What Is Spray Foam Insulation
Spray Foam Insulation is an insulation and air sealing system that is ideal for
residential or commercial applications. An application of spray foam insulation
combines both a material and a service. The material is a lightweight foam
insulation compound. The service is custom installation of each stud cavity or
rafter cavity of a building directly on the construction site by trained,
licensed installers. Spray foam insulation is much more than just another
insulation. By virtue of its low permeability to air infiltration, its adhesion
to other building materials and its flexibility, it provides good air leakage control,
moisture control, and sound control, as well as great insulation. All in one
Does Spray Foam Insulation Have Building Code Approvals?
Yes! Spray Foam
Insulation has approval of all four major building codes in the United
States and the Canadian building code. In fact, it is one of the most
extensively tested insulation products ever. Concern in the 1970's over the
excessive off-gassing of an early foam product called urea formaldehyde, and
related concerns in subsequent years over the health effects of other
insulating products, specifically asbestos and fiberglass, have resulted in
some of the most thorough and sensitive emissions testing of a new building
product to date. Based upon the results of this stringent testing, Spray
Foam Insulation met the requirements of the building codes and
subsequent re-certifications as required on a periodic basis.
What Are The
Advantages Of Spray Foam Insulation?
The major advantage of Spray
Foam Insulation is that it does more than just insulate. It also
windproofs and airseals wall and ceiling cavities from air movement, with a 3
1/2" sample of foam proving to be about 24 times less permeable to air
infiltration than a similar thickness of fiberglass batt. In addition, the
insulating power of foam insulation is not diminished by lower temperatures or
by air movement. Its R-value performs as stated. By contrast, some building
experts state that an R-13 fiberglass batt in the presence of a 10 mile per
hour breeze (the real world) diminishes the insulating power of a batt to an
R-5! Hardly the kind of protection from heat and cold you were hoping to
arrange for your family.
What Is Spray Foam Insulation Made Of?
an organic material developed from products of the petrochemical industry. It
is a two component system that is sprayed like paint. The chemical constituents
are similar to those used in the manufacturer of many products already in your
home, such as upholstery foam and the foam used for pillows and
mattresses---although the properties of the foam are different.
an environmentally friendly urethane in which the ozone-robbing CFC's have been
replaced with air and water.
How Long Does It
Take To Cure?
The foam is created within
seconds after spraying. You can watch it expand within seconds to 120 times its
original volume, literally before your eyes. It completely cures within a few
Does Open Cell Spray Foam Insulation Absorb Water?
No ; it looks like a sponge
but it is actually hydrophobic, i.e. it repels water. If placed in water it
will float, and on removal, it will dry rapidly with no loss of insulating
properties. If you ever have a roof leak or plumbing leak in your home which
would soak the insulation, the water will ultimately settle out of foam
insulation and it will not damage the foam. We can't say the same for other
insulations. Water breaks down the glue in a fiberglass batt so the batt is
destroyed and loses its effectiveness. Water also turns cellulose (ground
newspaper) to mush and it dries out VERY slowly (have you ever tried to dry out
a wet newspaper?). The cellulose settles into a lump leaving a large
un-insulated cavity in the wall. Of course, if it remains wet long enough, it
can cause wood to rot and foster mold or mildew growth within your walls.
Does Spray Foam Insulation Entrap Water?
No. As stated above, Spray
Foam Insulation is an opened or closed cell foam which is ideal for
architectural purposes. The open cell foam breathes slowly, and any moisture in
the buildings' concrete or lumber can escape through the foam as the building
dries out, thus eliminating any risk of lumber rot or mildew usually associated
with materials that trap moisture. Closed cell foam will simply not let water
penetrate it very easily.
How Long Does Spray Foam Insulation Last? Does It Change Physically?
Aging is not an issue with Spray
Foam Insulation. It is inert, and its physical and
insulating properties are constant.
Are There Glass
Fibers Or Formaldehyde In Spray Foam Insulation?
No to both. Glass fibers
have been listed as a suspected carcinogen by the EPA and most fiberglass batt
manufacturers now print a warning label on the wrapper . Formaldehyde was
present in an early commercial foam called urea formaldehyde which was also used
in residential applications in the early 1970's. Spray Foam Insulation
is free of both glass fibers or formaldehyde and is a great choice for
insulating your new home.