Diagnostics & QA for spray foam installation performance

Most of the test methods for building diagnostics and quality assurance are generally the same.  Some are qualitative and some are quantitative. The methods used for evaluating the performance of foam installations in building enclosures typically include the following:

  1. Infrared thermography
  2. Blower door testing
  3. Pressurized theatrical fog testing
  4. Temperature monitoring
  5. Pattern analysis

“A huge thanks for your professionalism andIMG_4641 excellence in evaluating this old farmhouse.  Your work certainly impressed our landlord, and he agreed to follow many of your suggestions.  Not sure how much farther he is willing to go in remediating the many issues this house presents, but you were certainly responsible for our being much more comfortable living here this winter.” (1/28/2013)


Methods for used to evaluate air barrier assemblies during the construction process include the following:

  1. First instance testing
  2. Zone testing
  3. Compliance testing

Foam materials can be tested in the field and in the lab.  Field tests generally assess the quality of the installation while laboratory tests are used to evaluate the quality of the material itself.  Field tests include:

  1. Adhesion/bonding
  2. Substrate compatibility
  3. Pass thickness
  4. Average thickness

Laboratory tests are typically performed for the following physical properties and processing attributes of the foam material:

  1. Compressive strength
  2. Density
  3. Ratio
  4. Mix
  5. Dimensional stability
  6. Cellular structure and uniformity

Foam installation problems have specific inspection requirements, but the test methods use are generally the same as those used for quality assurance of foam installations.