As we’ve written before, we think foam insulation has NO place in a home. It is a toxic, high embodied carbon shortcut to insulating properly. And yet the building industry still promotes it.
But the facts on foam insulation remain clear. Thankfully our friends at 475 High Performance Building Supply share our concern as well. Check their ‘Foam Fails’ series which outlines foam’s major issues:
- Dangerous toxic ingredients
- Unacceptable fire hazard
- Degrading thermal insulation values
- Counterproductive vapor retarder/barrier
- Excessive shrinkage
- Inflexible and prone to cracking
- Unhealthy off-gassing & dust
- Hypersensitive on-site manufacturing
- Difficult to identify and repair air leaks
- Weak and unpredictable air control
- Irredeemable global warming potential
- Intolerant of adverse job site conditions
- Terribly hygrophobic
These are a series of reports. They are in no specific order and each one will be detailed over time. Some are clickable now.
If you want a summary, watch the video here where it takes 44 seconds for a room insulated with foam to flash over. It is toxic, horrible stuff that is an accelerant in a fire.
There are alternatives. Smart, air-tight membranes are chief among them. As always, we think Havelock Wool is an integral part of the solution. Regardless of your ultimate choice in wall assembly, please know there are commonly used options out there. It’s time for foam to go the way of asbestos.