Charles: That photo is closed-cell SPF, and it's not sprayed perfectly uniformly. As long as it has the minimum thickness required (3" on a ceiling here in the Atlanta area), it should be fine. I've discussed some problems with SPF installations in the articles listed in the Related Articles section above. This photo is from about 10 years ago, though, and has no ignition barrier.  

Spray foam insulation, when properly installed is both an air barrier and when closed cell foam is used at the proper depth a vapor barrier!  Before hiring any contractor you should establish the brand of foam being used and verify that with the named manufacture.  Please ask for ESR reports and MSDS sheets on any foam being installed in your home. A couple areas where you might consider spray foam insulation include:
Good article, but it seems like you can chalk up almost all of those problems to the experience level of whomever is spraying the foam. Spray foam isn't an inherently bad product, but it's pretty easy to botch if the hired company is inexperienced. Fiberglass may be foolproof to install, but then again it has a terrible R-Value compared to a good spray foam. People just need to get referrals and do their homework whenever they research a spray foam contractor. Spray Coating
What do you mean by "our AC units require fresh air ventilation"? Fresh air doesn't come from the attic. If there's an atmospheric combustion appliance in the attic, such as an 80 AFUE furnace, then you shouldn't be encapsulating the attic anyway. If that's the case, you don't want spray foam on the roofline at all. You can either change out the furnace to a sealed combustion unit or do your insulating and air-sealing at the flat-ceiling level. Spray Coating
Whether or not an intumescent coating, or even a thermal or ignition barrier, is needed often depends on the type of spray foaminsulation that builders use. Many closed cell foam sprays are already sufficiently fire resistant and need no additional barriers. Ultimately, whether or not you need an ignition barrier or thermal barrier varies depending on location and materials. You should check with your local code official to ensure that your insulation work is up to code. Spray Coating
In cold spraying, particles are accelerated to very high speeds by the carrier gas forced through a converging–diverging de Laval type nozzle. Upon impact, solid particles with sufficient kinetic energy deform plastically and bond mechanically to the substrate to form a coating. The critical velocity needed to form bonding depends on the material's properties, powder size and temperature. Metals, polymers, ceramics, composite materials and nanocrystalline powders can be deposited using cold spraying.[4] Soft metals such as Cu and Al are best suited for cold spraying, but coating of other materials (W, Ta, Ti, MCrAlY, WC–Co, etc.) by cold spraying has been reported.[1] Insulation Spray Coating
Schweitzer Spray Coatings is a family owned and operated business, located in West Bend WI. Our company serves a wide variety of roof coatings to Agriculture/Farms, Commercial/Industrial and Residential Accounts. We specialize in coating buildings, pole sheds, barns, and trailers. If you are experiencing any leaks, rust, or just need a new paint coating, contact us today for your rubber roof solution. Spray Coating Services

During the 1980s, a class of thermal spray processes called high velocity oxy-fuel spraying was developed. A mixture of gaseous or liquid fuel and oxygen is fed into a combustion chamber, where they are ignited and combusted continuously. The resultant hot gas at a pressure close to 1 MPa emanates through a converging–diverging nozzle and travels through a straight section. The fuels can be gases (hydrogen, methane, propane, propylene, acetylene, natural gas, etc.) or liquids (kerosene, etc.). The jet velocity at the exit of the barrel (>1000 m/s) exceeds the speed of sound. A powder feed stock is injected into the gas stream, which accelerates the powder up to 800 m/s. The stream of hot gas and powder is directed towards the surface to be coated. The powder partially melts in the stream, and deposits upon the substrate. The resulting coating has low porosity and high bond strength.[1]

Schweitzer Spray Coatings is a family owned and operated business, located in West Bend WI. Our company serves a wide variety of roof coatings to Agriculture/Farms, Commercial/Industrial and Residential Accounts. We specialize in coating buildings, pole sheds, barns, and trailers. If you are experiencing any leaks, rust, or just need a new paint coating, contact us today for your rubber roof solution. Insulation Spray Coating


