10 Benefits Of Using Spray Foam Insulation

December 14, 2014
niki dube
Image by Flickr user dunktanktechnician

Image by Flickr user dunktanktechnician

Spray foam insulation, specifically spray polyurethane, is an insulation option that offers unique benefits. It’s called spray foam because that’s how it’s installed. Using special equipment, installers spray the polyurethane into the desired location. Once sprayed, the foam expands between 30 and 100 times its original volume to completely fill the space it occupies.

High R Value

Per inch, spray foam polyurethane has one of the highest R values among the alternative insulation options. Spray foam has an R value of 4 or 5 per square inch while blown fiberglass only has a value of 2 or 3, making the spray foam more efficient. To optimize the R value, homeowners also add fiberglass batt insulation, creating a perfect barrier between hot and cold.

Air Sealing

One of the first things a home energy audit will tell you is where you need to do some air sealing. Spray foam, because it expands where it lands, has tremendous air sealing quality, closing gaps and holes where pests, moisture, and air can get into your home.

Fire Retardant

Spray foam insulation slows the spread of flames. In fact, it’s a class 1 fire retardant, keeping your home both comfortable and safe.

Prevents Condensation

There are two types of spray foam insulation: closed cell and open cell. Closed cell is a denser air and water vapor barrier. Open cell foam doesn’t completely close, leaving a more sponge-like quality. Closed cell spray foam, because of its chemical and air sealing qualities, prevents condensation that leads to mold growth.

Outdoor Use

Closed cell spray foam lends itself as a reliable resource for outdoor use. Sprayed under your roof or in concrete gaps will seal things and repel moisture. Unlike batt insulation, spray foam stands up to the elements.

Sound Proofing

Not only is spray foam an air and moisture barrier, but it adds sound-proofing to walls in your home, too. Interior walls are a great place to use the open cell foam to keep television noise from disturbing your toddler or teenager noise from disturbing you.

Spray Foam Insulation Saves Energy

High R values and highly efficient air sealing means spray foam insulation saves energy costs. When you’re able to keep your conditioned air inside instead of it seeping outside, your HVAC equipment runs more efficiently. Saving energy saves money!

Blocks Heat Transfer

Spray foam insulation blocks all three forms of heat transfer: radiant heat, conductive transfer and convective transfer. That’s what insulation should do.

Can Be Added To Existing Walls

Because of the nature of the spray foam and the size of the nozzle used to install it, you can add spray foam insulation to already existing walls. Instead of tearing off all the drywall to install new insulation, the installer creates a small hole in an existing wall and sprays the foam inside. Once inside, the foam expands to fill in the gaps. Some spackle and paint cover the hole, and it’s like nothing ever happened.

Improves Indoor Air Quality

By preventing condensation that leads to mold growth, spray foam actually helps to improve indoor air quality. Since pests have no interest in eating through the foam, less pest waste means fewer allergens in your ductwork. Both of these factors are highly important to allergy sufferers and those who live with them.