Spray Foam Smell
I’m looking at a house that had closed cell (Foam Lok 2000) spray foam insulation installed in the basement rim joists and an adjacent crawlspace. When viewing the home, I immediately noticed a “sweet” smell upon opening the door to the basement. It seems to be stronger on hotter days.
I’ve since read the horror stories about bad spray foam jobs, but here’s the thing: the smell is pronounced, but not unpleasant or overpowering. I spent a significant amount of time in the basement with no issues. And the foam looks good…no dark, “fried” spots indicative of iso-rich foam (I’m assuming a sweet smell would point towards uncured MDI). I don’t think the odor is just from hidden bad spots, either. I can smell it directly from a piece of nice looking foam. I considered poor ventilation…but surely even a poorly ventilated space that’s opened now and then would be free of foam odor after 6 years?
Everything I read says a good foam job should be odorless after some time. Is it truly odorless…or is that just in comparison to the strong odors right after installation? Just trying to see if even a good foam job could still smell. Like I said, the smell doesn’t bother me (as long as it stays in the basement), but I worry about health effects from long term exposure.
I feel like if I already owned this house, I’d just air out the basement now and then and be done with it, but I’m not sure that’s good enough to consider buying it. I’m really on the fence about this, so would appreciate anyone’s advice or opinion.
GBA Detail Library
A collection of one thousand construction details organized by climate and house part