RED FLAGS TO WATCH OUT FOR WHEN SELECTING YOUR CONTRACTOR!
There are many things to look for in contractors in general: a safety program in place for workers and customers, licensed and insured, and good quality references. When it comes to spray foam there are a few qualities special to our industry that you must look out for. There are many fly by night spray foam contractors that come and go. They unfortunately have very little training and even less experience which always negatively impacts the customer and our industry.
This all applies to CCMC approved 2lb polyurethane spray foam.
1: Did they provide you with a detailed quote listing "terms & conditions", the type of foam, its manufacture's name and trade name of the material to be used. Is it CCMC approved? Anyone offering a cash job for no receipt is an automatic red flag.
2: Spray foam installation is to a extent dependent on atmospheric conditions and if not monitored can create insulation that is not the best. If your contractor shows up on a day that is pouring rain, you should probably ask if it’s OK to spray. If he says that everything is fine and does nothing to control the spray area, find a new contractor because he doesn’t know polyurethane application well enough yet. Moisture and humidity are sworn enemies of spray foam application, for the fact that one part of the mixture of polyurethane spray foam reacts with any amount of moisture no matter how small and anything over eighty percent humidity is questionable.
For us in Manitoba, temperature both ambient and substrate are especially critical when applying foam in the winter months. Flashing cold substrates is a common practice among those who do not take adequate measures to precondition the spray area. This flawed technique can potentially leave a layer of raw chemical on the substrate and can result in failed adhesion of the foam.
3: Take a look inside the rig when it arrives on site. Is it presentable, clean and organized? If the contractor takes no pride in his equipment, its often a clue that he will even take less care to doing a clean and presentable job for you.
4: Polyurethane spray foam has to be installed in layers with no more rise than two inches at a time. This is due to the fact that when the two components of 2lb spray foam mix they create heat, if too much is applied the foam can cook itself and cause cracks and lingering odors. Asking how many passes it will take to get an R-20 rating on closed cell 2lb foam should get the answer of min 2 passes for any 2lb foam on the market. If they say one pass will do it they are not totally trust worthy; the best 2lb foams rate at R-6 per inch which means you need at least 3.5 inches to get a R-20 rating.
5. There should always be a crew of two, so that one individual is always able to return to the rig to monitor correct pressures, temperature and balance in deliver of the material at the installers end. Did the installer have his photo ID available to show that he was "trained and certified" to install the material? ASK TO SEE IT!
6. Are they a member of CUFCA- Canadian Urethane Foam Contractors Association? If so, they have to maintain a minimum 2 million dollar liability insurance, get re-certified every five years and in addition, CUFCA will add a 50,000 dollar 3 year warranty when Demilec Polarfoam Soya is installed by a certified installer.
7. Also be aware that there are individuals representing themselves (their company) but are not disclosing the fact that they no longer active in the industry. They are however, still soliciting business off their web sites but are actually selling off your contract for a commission to another company who will do the actual install.
8. Lastly, did the contractor advise you of a 24 hour ventilation warning? 90% of the "off-gassing will occur within the first 24 hours of spraying foam. It is recommended that no one person or animal should occupy the building during this period of time to avoid exposure.
Ecologic Spray Foam wants everyone to get a quality product because bad installs hurt our industry, our reputation and ultimately our customers.
We are members of:
Canadian Urethane Foam Contractors Association CUFCA
Winnipeg Construction Association
Manitoba Better Business Bureau
Member of 1Life and Safety