As a house owner, your priority should be keeping the space safe and comfortable, while also keeping an eye on costs. For this reason, when it comes to maintaining the right temperature at home you have to be aware of the fact that insulation plays a crucial role. It will keep the air warm during winter and cool during summer, not to mention how energy and cost efficient a well-insulated space can be. This means that in case this is still a weak spot for your real estate, you need to start thinking about talking to a contractor as soon as possible. Over the years, people have been using solutions such as fiberglass insulation, mostly because these benefit from heavy advertising and greater popularity. However, there are other alternatives to this classic choice, such as spray foam insulation. While this practice has gained some supporters lately, there is still a wide part of population that is not aware of its advantages and particularities. So, if you want to find out more in order to make an informed decision for your residence, read on and discover relevant details about this useful product.
What is spray foam insulation?
Broadly speaking, this type of insulation is the main alternative to traditional building insulation, namely the one based on fibreglass products. The substance is used to fill in wall cavities, gaps onto concrete slabs, between roof tiles or through holes drilled into a block for various purposes. Although it is commonly known as foam, the solution is a composite made of isocyanate and polyol resin – the two elements come together and the mixture looks like an expanding foam which is then sprayed into various spaces or surfaces. The initial form of insulating foam was called “polyurethane” and was first created in the 1940s. At the time, the military used it to secure airplanes, but soon enough they realised it is actually a versatile solution of plenty of other civil purposes. As far as the building sector is concerned, the first record of its usage dates from the 1970s. Nowadays, there are many devices and systems by the means of which the foam is applied, depending on the space it has to fill and the amount of substance necessary for the task. Basically, the instruments need to create a high pressure in order to eliminate the foam, which will then expand extremely fast, thus stuffing the gaps and insulating them. The principle is known as a slow rise formula and enables constructors to correct a wide variety of imperfections.
Which are the most common types of foam insulation?
Another particularity few people know about spray foam insulation is that it can be classified in two distinct types: open cell and closed cell.
- Open cell foam: for this first category, the substance cells are not completely closed (hence the name), which means that the solution is not one hundred per cent impermeable. So this kind of foam allows moisture (including vapours) to infiltrate, but is a genuine barrier when it comes to air, and this is probably one of the reasons why it is more convenient as far as the price is concerned. In addition to this, its composite consists in fewer chemicals and the texture looks quite similar to a sponge. Certain house owners prefer this type of foam as it also provides sound reduction, but you must remember that the product is not suitable to outdoor applications.
- Closed cell foam: if you make this choice, you should know that it is a great barrier both for air and moisture, as the cells are way denser than those of the open cell substance. Your insulation will protect the property both from humidity and air transfer, given the fact that its structure is compact and it is also recommended to exterior usage. As a matter of fact, it is mostly used for roofing projects and entrance doors.
What are the benefits of spray foam insulation?
In order to understand the benefits of spray foam insulation, you must firstly acknowledge the principles on which the product is based. Broadly, it affects heat transfer (or flow), due to the following three dynamics: convection, radiation and conduction. This being said, here are the main advantages proper insulation provides your property with:
- Humidity control: The three elements mentioned above lead to a seamless protection against humidity, thus reducing and even eliminating the risk of mould and mildew emergence. The fungi are responsible not only for rotting wood in a home, but also for an array of health conditions threatening the people living inside that space: allergies, skin rashes, breathing insufficiency and so on. Proper insulation can help you stay away from these problems and keep the level of humidity under control.
- Cost saving: A recent study has shown that professional insulation is the main reason for low energy costs and utility bills. This is actually legit, as its main purpose is to prevent cool air to get inside the house on winter, and hot air to enter the property on summer. Apparently, about 40 per cent of a real estate’s energy is lost because of air infiltration through walls or the gaps around doorways and windows. This is a clear indicator of the fact that proper insulation can change this situation and diminish this specified value. Since spray foam is more efficient than fiberglass, it seems that this alternative is the best one for those who need to reduce household expenses.
- Sound proofing: besides temperature and moisture control and lower costs, spray foam is also a perfect option if you need to reduce the amount of noise that penetrates the walls, roofs and even floors of your house. The substance creates a barrier between the inside and the outside, thus offering you the comfort of a quiet space.
Now that you have found a brief history, the main two categories and the benefits of spray foam insulation, you can decide whether it is a good option for your residence. Once you decide, make sure you choose a professional contractor to help you install it, because this ensures you get the best results in the shortest time.