The Pros and Cons of Spray Insulation

Jun 11, 2012 by

The Pros and Cons of Spray Insulation

Spray foam insulation is a poly-based foam that is applied as a liquid with a pressurized air sprayer. It immediately expands filling in voids and creates a heat-resistant barrier that keeps your home cool in the summer and retains the heat in your home to keep you comfortable during the winter. Introduced in the 1970’s for public consumers, spray foam has grown in popularity as a means to insulate homes across this country and in others. And that popularity has increased further because of the many attractive features associated with spray foam insulation.

Pros:

–          Stability

The walls of your house hold the downward pressure of the roof, the shingles on the roof, any additional weight caused by water or snow, the underlying floors and anything resting on those floors. By spraying foam insulation in the spaces of your walls (or roofing and connecting flooring), you are creating a “wall within a wall”. The foam fills the gaps, sticking to studs, exterior sheathing and supports. After curing, the foam becomes rigid and solid, increasing the structural stability.

–          Higher R-Value

The heat resistance of insulation is measured by its “R-Value”. The higher the R-Value, the greater job it does in making your home energy efficient. Spray foam has a measured R-Value of about R-7 per inch depending on formulation. That gives the highest commercial thermal resistance- with the least material used- of any insulation on the market.

–          Fast Installation

Not having to measure the proper length, cut it, and install it, makes spray foam application quick as an entire home can be completed in one or two days.

–          No Movement

Fiberglass insulation can shift, settle within walls, or fall out of place. Spray foam sticks to what it is sprayed on and once cured, it won’t collapse.

–          Blocks Outside Sound

By filling the spaces between the interior walls of your house and the outside world, spray foam insulation blocks external noise.

–          Seals Air Leaks

Studies have shown that up to 40% of a home’s energy loss is caused by air leaks and air flow through spaces in improperly insulated doors, walls, and windows. Expanding foam fills all those gaps preventing that costly seepage.

–          Moisture Resistant

Dampness is the primary source of mold and mildew which can lead to unhealthy breathing air and rot that will cause structural damage. Being a non-organic compound, spray foam is water resistant and won’t be a haven for mold.

With all of the advantages of spray foam insulation, there are some disadvantages to be considered as well.

Cons:

–          Pricey

Spray foam is on the higher end of initial cost for all forms of home insulation.

–          Improper Application

If applied wrong, spray foam insulation can expand in smaller wall cavities. That expansion could bow windows and doors making them jam or even make walls swell. Over-spraying can cause dripping. After it cures, the pooled and hardened foam would have to be removed.

–          Protective Clothing

Respirators, long-sleeved shirts, gloves, and protective goggles need to be worn during application.

–          R-Value Loss

The R-Value of spray foam insulation has been shown to decrease over time, slightly loosing its heat resistance abilities.

As you can see many of the cons associated with spray foam insulation are rooted in the installation process. In order to ensure that your spray foam is properly installed and working at its maximum level of efficiency, contact the energy savings experts at Dr. Energy Saver Fingerlakes today! Fingerlakes Dr Energy Saver will provide you with a free, no obligation estimate for any part of your home that you feel needs an energy upgrade.

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