The Do’s and Don’ts of Using Expanding Foam Insulation Around the House

Spray foam insulation installation is one of the worthwhile costs most homeowners undertake. The installation helps improve their properties energy efficiency, reduces sound transfer, deters rodents, and protects against common moisture problems.

Spray foams can be a DIYer’s best buddy, but this is only true when the DIYer uses the product appropriately. Manufacturers also encourage the use of spray foams, and this is evident in the proliferation of packaged spray foams contained in pressurized cans with a straw attached. The attached straw makes it easy to apply the expanding spray foam into gaps, holes, and crevices.

While there are different types of spray foams on the market, homeowners and DIYers should stay clear of Icynene. Icynene is a spray foam meant for professional installation. This type of spray foam is perfect for whole-house insulations and often requires specialized equipment.

Buying the Icynene may be a waste of your money and time, especially as they have rapid expansion properties that require professional training for a calculated outcome. On the other hand, Great Stuff is a good option for DIYers looking to seal cracks and address holes around the house.

While you now know the products that may likely work great around the house, it is equally important to know the dos and don’ts of spray foam insulation. Find out everything you need to know below.

Do: Check the Expiration Date on the Product Before Use

Expiration dates are not only valid for food items. We recommend checking the can of spray foam insulation for its expiry date before purchasing.

Buying an expired product can put you at risk, especially as you risk ineffective insulation or exposure to toxic chemicals. While most stores will clean their shelves to remove expired products, you should also confirm that they haven’t skipped some.

If you already have a spray foam insulation can at home, ensure it hasn’t expired before use. If it has expired, dispose of the can into your household waste.

Don’t: Avoid Using Spray Foams Around Outlets and Recessed Can Lights

Homeowners tend to go overboard, especially on their mission to make their homes more energy efficient. The zeal to make your home draft-free shouldn’t overtake important safety and health considerations.

Avoid using spray foam insulations around electrical outlets or recessed can lights. This is because the spray foam can quickly spread around the wires and enter the outlet box. This can make it challenging to address common electrical or wiring issues in the future.

You could set yourself up for huge electrical costs if you apply expanding foam around your electrical outlets. If you must seal holes and cracks around outlets, we recommend using a small fiberglass batt insulation around those areas for easy access.

Do: Use Spray Foams to Silence Noisy Water Pipes

Noisy water pipes can affect the quality of your life and sleep. Your expanding spray foam can come in handy to silence the rattling plumbing work when applied correctly.

Using the long straw attached to your spray foam insulation can access the plumbing area causing the nose and spray some expanding foam around the affected pipe. Doing this will silence the pipe by blocking the sound and locking it in. This can also be a great solution for a water hammer. A water hammer is a problem that occurs when the valve on the pressurized water line closes due to built-up pipe pressure.

Don’ts: Avoid Applying Spray Foams Around Windows

Windows and window frames are common culprits for raft air and heat exchange. In a bid to make their homes more energy efficient, most homeowners may be pushed to apply spray foam insulations around the frames and windows.

This is often a bad idea, especially as the spray foam may solidify and make it harder to open your windows. If applied when the windows are open, you may find it hard to close the window.

If you must apply spray foam insulation around windows, we recommend using low-expansion foams instead of high-expansion foams. Low-expansion foams can expand up to 30 times, while high-expansion foams can expand up to 300 times the liquid size.

For the window area, apply the low-expansion spray foam insulation cautiously along the affected area. This can significantly block heat exchange while also keeping your window functional.

Do: Have a Spray Foam Solvent Close By

Spray foam insulation starts as a pressurized liquid, after which they expand and solidify upon application and exposure. Homeowners often use a saw or other sharp objects to remove excess spray foams from application surfaces. However, they can sometimes drip and stain other unwanted areas during application.

The appropriate cleaning solvent can significantly improve your application process and prevent a messy outlook.

Unsure of which solvent to purchase? Ask questions at your local convenience store and the staff are likely to recommend what works for them or other customers like you.

Don’t: Avoid Using Spray Foam Insulation Around an Open Flame or Spark

Spray foams are designed to impede the spread of fires after they’ve been applied. However, the pressurized and liquefied form contains highly explosive components that should not be exposed to spark or fire.

