The Environmental Truth About Polyurethane Foams

The Environmental Truth About Polyurethane Foams

Polyurethane foam can come in various forms, including the cushioned material within a pair of shoes or the new roof over your head. One type of polyurethane foam is commonly used as a spray insulation for buildings. The spray foam contains chemicals harmful to humans and animals, which is the largest environmental impact right off the bat. Over a short period of time, the chemicals begin to solidify to provide the base insulation in a home’s roof. Despite the negative aspects of the foam, there are numerous benefits to take advantage of.

Saving Energy

It takes but a small bit of energy to produce the chemical ingredients used in polyurethane foam compared to the energy homeowners will save on their utility bills. If installed professionally, the drawbacks of polyurethane foam can be effectively minimized.

Believe it or not, the investment to install polyurethane insulation is recovered in just one or two years of having it installed. Furthermore, polyurethane can be recycled or recovered for increased energy savings down the road.

Manufacturing Hazards

To make polyurethane foams, both isocyanates and polyols are mixed, both of which emit heat and vapors. The dangers of isocyanates have been documented extensively over the years. The chemicals are known to cause irritation and sensitization in those exposed for extended periods. Furthermore, asthma, lung damage, skin and eye irritation, and cancer are potential drawbacks during the manufacturing process.


These drawbacks are, as we said, during the manufacturing process, where safety precautions are taken. Once the foam has been created, it is trimmed, sanded, and cured. After curing, it is important to avoid sanding or drilling into the foam once more. Holes or scratches may release harmful vapors or dusts.

Contact Us

For more information on polyurethane foams, or to schedule comprehensive roofing services, contact Paradigm Roofing. You can reach us at (972) 542-7774.