Spray Foam problems/failures

While spray foam problems are not common, occasionally we need to address them. Follow these links to information on the causes and remediation methods.

Why are there foam problems?
What are the causes of foam problems?
What are the remediation methods available?

There are four basic causes of spray foam problems

  1. Chemicals/product
  2. Application design/plan
  3. Processing
  4. Installation (before, during, and after)

Avoiding problems

Problems can be avoided with the following:

  1. Quality assurance by foam Manufacturers
  2. Good application design/choices
  3. Fault-protection quality assurance for processing equipment
  4. Quality assurance testing
  5. Testing foam materials
  6. Best practice by the Installer

Problems can be avoided with a good design/plan

  1. Use a qualified contractor
  2. Require a proven product
  3. Verify the compatibility of the product with the substrates
  4. Assure that the design/plan is scientifically correct for the application
  5. Assure that the Work meets all applicable standards
    1. There are no ASTM standards
    2. Architects/engineers must require/specify project standards
    3. The Manufacturer’s recommendations must be understood and complied with by all of the parties

How the General Contractor and Owner can help avoid problems

  1. Proper site protection – Prepare, and protect the substrate before the work begins
  2. Maintain proper conditions during installation
  3. Maintain proper conditions during cure period
  4. Protect the work after the fact

How the Installer can help avoid problems

  1. Verify all site preparation and engineering controls are in place before beginning the installation
  2. Get clarification of the requirements and their tolerances to assure that all of the manufacturer’s requirements can be complied with
  3. Process the materials in accordance with the manufacturer’s requirements
  4. Install the materials in accordance with the manufacturer’s requirements
  5. Comply with post-installation project requirements

Follow these links to more information about the causes, solutions, and remediation methods for problem projects.

  1. Use a foam commissioning agent to assure project success!
  2. Select the right product for the application
  3. Select the right installer
  4. Prepare the site
  5. Process the material properly
  6. Verify and document proper processing
  7. Perform post-installation protocols

What to do if problems do occur

If problems occur in limited areas during the installation, follow the appropriate remediation protocols for whole-project failures in the limited areas before proceeding with the work.  More information can be found in the following:

  1. SDS documents for the foam product
  2. The manufacturer’s installation instructions
  3. Guidance documents provided by the chemical and spray foam industry

If problems occur at a whole-project scale, take the following Occupant safety measures:

  1. Evacuate the premises
  2. Assess the immediate health risk
  3. Implement combustion appliance zone (CAZ) safety protocols before implementing ventilation
  4. Implement indoor air quality protection measures if toxic vapors have been detected
  5. Verify air quality and allow re-occupancy if/when safe exposure levels are achieved

Once the site is safe for the occupants, or the Occupants have evacuated the premises until remediation is complete, consider the following procedures:

  1. Notification and documentation of the problem
  2. Site inspections
  3. Problem identification
  4. Remediation for health risk projects
  5. Remediation for aesthetic problem projects
  6. Remediation for performance problem projects

Click here to contact H C Fennell Consulting regarding your foam failure.