We recommend that users pay attention to the application surface to avoid the risk of explosion. You should also avoid using the product in closed spaces like crawl spaces and under the cabinet. If you must, ensure that those areas are well-aerated and well-lit to improve your overall safety and reduce gas accumulation.

Another safety tip is to avoid smoking during spray foam insulation application. If using pilot lights or candles, ensure they are turned off before the insulation spray foam is applied. Also, give enough time for the spray foam gas to dissipate before lighting a match or starting a fire of any kind.

Do: Use Personal Protective Equipment When Applying Spray Foam

Safety is an important consideration when applying spray foam, especially in tight spaces. You should have appropriate personal protective equipment and gear, including eye goggles, face or nose masks, respirators to prevent gas inhalation and respiratory problems, and more.

We also recommend wearing gloves and the appropriate protective clothing to protect your skin from irritation when in contact with the spray foam in its liquid form. Other safety considerations include long sleeve clothing and pants, disposable gloves, appropriate shoes, and a cleaning solvent at arm’s length.

Following the above guide can significantly improve your spray foam insulation experience and help reduce draft air in your indoor space. If unsure, contact a Houston spray foam professional contractor now!

Name, Address and Phone

First Defense Insulation 

12 Greenway Plaza Suite 1147 Houston Texas 77046



ductwork in vented attic houston, tx

Ductwork in the Attic- What Are We Thinking?

Poor Design 

Attics are the extreme opposite temperature of the air that ducts are trying to move to the home. Ducts are very poorly insulated with fiberglass insulation with the latest offering of only R-8.

Summer Issues

During summer months, Texas attics can reach between 125°F- 140°F. Demand on AC systems are severely increased. They have to run longer to make homes comfortable, which also cost more money! Ducts should be carrying nice cool 55° air to distribute to your home. Many times, ducts are placed in the attic and strapped next to the underside of the roof deck- the HOTTEST part of a home in summer. How do you expect 55° air to maintain temperature running through the ducts? Well, it doesn’t! Running cold air through an oven before distributing to the home is not energy efficient and cost you money.

Winter Issues

In winter, cold attics cool ducts and the air in them. In reverse of the summer months, the duct lines in winter are now re-chilling lines. Instead of 120°F air in the ducts, it may now only be 90°F- making homes more uncomfortable and more expensive to heat.

Duct Leakage

As you can imagine, ducts in our homes are very important. Ducts that are poorly sealed and insulated do not do us any favors reducing our energy bills. Ducts that have gaps, holes, or are torn leak air into the attic when the air handler is off. When turned on, the air is now a powered air leak! Air leaked into a vented attic is lost to the outside of the home from ventilation. Heating and cooling the home now becomes even more costly.

Fix The Problem

Air sealing stops leaks and keeps air inside the ducts where it belongs! First Defense Insulation Duct Encapsulation Services adds superior R-value protection to ducts keeping the adverse attic temperature from penetrating the air inside. The best solution is placing insulation at the roof deck to get the ductwork inside the homes thermal boundary. 

DIY Attic Insulation

DIY Attic Insulation Pitfalls

Insulating your attic can be a great way to increase energy efficiency and reduce your energy bills. Although it is best done by a professional, if you’re equipped with the right tools and knowledge, you can turn your attic insulation Houston TXproject into a DIY project. However, as with any DIY project, certain pitfalls can lead to costly repairs and wasted time if the DIY attic insulation needs to be corrected. 

In this blog post, we will discuss the potential pitfalls of DIY attic insulation and how to avoid them. We’ll also enlighten you about the numerous benefits of attic insulation. Read on to learn how to ensure your attic insulation project is a success. Let’s get started.

What Is Attic Insulation?

Attic insulation is a layer of material that is installed in the attic area of your home in order to create a barrier between the home and the outside environment. This barrier helps to keep the air inside your home at a comfortable temperature, as well as keep moisture from entering the attic and causing damage. Attic insulation is typically made from materials such as fiberglass, cellulose, or foam and can be installed either as a loose fill or as a batt or blanket.

