When it comes to insulating a building, especially a larger one, it can be very difficult to know exactly which options are the best. Not only does the insulation of individual projects differ depending on a whole range of factors but the most popular option is always changing.
One of the most current options, that you have probably heard about, is spray polyurethane foam insulation. It is taking the place of more traditional options and is being opted for by contractors across Canada.
The main concern is understanding the quality of a relatively new method and knowing all of the available options. It is also a huge concern that this option tends to be more expensive. Contractors want to be able to find a straightforward option that is affordable yet doesn’t sacrifice quality.
Understanding Spray Foam
While many contractors have heard of spray polyurethane foam they might not be completely up to speed on what it actually is. Here we will quickly outline the product.
Firstly, it is an alternative to traditional fiberglass insulation. It is a heat-activated polymer that is sprayed into place and then expands. It is made by mixing two components on-site by using specialized pieces of equipment. As the chemicals interact, they expand into a foam and it then hardens.
The use of this product goes beyond just insulation and it can be used for an incredible range of tasks. Some of the uses for spray foam, other than traditional insulation, are the following:
- To keep pipes from rattling,
- To secure features in place when landscaping,
- To block gaps in the roofing where pests are entering the attic,
- To secure a window,
- And many other uses.
Spray foam is available in two forms:
- Closed-cell spray foam
- Open-cell spray foam
This data was sourced from HomeAdvisor.com based on the current market.
Now we will look at these two options in more detail and what their pros and cons are.
Open-Cell Spray Foam
This has an open-cell structure that gives it a larger surface area and it is sponge-like in appearance.
- This type of spray foam is less expensive as its formula does not require a large number of chemicals to make,
- Its open-cell structure means that it provides a solid and efficient air barrier,
- It provides sound reduction,
- It has a good ability to decrease the movement and vibration of existing insulation in the property.
- Open-cell spray foam does not provide an effective water-vapor barrier,
- It cannot be used for outdoor applications. This is due to its inability to prevent water vapor from getting through.
Closed-Cell Spray Foam
This form of spray foam is denser as it has a cell structure that is smaller. This means that overall it is more compact than open-cell spray foam.
- This foam provides a prominent air barrier,
- It also offers an effective water vapor barrier,
- It is good for roofing projects or other outdoor applications, due to its ability to deal with water vapor,
- This foam can also be used anywhere inside a building.
- It is a more expensive option.
Deciding On The Best Option
There are many factors that you have to consider before you decide which one would be the best.
- Are you insulating a new build or an existing property? It should be noted that there is a noticeable difference in both cost and time when using spray foam to insulate a new property or an older one. This is due to the fact that when insulating a new build, the contractor can work with the design and construction team to build a property that will offset the costs of applying the insulation.
For older properties, which already have traditional insulation installed, the amount of time and money it takes to install spray foam insulation goes up. This is mainly due to the difficulty involved in reaching the areas that need to be sprayed. You should carefully consider this point when deciding between spray foam insulation and the challenges of more traditional options.
- What level of insulation do you need? There are many energy companies that provide maps with a guide to the level of insulation that is needed for the local environment. These should be followed closely and consulted before installing any insulation. Checking this information will mean you will have a clearer idea of whether spray foam insulation is the best option for the specific property.
- Do you have the appropriate equipment? Spray foam insulation needs specific pieces of equipment. Not only does this make sure the foam is applied correctly but it also ensures that the results are the very best.
Each piece of equipment is crucial, including those involved in:
- Storing the separate substances,
- Carefully dispensing the chemicals,
- Keeping control of the mixing process,
- And maintaining the ideal spread during application.
We have the necessary experience of various product lines from many respected manufacturers to provide all of the advice you could need on which spray foam to opt for and the exact equipment that you need to achieve the finest results.