It is a natural occurrence that hot air will always try to flow into areas where the temperature is lower. This causes heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to run inefficiently. This is why insulating your house is very important to ensure that your family is kept healthy while also keeping your energy bills as low as possible. There are multiple benefits that you may receive once you have properly insulated your residence.
What makes spray foam insulation unique?
Compared to traditional fiberglass batts, spray foam insulation can access spaces that are harder to reach. Also, this type of insulation material can completely seal small cracks and voids on walls and ceilings. When it comes to preventing molds from growing inside the house, the spray foam material can effectively seal moisture from leaking into the house. In addition, spray foam is not a food source for molds and mildew.
Are there different types of spray foam insulation?
There are two types of spray foam insulation. One of the types is the open cell spray foam, which has a soft and low density composition. This type of insulation is best used for internal application. Its R-value usually falls between 3.6 and 3.8 per inch. To become effective as an air barrier, it will take about 3” thickness of application for this type of spray foam. Closed cell spray foam, on the other hand, has a rigid and medium density composition. It has a strong resistance to moisture, making it a perfect insulation material for both exterior and interior application. Its R-value can be more than 6.0 per inch. Closed cell spray foam becomes an effective air barrier at an application thickness of 1”.
Is it possible to install spray foam insulation by myself?
Yes, it is possible, but it is not recommended. You need to consider that spray foam insulation is composed of chemicals that are toxic if ingested or inhaled. The material should be kept away from children and pets to avoid any health hazards. However, after the spray foam material has completely dried up, there should be no fumes or any odor. If you really wish to do the job yourself, you must ensure that you find all possible areas where small cracks or openings are available for air and moisture to pass through. These need to be applied with the spray foam material so that they will be completely sealed. Furthermore, you must always follow the thickness guidelines so that you do not waste the product and that it will completely dry up. Do not forget to wear protective gear during the application process.
How does spray foam insulation work?
Spray polyurethane foam (SPF) is created by mixing the chemicals: isocyanate and resin. The product is sprayed on to wall cavities, ceilings, attics, basements, and exterior walls. The point of doing so is to seal any cracks and holes that cannot be clearly seen. The material will expand and harden after some time.
During summer, how can spray foam insulation help reduce my energy bills?
Spray foam insulation helps reduce your energy bills during summer by making sure that the air-conditioning system will be able to work efficiently. Since the hot air that is coming from the outside will try to enter the house through the cracks and voids found in the walls and ceiling, spray foam insulation will be responsible in blocking these problem areas so that hot air will not be able to create hot air pockets inside the house. Without insulation, the air-conditioning system will continue producing cool air so that the room temperature will be able to reach the temperature that has been set on the thermostat. But with the continuous production of the hot air pockets, the desired temperature will not be reached. This causes the increase in your energy bills. But with the spray foam insulation effectively sealing your house, there will be no hot air pockets making sure the air-conditioning system can rest whenever the desired room temperature has been reached.
Are there any prerequisites before installing spray foam insulation?
If you have decided to do the job yourself, make sure that you are using the correct type of spray foam insulation, so you will not be wasting resources. When you are purchasing the materials, make sure that you purchase extra nozzles for the spray. During the process, the spray foam material may easily cure and harden, especially if you are working in an area that has high temperature. Another thing that you must prepare is a complete set of protective gear. This is crucial for you to avoid getting sick from the chemicals. Lastly, make sure that you clean the areas that will be applied with the spray foam material. However, do not work on wet surfaces as the spray foam material will not be able to stick to the surface. You should wait for the areas to be dried out completely before you start applying the product.
What is U-value? Does spray foam insulation have a good U-value?
U-value deals with thermal transmittance. This is a way of showing the ability of any element, such as insulation material, to transmit heat from one surface to another. Having a lower U-value would mean that the material has better insulating characteristics. With regards to spray foam insulation, the U-values differ between the two types of spray foam insulation. The U-value of closed cell spray foam is usually 0.16 W/m2K. Open cell spray foam has a 0.35 W/m2K U-value.
Why is spray foam insulation best used for attic insulation?
The attic has many areas that need to be installed with insulation. Some of these are usually situated at places that are harder to reach. Considering that small cracks and voids are hard to seal using other types of insulation material, the leakage of foreign elements like moisture, dust, air, and pests can cause various problems to the area. The attic is known to be exposed to rain, which is why there is a need to effectively block the moisture from leaking into the attic. This is to prevent the formation of molds and to avoid electrical switches and sockets from getting affected with moisture. Corrosion will be prevented on the electrical components in the attic if you use spray foam insulation.
What are the benefits of insulating the garage with spray foam?
With spray foam insulation, it can make the garage an additional room that can be used as storage or a place to comfortably live in. Being able to completely seal the cracks and voids on the ceiling, walls, and garage doors, the HVAC systems can work efficiently. This would lead to reduction of your energy bills. Another important benefit you may get for using spray foam to insulate your garage is that you can effectively control the temperature inside the garage. If you are using your garage to store fuel, paints, liquids, or chemicals, by controlling the temperature based on the requirements of these items, you can maintain their quality and integrity. Also, spray foam insulation is durable and will not be damaged easily. It may take pests extra effort just to scratch or break through the insulation material.
How will insulating the exterior walls improve the quality of my house?
Exterior walls are known to contain voids that can serve as an entry point for dust to get inside the house. Without wall cavities, it is difficult to use some types of insulation material other than spray foam. These voids can be completely sealed by the spray foam material without damaging the wall structure. Improving the air quality will lead to fewer incidents of getting allergies from the dust particles. In addition, the spray foam insulation material will act as a sound barrier to reduce noise from getting into the house.
Why is it worth it to hire a spray foam insulation contractor for commercial buildings?
With the benefits that you will be getting for using spray foam insulation, there is a need for the product to be installed properly. Applying too much spray foam will only be a waste of resources. Also, incorrect application may cause the product not to dry up completely. This will produce an intoxicating odor and people will not be able to work inside the building. Spray foam insulation contractors are known to use the best tools and equipment needed to apply the product. Also, they are more familiar with the best practices in doing the job. This will ensure that the product will not be wasted and the employees can work comfortably.
How long will it take for the job to be finished? Will the spray foam insulation material last?
The length of the job will depend on the area that will be installed with the spray foam material. After the job is finished, it will take at least 24 hours before the place is safe for use. Compared to some other types of insulation materials, spray foam insulation can last for more than 30 years, unless damaged by exerting force on the hardened material. Being resistant to moisture, this type of insulation material will not corrode.