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How Spray Foam Insulation Protects Kids With Asthma

by Erik Evans

Adding or replacing insulation in your home is one of the best ways to lower your heating and cooling bills without building a brand new house. Unfortunately, many types of insulation end up causing problems for sensitive residents, including asthmatic children. Consider how spray foam insulation improves your interior air quality to decide if it's worth your investment.

Managing Mold

It's not the fungi known as mold themselves triggering asthma attacks, but rather the tiny particles known as spores that they use to reproduce. Mold needs both moisture and organic matter to feed on. Spray foam insulation cuts back on both of these requirements in two different ways.

First, spray foam stops moisture from coming into the home from the exterior. It seals tiny cracks and holes that let in rain or humid air because it adheres very tightly to nearly any clean surface. The closed cells that make up the foam won't absorb and trap moisture if there's a leak inside the home either. Even if steam from a shower or steaming pot of soup settles on the insulation, it gets a chance to dry instead of soaking in and staying there for months or years.

Secondly, foam insulation is completely free from organic materials that feed fungi. Fiberglass insulation isn't edible either, but the paper backing used to enclose the pink fluff serves as an ideal food for hungry mold.

Keeping Away Pollen

The same sealing power that keeps humidity out also limits the flow of pollutants coming in from the great outdoors. When it's the peak of tree or grass pollen season, this makes a huge difference in how comfortable your asthmatic child feels when playing in their bedroom. Keeping the windows shut and investing in HEPA filters for your central air system isn't enough if a gap in the attic or wall is letting irritants pour in.

Limiting Dust

The closed cell design of the best spray foams also prevent this type of insulation from becoming a harbor for dust. Both eco-friendly recycled denim fluff and fiberglass strands collect massive amounts of dust as it circulates around your home. This accumulated dust shakes loose when a door slams or a tree branch bumps a wall, releasing an invisible puff of irritants that triggers an asthma attack.

By prevent dust from settling into the insulation layer, spray cell foam keeps it circulating inside the home's air supply instead. Dust floating around the house might sound like a bad idea, but it's actually better because only loose dust can get sucked into an air purifier or a central air system outfitted with a good filter.

Resisting Shedding

Some natural forms of insulation even add extra dust to the home as they decompose inside your attic and walls. It might sound healthier to use recycled fabrics, fluffy wool, or natural cork, but all three of these products start breaking down into dust within the first decade after installation. You can install extra layers of plastic around these materials to contain the dust they create, but it's easier and cheaper to simply stick with spray foam insulation.

Addressing Off-Gassing Concerns

Spray foam products do create a number of gases during installation that can trigger an asthma attack or even cause asthma in someone who doesn't already have it. However, this off-gassing process stops once the material dries and cures completely. Protect your family by relocating to a hotel during installation and give the spray foam a full 72 hours to cure before returning.

With mold limiting properties and a resistance to producing and gathering dust, spray foam insulation is one of the smartest insulation materials for homes that house kids with asthma. These benefits are the reasons why it was chosen by the American Lung Association for a house building project designed to showcase the best technologies for cleaner indoor air.

For more information, contact an insulation company like Northwest Sprayfoam Ltd insulation Vancouver.