• Mark Gordos

What the heck are VOCs and why do they matter?

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are compounds that have a high vapor pressure and low water solubility, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. VOCs are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids, this off-gassing is created by all of the little bits that are expelled when a product is sprayed.

Obviously your concern about spray foam is well founded. Yet, many people do not realize many home cleaning and hygiene products also create VOCs when sprayed. VOCs affect air quality and can be dangerous to your health especially if the product you are using has been rated as "high". People with respiratory illness or have breathing problems are more susceptible to being affected by VOCs.

Spray foam insulation does emit VOCs (commonly called off-gassing) during the curing process and the VOC rating of the product and its application determine how long a customer should vacate the premises once spraying has begun. On The Mark uses only low rated VOC polyurethane foam as determined by EPA testing of the manufacturer's product.

Icynene LaPolla spray foam has the lowest VOC emission of spray foam products. After curing, the foam becomes inert providing a healthier, cleaner indoor environment free from dust and other contaminants that pests leave in other types of insulation materials.

Lapolla FL 450 open cell spray foam is a water-based blowing agent product and is GREENGUARD and GREENGUARD Gold Certified, a status only given to interior building material products that have low chemical emission properties, thus improving the air in which the products are used. GREENGUARD Certification is part of UL Environment, a business unit of UL (Underwriters Laboratories). GREENGUARD Certification helps manufacturers create--and helps buyers identify--interior products and materials that have low chemical emissions, improving the quality of the air in which the products are used.

Lapolla FOAM-LOK™ 2000-4G is a closed cell spray applied foam, which was developed using an EPA approved 4th generation blowing agent to significantly reduce VOCs even though the blowing agent is chemical based. This product is also GREENGUARD Gold Certified.

Despite what you might hear or see about spray foam off-gassing problems, the products are as safe as possible for use in all structures. The problems with off-gassing can be caused by a "bad" product or poor workmanship. With over 22 years of spray foam experience, On The Mark has not had one problem with product or spraying. Our customers can be assured the products we use and the application will be of the highest quality.

To ensure your health and well-being we recommend vacating the premises for twenty-four hours (24) once spraying begins. While this is often a hardship, we err on the side of caution to ensure the foam is properly cured and inert.

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