Insulation materials are used to effectively seal small cracks and holes on the cavities of your house’s walls, ceiling, basements, and even your attics. Spray foam is on these materials that have a high rate of success keeping hot air from flowing freely through these small openings. However, other than being used as an insulating material, there are people who tend to use spray foam as a way to block out any small animals or insects from entering their houses. For some houses the entry of mice has become a problem that has made some people looking for insulation materials that can keep both pesky mice and hot or cold air from entering freely into the property. This article will tackle this concern if using spray foam would be optimal in keeping mice from entering your property.
What is Spray Foam?
Spray polyurethane foam (SPF) is made by mixing two chemicals called isocyanate and resin. Isocyanate is a class of liquid compound that is considered to be toxic when inhaled. This chemical is an irritant when touched in its liquid state. However, after mixing this with polyol resin, the material will harden and expand forming the spray foam material. It is usually sprayed on the surface of the walls that may contain very small cracks. The material is able to enter areas that are usually hard to reach. After it is applied, the material would eventually expand and harden sealing those areas.
Benefits of Using Spray Foam Insulation
Spray foam insulation is known to be one of the more costly types of insulation materials. However, the effectiveness of using spray foam is very high, making it a cost-effective material. Here is a list of benefits you will get when using spray foam insulation:
- It is known to protect your house from any moisture trying to enter through very small holes. This is best seen when you are using a closed cell spray foam insulation material. In addition, this serves as protection from any mold or mildew from forming.
- It has the capability to reduce noise coming from outside your property.
- It is fairly easy to install. It can be applied by anyone as long as the proper tools and safety gears are used. Since it is a health hazard if you inhale or touch the chemicals, protective gear should be used during the application process.
- When the product has already hardened, it will never lose its shape. Being able to withstand extreme temperatures, it will not sag or shift as time passes. With a relatively high R-value, it is able to resist heat.
- As an excellent insulation material, it can be effective in helping you save on your energy bills. If properly applied, spray foam is known to keep hot air from entering your property during the summer, while it is able to keep warm air inside the property during the winter. This in turn would help your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems (HVAC) to run optimally.
Effects of Spray Foam Insulation Material Against Animals
Spray foam insulation material is known to be a health hazard when ingested. If animals were able to ingest the liquid form of the spray foam material, the product will expand and harden inside their bodies, which would be dangerous. This is why it is required that you and your pets should not be within the vicinity when the product is being applied. If the product is ingested when it is already in its hardened state, the isocyanate chemical’s characteristic of being toxic will cause sickness to the one that ingested the product. This is why people must ensure that the place is thoroughly cleaned after the application process to avoid their children and pets from finding any foam material lying on the ground and chewing on it.
How to Use Spray Foam Insulation While Preventing Mice from Entering the Property
Since spray foam material can be easily chewed and dug by mice, they may create openings that will make it easier for other mice to follow. However, there is a possibility that the ones that created the hole on your insulation material may die if they ingested some of the toxic materials. However, this would then leave a new problem as holes will appear that would greatly reduce the effectiveness of your insulation. Here are some ways to avoid or fix this problem:
- Prior to the application of the spray foam insulation material, it is highly recommended that the owner of the property look for any possible holes that would be big enough for mice to enter. By identifying these problem areas, the owner can plug these holes with a copper mesh before applying the spray foam material over them. Mice will find it hard to dig through this copper mesh as it is durable against them. The copper mesh must be stuffed into these holes deeply and must be compacted to increase its strength.
- If there is still mice infestation after sealing the holes beforehand, this means that there were areas that you missed before applying the copper mesh and spray foam insulation. You should look for the holes that were created by these mice on your spray foam insulation. Once you identify these holes, you should plug in some copper mesh on to these holes then reapply the spray foam material.
- Another way is by using the copper mesh as a barrier that would cover the spray foam insulation. This would shield the spray foam material from getting gnawed or dug by these pesky mice.
- To help keep mice away from your walls that have been applied with spray foam insulation, you may place some pepper powder on the foam and the walls. Mice are known to hate the smell of pepper.
Spray Foam Insulation Material Should Be Protected Against Animals
Even though spray foam material is known to withstand heat and moisture, it cannot withstand physical pressure that may rip it apart. Animals, most especially mice, are known to use their sharp claws to easily rip apart any type of foam material. Always add a layer of reinforcement to your spray foam insulation material to keep it protected from any kind of animal. You should ask the help from expert installers since they have the knowledge on how to make spray foam insulation work without getting damaged by pests. You may contact Foam Insulation Company at (416) 880-1927 for any insulation-related concerns.