I've been working with spray-applied and injected polyurethane foam for about 30 years, first as a manufacturer and architect and later as a foam-insulation contractor and consultant. I've insulated hundreds of buildings, from small homes to large commercial and industrial projects. For most of the time I've been in this business, foam has been seen as a high-priced specialty product - one specified only when cheaper, more easily installed materials, like fiberglass batts, couldn't provide the thermal performance needed. Over the past few years, however, polyurethane foam - particularly spray foam - has come into much wider use. Prices have fallen sharply, and the material has been embraced by builders and remodelers who see it as a way to have a single subcontractor provide high R-value insulation, air-sealing, and moisture control.

This surge of interest in spray foam isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it does have some important implications that builders who are now working with foam - or who are considering doing so - should be aware of.

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