantages and problems to watch out for.

Spray Foam Isn’t Thick Enough

One of the common roof and attic spray foam insulation problems stems from when the spray foam isn’t thick enough to prevent airflow from improving energy efficiency. With proper insulation, your spray foam should be around two to three inches thick.

Spray Foam Installers Missed Some of the Air Leakage Sites

Sometimes installers miss gaps and leakage spots. This becomes a problem with spray foam insulation in attics because installers may need to add extra sealant before using the spray foam insulation, especially if the leakage spot is severe.

Spray Foam Installers Didn’t Understand the Building Envelope and Sprayed Either Too Little or Too Much

If your installer doesn’t have a proper understanding of your building’s structural build, then they may not spray with the correct density, and your attic spray foam insulation may leave drafts.

However, if you have too much spray foam insulation, it can cover important areas that require ventilation, leading to other problems for your home.

Spray Foam Contracts and Pulls Away From Framing

Sometimes, spray foam can pull away from the area where it’s sprayed. If this spray foam insulation roof problem occurs, it leaves gaps in your insulation where air can come through.

Spray Foam Insulation Can Cause Roof Damage

You may experience spray foam insulation roof problems and damage if moisture inside the roof permeates the insulation. More often, open-cell foam insulation creates these problems in areas that experience cold weather. When the weather changes, the insulation becomes susceptible to water vapor damage, causing roof rot and other spray foam roofing problems.

It Can Cause Bad Smells

If the chemical balance is off in your spray foam, then it may smell due to a process called off-gassing. However, to avoid problems with spray foam insulation in attics, you need to let it cure and harden for over 24 hours.

Mold and Mildew Are (Sometimes) a Problem

Typically, spray foam insulation doesn’t cause mold and mildew. However, the right mixture of excess condensation and humidity mixed with cracks and gaps near the foam insulation can become the right combination for mold and mildew growth.

It’s Not Eco Friendly

Spray foam insulation features man-made chemicals that are not eligible for recycling. These chemicals aren’t sustainable because they pollute the air and can lead to wood damage after removing the foam.

It Can Cause Health Complications

Since spray foam insulation features chemical ingredients and flame retardants, it can cause health complications because it has known toxins and carcinogens that may disrupt hormones.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)—Spray Foam Insulation

If you still can’t decide on spray foam insulation, read the answers to these frequently asked questions about spray foam Insulation.

Does spray foam cause moisture problems?

Spray foam doesn’t cause moisture problems, but if you have excess humidity, using spray foam isn’t the answer. Before spraying any insulation, you need to address and seal the moisture problems to prevent mold growth.

Is Spray Foam Insulation Unsafe?

There still remains a lot of debate on whether spray foam insulation is safe. When you let spray foam insulation dry the right way, and for the correct amount of time, then it should not pose any threats to your home or health.

However, you should note some areas where you should not use spray foam insulation. These areas to avoid include basement leaks, near electrical work, and around lighting. In addition, it’s important to avoid putting in open-cell insulation to prevent spray foam roof insulation problems like mold growth.

How Long Does Spray Foam Insulation Last?

When you have proper installation for spray foam insulation, it lasts anywhere from 80 to 100 years. In particular closed-cell insulation proves incredibly durable because it doesn’t deteriorate or boast any kind of flexibility.

You should note that the lifespan of your spray foam insulation may decrease if your contractor installs the spray foam insulation improperly. These mistakes that affect the lifespan include spraying the wrong thickness or density, applying it to old insulation or moldy surfaces, and leaving gaps or air pockets.


The best way to avoid problems with spray foam insulation in attics is by hiring an experienced team of contractors that know where not to use spray foam insulation. Attic Projects Attic & Crawl Space Experts is your team of trained and qualified attic and crawl space technicians.

Attic Projects offers attic cleaning, mold remediation, insulation removal and installation, sanitation, storage, attic remodeling, and more. Plus, our technicians also provide electrical services, rodent removal, air duct services, and crawl space services.

We pride ourselves on being a one-stop shop for all of your attic needs, and our goal is to ensure every homeowner has a healthy, safe, and comfortable home.

Call Attic Projects Attic & Crawl Space Experts today to schedule your free attic inspection and avoid any potential problems with spray foam insulation!

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