Expanding foam is an outstanding product for helping plug inaccessible gaps around the home. It has numerous benefits however it is primarily used to fill small cavities in walls and will prevent air intrusion and resist water damage from occurring.
Consequently, expanding foam is often used in basements or attics as well as windows and doors. Additionally, the foam will also act as an insulator thus keeping the heat in and reducing outside noise.
However, there are some areas in which expanding foam could cause problems and consequently, it is vital that you know where you shouldn’t apply it.
Don’t use expanding foam around electrical boxes
Some homeowners want to use expanding foam around electrical boxes and the external wall however we strongly recommend that you avoid doing this for a couple of key reasons. Firstly, expanding foam could get into the box and this may potentially lead to the wiring being affected and the electricity supply in your home being compromised as components are damaged. Secondly, expanding foam is very flammable and as a result, placing it near an electrical box is hazardous and could increase the fire risk. Some foams are less hazardous once they have cured however this is not the case for all expanding foams, as some remain flammable even after curing. If you are set on using foam around electrical sources then we would urge you to buy low-expanding foam.
Don’t use expanding foam near lightboxes
Avoid using the foam near any ceiling lights or heating appliances. If you spray the foam near a ceiling light, for example, there is a chance that it could catch fire due to the flammable nature of the spray. Additionally, it could also cause damage to the light itself if it cures around any wiring. Some expanding foams may claim to be usable in close contact with ceiling lights however we would recommend contacting our team or a professional and there will be able to provide guidance.
Don’t use expanding foam without a mask if you have any pre-existing conditions
Unfortunately, if you suffer from any skin or respiratory conditions then you need to consider whether you should be applying the expanding foam. The foam contains isocyanates a chemical that can cause serious breathing and skin-related issues. You can negate this by using effective equipment such as breathable masks and protective eyewear, such as goggles. However, if you are at risk of developing serious side effects due to the chemicals in expanding foam then we would suggest finding an alternative method of filling the cavities. The expanding foam will release fumes into the air which can quickly travel throughout your home.
Don’t use the wrong type of foam
When purchasing your foam you may find that some are described as open and closed cell or high expansion and low expansion. These expanding foams behave differently and therefore picking the correct one is imperative. For example, some homeowners use expanding foam as an alternative to remodelling their homes by installing new insulation. This can be effective, however, make sure that you use the open-cell spray as this expands quicker than closed-cell and will fill the voids more effectively.
Additionally, high expansion products should be avoided when applying them to the doors and windows. These are often tight spaces and therefore putting a high expansion foam in there could risk breaking the frames or prevent you from opening them.
Don’t use expanding foam as a permanent solution to leaks
Expanding foam is an excellent option in reducing water damage and they do provide a level of water resistance. However, they shouldn’t be used to resolve water leakages, especially in areas such as basements. The expanding foam will fill the gap however should you not fix the initial water damage, the leak could move into other parts of the basement. Furthermore, the expanding foam isn’t completely waterproof and therefore over time it could break down.
For any homeowners who have concerns regarding using expanding foam and in particular, when not to use it, please get in touch with our helpful support team who will be more than happy to answer your questions or provide guidance. BC Profiles is here to help and ensure that you see the best possible results when buying products from our store.