Benefits Of Insulating Your Attic

Now that you know what attic insulation is, let’s take a look at some of the benefits of installing insulation in your attic:

Improved Energy Efficiency

Installing attic insulation can reduce the amount of energy used to heat and cool your home, which in turn can help you save money on your energy bills.

Enhanced Comfort

By keeping the air inside your home at a more comfortable temperature, attic insulation can help to reduce drafts and provide an overall sense of warmth and comfort.

Increased Durability

Since attic insulation helps to keep moisture out of the attic area, it can help to protect your home from potential damage due to extreme temperatures and moisture.

Improved Indoor Air Quality

By creating a barrier between the home and the outside environment, attic insulation can also help to reduce the levels of pollutants and allergens in the air inside your home.


Installing attic insulation can also reduce the amount of noise that enters your home from outside.

Common DIY Attic Insulation Pitfalls

The key to enjoying the benefits of insulating your attic is to ensure that you avoid errors when insulating, especially if you’re taking up the project by yourself. In light of this, here are some common DIY attic insulation pitfalls and how you can avoid them during your DIY attic insulation project

Not Using the Right Insulation

The type of insulation you use in your attic is important. If you use the right type for your climate and needs, you could avoid ending up with a huge energy bill. Make sure you research the type of insulation that’s best for your area and read up on the R-value ratings and other technical details. 

Failure to Properly Seal the Vents and Gaps

Heat and air can escape through vents and gaps in your attic, increasing energy bills. To prevent this, make sure all vents and gaps are properly sealed with the insulation material. This can be done with caulk, spray foam, expanding foam, or other types of sealant.

Failure To Insulate The Attic Floor

Attics are often used for storage, but if the floor isn’t properly insulated, it can lead to heat and air escaping. Make sure you check the floor for any gaps and cracks and then fill them in with insulation

Not Checking for Moisture

Moisture is an enemy of insulation and can lead to mold and mildew. Before insulating your attic, make sure to check for any signs of moisture and repair any leaks in your roof

Not Installing Enough Insulation

Most attics require at least 12 inches of insulation to achieve the desired R-value. Installing enough insulation can lead to a comfortable home and wasted energy.

Be sure to understand these common problems and follow the tips for avoiding common DIY attic insulation pitfalls. However, if you still need to figure it out, it’s best to hire a professional to inspect your attic and ensure it’s properly insulated.

Benefits Of Hiring Professionals To Install Your Attic Insulation

They Have The Right Tools And Experience

Professional insulation contractors have all the necessary tools and know-how to do the job right. They have the expertise to ensure that the insulation is installed to the highest standards, and they can troubleshoot any problems that arise during the installation process.

Early Detection Of Any Potential Issues

A leaky roof, damaged HVAC system, and other issues need to be fixed before proceeding with the attic insulation. If these problems are left unattended, it’ll cause quick damage to your insulation. Thankfully, professionals understand these, and they know where to look to detect problems that can affect the effectiveness of your attic insulation.

They Can Help You Choose The Best Materials

Insulation materials are not created equally, and a professional can help you choose the best materials for your home. They’ll inspect your home and then choose the insulation materials that will keep your attic well insulated.

Quick Attic Insulation

With all the necessary tools and knowledge at the fingertips of the expert insulation contractor, you can be sure that your attic insulation will be done quickly and efficiently. This can save you time and money, and you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of your insulation sooner.

Correct Insulation

Professionals will ensure that the attic insulation is installed correctly and properly sealed and ventilated. This helps ensure that your home’s energy is efficient and that the insulation is doing its job.

Warranty Protection

Most professional insulation installers will offer a warranty on their work. This can provide you with peace of mind that if anything goes wrong within the warranty period, it’ll be rectified by the installer without having to pay any extra fee.

By hiring professionals to install your attic insulation, you can rest assured that all the pitfalls peculiar to DIY attic insulation will be avoided. You can learn more about attic insulation here; We also offer spray foam insulation financing opportunities, to make your investment less stressful.


Name, Address, and Phone

First Defense Insulation, 

12 Greenway Plaza Suite 1147 Houston, Texas 77046,