Sta-Kool 800 15-year White Elastomeric Roof Coating is Sta-Kool 800 15-year White Elastomeric Roof Coating is a high quality very flexible white acrylic latex roof coating. Coverage is 50-75 sq. ft. per gallon per coat. Two coatings are recommended. This performance product resists cracking and peeling while offering tremendous durability. This long lasting formula forms and excellent highly ...  More + Product Details Close
Mass-produced material is loaded on a conveyor belt where it is fed into one of these flatline machines. Flatline machines are designed to specifically paint material that is less than 4 inches (10 cm) thick and complex in shape, for example a kitchen cabinet door or drawer front. Spray guns are aligned above the material and the guns are in motion in order to hit all the grooves of the material. The guns can be moved in a cycle, circle, or can be moved back and forth in order to apply paint evenly across the material. Flatline systems are typically large and can paint doors, kitchen cabinets, and other plastic or wooden products. Spray Coating Services
Spray painting is a painting technique where a device sprays a coating (paint, ink, varnish, etc.) through the air onto a surface. The most common types employ compressed gas—usually air—to atomize and direct the paint particles. Spray guns evolved from airbrushes, and the two are usually distinguished by their size and the size of the spray pattern they produce. Airbrushes are hand-held and used instead of a brush for detailed work such as photo retouching, painting nails or fine art. Air gun spraying uses equipment that is generally larger. It is typically used for covering large surfaces with an even coating of liquid. Spray guns can be either automated or hand-held and have interchangeable heads to allow for different spray patterns. Single color aerosol paint cans are portable and easy to store.
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Synavax™ thermal insulation coatings help organizations improve energy efficiency. They are nano-engineered patented cutting-edge thermal paint coatings that provide next generation performance beyond older, non-patented ceramic insulation products.  Additionally, our products are eco-friendly and provide mold-resistant and anti-condensation properties without harmful biocides and other harsh chemicals, which is a significant plus for sustainably-minded companies.


Yes, absolutely. If you put spray foam insulation in a building, it needs a thermal barrier. That's what separates it from the occupied spaces. If there's a fire in the building, a thermal barrier keeps the combustible spray foam from the flames to increase fire resistance. The International Residential Code (IRC) and Internation Building Code (IBC) both include requirements for thermal barriers (and ignition barriers, too; see below). Coating Services
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Synavax™ thermal insulation coatings are the top choice for a wide variety of thermal insulating paint applications over equipment like pipes, pipelines, tanks, ovens, processing vessels, heat exchangers and more. Synavax™ patented industrial thermal insulation paint solves corrosion-under-insulation (CUI) by both insulating and preventing corrosion with a single product. Our thermal paint coatings are multipurpose spray or paint applied products that are simple to deploy. Spray Coating Services


