Factors That Influence How Long Spray Foam Takes to Dry and Cure
Published: 2023-06-30 11:21:35
Discover how long it takes for spray foam to dry and cure. Spray foam revolutionized the construction and home improvement industries by supplying a more energy-efficient insulation solution than fiberglass. Spray foam can be an excellent choice for homeowners looking to improve energy efficiency and comfort in their homes. But how long does spray foam take to dry and cure? Let’s find out.
You will find three kinds of spray foam on the market with low, medium, and high densities. Each type of spray foam serves a separate set of purposes.
Low-density spray foam insulates the interior of houses. With less mass than the other two types of foam, low-density spray foam creates large bubbles and expands. It remains a favorite for builders because it packs open spaces quickly and easily. This type of foam functions best inside the walls because of its softness.
Medium-density spray foam gives you a structural strength at relatively thin lifts. The material is also a vapor retarder and helps to prevent condensation. For this reason, it is often used in crawl spaces and attics.
High-density spray foam works well for outdoor projects. Roofers use high-density spray foam to prevent water and air from entering the house through the roof. The hardy, thick material makes it waterproof and insulative, without the bulk of traditional products.
Within minutes, most types of spray foam will dry and become tack free. However it can take up to 24 hours for spray foam to fully cure. Cure time is the time that it takes for foam to completely off-gas and is the basic requirement for a safe re-occupancy of a home or building. The time it takes for spray foam to both dry and cure will depend on the brand, the foam's density, the weather, and other variables.
Half-pound open cell spray foam dries and becomes tack-free in seconds. Depending on weather conditions and the substrate, it takes eight to 24 hours for half-pound open cell spray foam to fully cure.
Also called “low-density” spray foam, half-pound open cell spray foam is low-density, dries quickly, and reduces installation times. It also allows our spray foam specialists to perform a single-pass installation in most cases.
Half-pound open cell spray foam also proves more affordable than two-pound closed cell spray foam. However, it is only installed indoors because it does not hold up in severe weather conditions.
Within 5 to 10 seconds two pound closed cell spray foam dries and becomes tack-free. Depending on the temperature, humidity, and substrate it takes 20 to 24 hours to fully cure.
Also called “medium-density” spray foam, two-pound closed cell spray foam takes longer to cure than low-density foam. In some cases, a second pass of two-pound closed cell spray foam is needed to reach specified thickness.
Medium-density spray foam costs more than low-density foam, but it works well for outdoor applications, especially under decks, where it even provides added structural support.
It takes less than 30 seconds for three pound closed cell spray foam, also referred to as "high density" to dry and become tack-free. It takes over 24 hours to cure.
Three-pound closed cell spray foam takes longer to dry and cure than low and medium-density spray foam.
An additional coating is often needed, especially a UV-protectant coating if working on an outdoor project, such as a deck or roof.
High-density spray foam costs more than the other two types of foam, but it is the most effective form of spray foam insulation.
The Environmental Protection Agency suggests residents should stay outside the house while the spray foam continues to cure or if any foam dust remains in the air. Many in the industry suggest a 24-hour re-occupancy period as a general guidance. Always consult the product manufacturer for specific re-occupancy times.
Do you want to improve the insulation in your home to save money and the environment? Call iFoam at (833) 93-IFOAM to schedule a free consultation with one of our insulation experts. We can help you choose the best type for your individual needs and help you improve the energy efficiency and comfort of your home.