Spray foam is an extremely popular way to insulate your home, but since there are many different means of insulation, it’s important to know and understand which one works best for your home. They all have pros and cons and they all work better under certain conditions – with spray foam insulation it’s no different.
It is, however, considered one of the most effective methods of insulation all around.
Here’s what you need to know about spray foam insulation, from advantages to disadvantages, and from cost to application!
“Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud. – Maya Angelou
What is spray foam insulation?
No secret here, it’s pretty much what it sounds like: a liquid substance that is sprayed on walls, ceilings, and other structures, and almost immediately expands into foam. This makes it very practical to apply over structures, since it naturally fills any nooks and crannies, virtually eliminating any possible leak.
However, there are two types of spray foam: open-cell and close-cell.
Open-cell spray foam
This is the most used type of spray foam because of its versatility. It’s way less dense than the closed-cell variant, which in practice, allows for more breathing room and less smothering of surfaces. It’s also cheaper, easier to apply, cover a larger area and works for most situations.
The downsides are that because it’s more airy and less dense, it allows for air and water to penetrate through in some situations. While the insulation itself is still good, the R-value is lower than closed-cell foam.
Closed-cell spray foam
Closed-cell is, as the name suggests, way denser than open-cell foam. In practice, this means the insulation is way better and the foam is more resistant, but it takes more foam to cover a smaller area, which results in a higher cost per square foot.
The upside to this is that closed-cell is even considered flood resistant and has a higher R-value than open-cell.
How’s the installation process?
Always better done by professionals, since special gear is required for proper handling of the materials. The application itself is considered fairly easy, with only a few major considerations to be done beforehand.
One of the most notable ones is the climate and humidity in your area, but a professional should have no problem taking these precautions to ensure a perfect installation. As for the foam, the chemical mixture has to be done correctly, otherwise you might encounter problems with the substance. Once again, a professional is recommended for the job to make sure everything goes smoothly!
How does it compare to other types of insulation?
When compared to fiberglass insulation, which is by far the most common type of insulation in american homes, spray foam insulation is more expensive, but also more effective.
Fiberglass is cheaper, easy enough to install by homeowners themselves and reasonably effective in most conditions, so it becomes automatically more attractive from a cost-benefit perspective.
However, spray foam insulation is far more effective and has a much longer lifespan. For extremely cold regions, spray foam is recommended since it can prevent any sort of air leakage more efficiently and lasts considerably longer. Fiberglass has an average lifespan of 10-20 years assuming it doesn’t get wet, but spray foam can last up to 80 years.
Spray foam insulation is incredibly versatile and effective to cover even the most awkward nooks and crannies. It’s not very DIY-friendly as it requires professional gear for dealing with chemicals and properly applying to surfaces, but the results more than make up for hiring a professional. Besides, it’s far more effective than fiberglass for colder regions that require better insulation!
Need help with insulation in your home? Talk to a professional today and get free quotes in your area!