Since our founding in 1973, Dal-Bac Manufacturing Co., Inc. has grown and expanded to become one of the premier providers of coating services to customers in a diverse range of industries. We are capable of applying both solvent and water-borne coatings to a wide variety of substrates, including fabrics, films, foams, and papers. Our capabilities include both knife-over-roll and Meyer rod coating methods for roll goods up to 61” in width. With our custom built equipment, we process materials accurately and cost-effectively.
While intumescent coating can be used instead of an ignition barrier or thermal barrier in some cases, the coating itself is not technically either. It does prevent or slow fires, so it has been approved to be used in conjunction with spray foaminsulation as an alternate assembly. The fact that it qualifies as an alternate assembly means that it can be used instead of a thermal barrier or ignition barrier.
Plasmas affect materials at an atomic level. Techniques like X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy are used for surface analysis to identify the processes required and to judge their effects. As a simple indication of surface energy, and hence adhesion or wettability, often a water droplet contact angle test is used. The lower the contact angle, the higher the surface energy and more hydrophilic the material is.
Prodex eliminates the moisture (condensation) from forming on the metal sheeting. It does it by making the temperature of the metal sheeting on the building approximately the same on the inside as the outside. When the heat or cold from outside comes through the metal skin it hits the outside aluminum facing of Prodex and is reflected back upwards through the underside of the metal sheeting. This process keeps the metal sheeting temperature consistent on both sides. In addition, the inside layer of aluminum in Prodex reflects away the heat (heater) or cold (air-conditioning) from inside the building, from getting to the metal skin. This also helps in preventing condensation.  Spray Coating Services
Spray painting is a painting technique where a device sprays a coating (paint, ink, varnish, etc.) through the air onto a surface. The most common types employ compressed gas—usually air—to atomize and direct the paint particles. Spray guns evolved from airbrushes, and the two are usually distinguished by their size and the size of the spray pattern they produce. Airbrushes are hand-held and used instead of a brush for detailed work such as photo retouching, painting nails or fine art. Air gun spraying uses equipment that is generally larger. It is typically used for covering large surfaces with an even coating of liquid. Spray guns can be either automated or hand-held and have interchangeable heads to allow for different spray patterns. Single color aerosol paint cans are portable and easy to store. Coating Services
Are you tired of dealing with insulation jackets or insulation covers that don’t fit? Spray-on thermal insulating coatings by Synavax™ fit any shape of equipment and do not require any exterior jacketing. You can spray apply this technology easily while equipment is in-service and our concentrated insulation coatings will work diligently for 5-10 years or more without degrading.
GacoRoof 100% Silicone Roof Coating creates a seamless membrane to seal and repair existing roofs and permanently protect against leaks, permanent ponding water and the damaging effects of severe weather. GacoRoof is available in several colors to enhance the aesthetics of any roof. Ideal for use on flat and sloped roofs including, but not limited to, large and small buildings, homes, garages and patio covers, sheds and barns, mobile homes, RVs and more.
New fire safety tests for intumescent coatings were created by code officials and the spray foam industry, and many manufacturers found their closed cell spray foams could pass the test without any intumescent coating. Some open cell spray foam can pass the fire tests without an intumescent coating, but most still require the coating. Approved closed cell spray foams do not need the ignition barriers discussed above, which can make the job easier for builders. Insulation Spray Coating
Synavax™ thermal insulation coatings are the top choice for a wide variety of thermal insulating paint applications over equipment like pipes, pipelines, tanks, ovens, processing vessels, heat exchangers and more. Synavax™ patented industrial thermal insulation paint solves corrosion-under-insulation (CUI) by both insulating and preventing corrosion with a single product. Our thermal paint coatings are multipurpose spray or paint applied products that are simple to deploy. Spray Coating Services
There is a significant price difference when it comes to using foam insulation to insulate a new versus older home. Spraying insulation inside a newly constructed home is easier because the installation company can ensure the insulation will work effectively and design it for optimum defense against sound, heat transfer and utility costs. Installing spray foam in older homes that contain existing insulation can cost additional time and money -- it is not usually recommended as compared to weatherization or an energy aduit. Coating Services

