What are the Best Tips for Applying do-It-Yourself Spray Foam Insulation?

Patrick Lynch

When the time comes to insulate the home, it is possible to use a do-it-yourself spray foam insulation kit in lieu of professional help. It is important, however, to utilize a few common tips regarding insulation in order to apply it correctly the first time around. Safety equipment should always be worn and the area being insulated must remain at a certain temperature before applying the foam. The surface area should always be clean and only a thin layer of foam is needed. Once applied, check thoroughly for missed areas, and reapply if necessary before storing the kit away.

A closeup of spray foam insulation.
A closeup of spray foam insulation.

When applying do-it-yourself spray foam insulation, always wear safety goggles and gloves. This is especially relevant when spraying in a well ventilated area. Failure to do this could result in the inhalation of the spray which is harmful to the lungs.

Spray foam insulation on a house.
Spray foam insulation on a house.

While do-it-yourself spray foam insulation can be applied by anybody, it is not a simple task. Incorrect application could cause serious damage to a home, thus costing a fortune to repair. For this reason, professional help may be necessary if the homeowner is unsure how to perform the task of applying the spray foam insulation.

The do-it-yourself spray foam insulation kit tanks and the area being insulated should remain at a temperature between 65° and 80° degrees Fahrenheit (about 18° to 27° Celsius). If either or both are too cold, apply a bullet heater to bring them up to the requisite temperature. If they are too warm, wait for them to cool.

Never apply the spray foam to a dirty surface. Remove debris thoroughly before application otherwise the foam will not stick properly to it. The kit should include a spray hose which must be connected to the insulation kit tank. The valves of the tank should then be opened.

When the do-it-yourself spray foam is being applied, make sure that only a very thin layer is placed on the surface. It is only necessary to apply an amount as thick as a layer of spray paint. It is also important to allow the foam to rise before it dries. This usually takes approximately 30 minutes. When this is completed, the application process is finished.

Once the foam has settled, check to see if any spots have been missed. Any section of the surface area not insulated will render the whole process null and void. If there is even one area that has been missed, it is important to repeat the process until the whole area has been covered.

When the job is completed, turn off the valves and remove the spray hose. The do-it-yourself spray foam insulation kit should then be stored away from children. As long as the chemicals in the kit do not pass their expiry date, the foam be used repeatedly if stored correctly. Always place the kit in an area far away from sources of heat.

Spray foam insulation should be applied in well ventilated areas.
Spray foam insulation should be applied in well ventilated areas.

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Discussion Comments


@Drentel -That's exactly what worries me. I want to save money by doing the job myself, but if I do the job and mess up something that requires a professional contractor to come in and fix then I have wasted time and money trying to do the job myself. The spray foam insulation kits cost less than paying a professional to install the foam, but the kits are still not cheap.

I think installing batting would be a lot safer and definitely not as hard to do. This really is a tough decision for me. I'm not sure I have the confidence to try installing spray foam without professional help.


@Feryll - Putting in spray foam is difficult, but it can be done as a do-it-yourself project if you take the time to read all of the instructions and guidelines, and take all of the suggested safety precautions. I know several people who have done this. Some of them got it right the first time, but more of them had to go back and do the job one or two more times.

Applying spray foam is much like any other skill in that you should get better with practice. Just make sure you don't do any major damage that can't be repaired without tearing down walls and you will be fine.


I've seen the men and women who work with the spray foam insulation. Their outfits look like the uniforms worn by the workers who handle hazardous materials. I was told to buy disposable coveralls, a full face mask and a surgical mask before even thinking about starting to use this type of foam myself.

Even after reading this article and others, I think it would be very difficult for the average person to get the spray foam insulation applied so that it was 100 percent effective. Getting it applied without harming yourself would be challenge enough.

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