Energy Blog

Can spray foam insulation be removed?

March 3, 2022

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One of the best ways to save money on your monthly electric bills is by choosing an efficient type of insulation for your home. Spray foam insulation has become an increasingly popular choice among homeowners in recent years for several reasons, including its ability to deter moisture and the fact that it is environmentally friendly, helping you to reduce your carbon footprint on the planet. Another major benefit to spray foam insulation is that it is resistant to mold and other bacteria!   

Pros vs. Cons of Spray Foam Insulation

Spray foam insulation is a cellular plastic that creates a foam when sprayed and is considered to be a high-performance product by professionals. It insulates, acts as an air sealant, and a moisture barrier. Just like with any form of insulation, using spray foam insulation has both advantages and disadvantages. 

Advantages: One of the major advantages of spray foam insulation is that the foam is flexible and adheres to any surface on which it is sprayed, allowing it to fill the hard-to-reach cracks, crevices, and corners in the home. Spray foam is also resistant to mold and mildew. It also stays in place over time, unlike fiberglass sheets or cellulose insulation which often settle over time. Other advantages include lower electric bills, no need for a vapor barrier to be installed, and it provides an air-tight seal to prevent heat loss. 

Disadvantages: A major con of spray foam insulation is the expense. Because spray foam must be installed by a professional and can often use more material, the cost of using spray foam is generally two to three times the cost of other types of insulation. Another disadvantage is that spray foam insulation can sometimes shrink. This typically occurs in homes located in geographic regions where extreme temperature differences occur. 

What are the Reasons for Insulation Removal?

Although insulating your house provides numerous benefits, there are some cases when insulation removal becomes necessary. Here are a few of the reasons that may require insulation removal services:

  • Smoke or Fire Damage: Most people are aware that the insulation would need to be replaced if there is any damage caused by fire; however, many do not think about the damage to insulation caused by smoke. The smell of smoke can sometimes be absorbed into the insulation fibers. In order to rid your house of the smell of smoke, the insulation will need to be removed and replaced.
  • Trampled or Damaged Insulation: After insulation has been walked on or trampled down over time, it loses its ability to insulate at full capacity. Removing the damaged insulation and replacing it would be the best option to ensure that your home stays well insulated. 
  • Pests Invade Your Insulation: If you have experienced a pest infestation, such as bats, raccoons, or squirrels, you may need to have your insulation removed. Even after the pests have been removed, the homeowners are still facing serious health risks. Contamination in the air from the pests can result in the contraction of various diseases, including rat-bite fever or tularemia. Because of this, it is extremely important to rid your home of any insulation that was contaminated by the pests’ urine, feces, or nesting materials. 

Can Spray Foam Insulation be Safely Removed?

Whether you have a serious issue that needs to be resolved or you just accidentally got some spray foam where it doesn’t belong, it is important to know if you can remove the insulation in your home and if so, how to safely do so. Because spray foam is a combination of chemicals, it is essential to wear a face mask when removing the insulation! 

If you just recently applied the spray foam and made an error, don’t try to remove it immediately. Wait for it to dry first because this makes it easier to remove. You can use a saw, knife, hard-bristled brush, or another tool to help remove the insulation. Once you have removed as much of the spray foam as possible, you will want to apply a lacquer thinner (or nail polish remover, if you have that!) to help dissolve uncured polyurethane foams. 


If the spray foam has already cured, the removal process is quite a bit different. While the easiest and safest option is to hire professionals to get the job done for you, there are spray foam vacuum units that you can get to help with the removal process. After using the machine, chip off any excess spray foam from the wall. As before, apply lacquer thinner to any surface that has remaining spray foam. 

At Reeves Insulation we know that insulating your home is a big investment and we want to do what we can to make your home more energy efficient! If you would like to know more information on the removal or addition of insulation in your home or schedule services, call or contact our office today! 

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If you want all the benefits of spray foam insulation, call us today! (870) 307-2373

Reeves Insulation has been in business, in the Batesville area, for over 30 years offering insulation, replacement windows, air sealing, and weatherization. Owner, Marvin Reeves started in the general contracting industry and his background has transferred over to Insulation and Home Energy Conservation, providing homeowners and businesses energy efficiency services to lower energy bills. Our business is family owned and operated and our goal is to provide you the best job at an affordable cost.