Estimated Coverage: Standard product coverage on a smooth surface for Ames® Super Primer™ is 200 sq. ft. per gallon per coat and the product coverage rate for Ames® Maximum Stretch® and Ames® Iron Coat® is 100 sq. ft. per gallon per coat. Rough or uneven surfaces may require additional product. More than one coat of Ames® Maximum Stretch® or Ames® Iron Coat® is recommended. More coats equal longer life. Coating Services
You've got no argument from me there, Dennis. Getting a good installer if you're going with spray foam is crucial. Many builders or homeowners don't know how to find one, however, and that's where third party inspections come in. Also, even good installers have bad days, but if someone comes in behind them with a measuring probe and a Blower Door, there will be fewer sub-par foam jobs.  
Yes, you're right that all of the problems mentioned above are related to the installer. I didn't try to hide that and even used the word 'installer' in two of the four headings. I can see how you'd think that the title is misleading, but in the end you can't separate spray foam insulation from its installation. Some people have the mistaken impression that if you get spray foam in your house, your home will outperform all others. My point here is that that's not true.
Since our founding in 1973, Dal-Bac Manufacturing Co., Inc. has grown and expanded to become one of the premier providers of coating services to customers in a diverse range of industries. We are capable of applying both solvent and water-borne coatings to a wide variety of substrates, including fabrics, films, foams, and papers. Our capabilities include both knife-over-roll and Meyer rod coating methods for roll goods up to 61” in width. With our custom built equipment, we process materials accurately and cost-effectively.
Vacuum plasma spraying (VPS) is a technology for etching and surface modification to create porous layers with high reproducibility and for cleaning and surface engineering of plastics, rubbers and natural fibers as well as for replacing CFCs for cleaning metal components. This surface engineering can improve properties such as frictional behavior, heat resistance, surface electrical conductivity, lubricity, cohesive strength of films, or dielectric constant, or it can make materials hydrophilic or hydrophobic.
The problem you saw with the closed cell foam pulling away like that is due to the heat of the foam was to hot. It was actually curing out and making foam before it could adhere to the wood. The installer wasn't reading his foam correctly. He should of stopped and turned down the heat on his hose temp. Also installers have to be aware that as the sun rises and the temp in attics rises the subtrates get hotter as well. This will cause the installer to adjust his heat when installing the foam as the temp changes thru out the day.  

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This is in great contrast to my friend's experience. Her attic spaces were sprayed and the foam is actually pretty, and I was in her attic 6-7 days after it was sprayed and could hardly smell anything when I stuck my face up to the foam. And she did not have to clean up one speck of dust during or after the spraying. I got the name/number of the guy from her who managed her attic project, but between the time he did my house and the time he did her house, he was let go from the company who did her attic and hired by another company. He assured me everything would be the same, etc., etc., and I had no reason to believe anything had changed, but the sprayers who did my house later admitted they had never sprayed an attic before and I also found out that the foam used in my attic was from a different manufacturer. Neither my friend nor I had any idea this guy was with different company then, until the week after they filled my attic with off ratio foam, and my home with toxic vapors.   Coating Services
In recent years, there has been a significant rise in the use of spray foam insulation in construction. Spray foam insulation varies from traditional insulation, such as fiberglass, in many respects. Fiberglass insulation is typically much cheaper than spray foam insulation; however, it is also less effective at insulating your home. Additionally, spray foaminsulation requires professional installation. Though spray foam insulation is on the rise, fiberglass is still the most common form of home insulation used today.

While building codes may not require it or enforce it, spray foam should have some form of fire protection. Unprotected spray foam insulation can be a fire hazard. If spray foam is exposed to fire, it can result in a flash fire. Because of this, steps should be taken to protect against fires. Builders who do not use ignition barriers are taking on liability should a house they worked on ever burn down.
Spray foam insulation, when properly installed is both an air barrier and when closed cell foam is used at the proper depth a vapor barrier!  Before hiring any contractor you should establish the brand of foam being used and verify that with the named manufacture.  Please ask for ESR reports and MSDS sheets on any foam being installed in your home. A couple areas where you might consider spray foam insulation include: Spray Coating Services
There have been a few mentions of intumescent coatingsabove, and it would be helpful to elaborate on them. Intumescent coating is a type of paint that will bubble when it is exposed to heat or flames. The bubbles act as a barrier that is relatively flame resistant. The bubbled coating delays the ignition of the spray foaminsulation. Because of this, intumescent coatings have become more common in building and construction.
Spray painting poses health hazards that affect the respiratory, nervous, and circulatory systems. Similarly, using solvents to clean one's hands of paint marks and residue may cause skin irritation or even more serious issues since many are carcinogenic or neurotoxic. There are risks involved in working with substances such as paint and thinner, which contain compounds that are potentially harmful to health, or even fatal.[9]
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