The importance of having quality insulation cannot be overstated. Properly installed spray foam insulation has the potential to improve the quality of the home while offering some great benefits to a homeowner’s wallet. This is why most property owners consider this product as their first and best choice for a home project. It has also been proven to provide the home with the greatest R-values, lowering its heating costs during winter, unlike other insulation products, like fibreglass.
Spray foam insulation doesn’t only apply to new homes, but it can also be utilized in older homes as well, to enhance their values. The apartment’s size has a massive impact on its heating costs. Regardless, the insulation technology can help reduce the energy homeowners have to use to heat their homes. So, regardless of the building type, one can count on a well-sealed structure that will survive for years. But there is still more to learn about Spray foam insulation. So, kindly continue reading.
A Brief Introduction to Spray Foam Insulation
When discussing spray foam insulation, the central focus is on the spray application of expanding agents (polyurethane) that adhere to a substrate. Combining the polymer with a foaming material causes the compound to expand over 50 times in volume. It can be injected into cavities to form a durable, impervious barrier against moisture, chemicals and gas, and can even be poured into large voids and around pipes.
Spray foam fills and seals whatever gaps it comes into contact with, preventing foreign substances from penetrating. It can adhere to existing surfaces due to its design. A further benefit is that the product is non-combustible and environmentally friendly. Hence, it will have no negative impact on indoor air quality or cause damage to the treated structure.
Spray Foam Insulation Types
Two main types of spray foam insulation exist. They include:
Open-cell spray foam insulation has a very high expansion rate and is somewhat porous. When applied, it can expand about 100 times more, covering much space. Although it is not as thick as its counterpart, it is pliable and easy to handle during application. It is effective for use when running new wires or patching rim joists, crawl spaces, or crevices in the attic. Being porous, it traps air for insulation. The cost of application for this spray foam type is cheaper, compared to the closed-cell spray foam.
On the other hand, closed-cell spray foam insulation has less expansion rate. However, it is dense and as a result, forms a strong barrier against moisture and air movement. It also features a longer life expectancy, which can be up to 25 years, depending on maintenance. The closed-cell spray foam provides better insulation once it cures and can be applied to exposed surfaces, such as walls. When compared to the open-cell spray foam, it is more expensive.
Benefits of Using Spray Foam Insulation
Considering the aforementioned features, it is obvious that spray foam provides the most effective insulation, beating other insulating products hands down. Plus, installation requires professional help, which means that it has much more to offer.
Increases Structural Strength
Spray foam insulation can be moulded to the shape of the space that is being insulated. The foam then becomes a structural member, providing more strength to the building, especially when placed between the framing and the interior wall. In this way, the entire apartment gains increased strength up to 250% more. Such structures can last for more than 75 years.
Effective Against Harsh Weather Elements
Most insulating products tend to lose their properties when the temperature rises, an example being fibreglass insulation. Not so with spray foam insulation. It is highly resistant to extreme heat and cold. The foam is strong enough to protect even the smallest cracks in the exterior, thus preventing the elements from getting in. If there is a problem, it forms an airtight and waterproof seal, protecting against moisture and air.
What endears it more to most property owners is its high R-value, which is pegged at 3.5 per inch for open-cell and 6.7 per inch for closed-cell, unlike fibreglass insulation which has an R-value of 2.2 per inch. With these values, a homeowner can be guaranteed to have a heated home even in winter.
Spray foam insulation is known for its soundproofing properties, which can reduce sound transmission by up to 90%. It can reduce the noise levels inside a structure. This implies that the entire structure is quieter and there are few annoying noises when inside the home. As a result, it is an effective and useful choice for construction and renovations.
Even the slightest leak in a structure is enough to cause chilled air (from an air conditioner) or heat to escape from a room. Heat loss from alternative insulating materials, such as fibreglass, can be as high as 30%. Spray foam insulation is highly efficient that a homeowner can recoup its installation cost by saving up on energy bills for 5 to 7 years.
Spray foam insulation is much more preferable to fibreglass insulation since it is less permeable to water. Mould, fungus, and mildew are less likely to grow on it. Unlike other insulations, Spray foam can be cleaned to remove debris from the surface in no time.
Spray Foam Insulation Cost
Due to the intricacies associated with installing spray foam insulation, it is highly recommended that a certified professional handles the job. As such, the insulation cost is not cheap. Nevertheless, it provides value for money. Professionally installing this product starts from $1,500 and can go up to $4,000. On average, some people pay around $2,500.
It is worth noting that installation is based on the type of spray foam used, thickness, and the professional insulating the structure. For example, a homeowner or resident may pay anywhere from $1,500 to $2,500 if using 1 inch of spray foam for a 1,500sqft space.
Spray foam insulation is a simple and quick insulation option that takes minutes to install and save energy for years. It is recommended that one uses this insulation technology during the summer and cold season as it helps to keep the house and its contentsafe from severe climate conditions.