December 22, 2014

Spray foam is one of the most common and well-known materials used for insulating residential buildings. Spray foam insulation's air sealing properties are the primary reason for its superiority over other insulation products. 

Your attic is typically your largest opportunities to save energy and improve comfort in your home. By air sealing in your attic with spray foam, you can stop many major air leaks and help to maintain the desired temperature throughout your home. There are dozens of holes around your plumbing and electric lines and recessed lights. In fact, there are so many holes that when added together, they equal the size of an open door that allows the outside air to come right in. If you have duct work in your attic, insulating your roof system with spray foam eliminating heat loss or gain through leaky ducts.

For those who are considering taking their insulation to the next level, spray foam often finds itself becoming a major part of the conversation. There are two types of 

Types of Spray Foam Insulation

There are two basic types of spray foam insulation used in residential and commercial applications — open cell and closed cell. With open cell spray foam insulation, the foam is comprised of tiny cells that aren’t closed all the way, creating a sponge-like appearance. Open cell spray foam insulation is useful as an air barrier, yet because of its makeup, it doesn’t block water vapor and typically only gets used in interior wall applications. Outside applications are not recommended for open cell spray foam.

Closed cell spray foam insulation is much more dense than the alternative, serving as a better air barrier and retaining the ability to block water vapor as well. This type of spray foam is more expensive than open cell, but it can be used anywhere in the home and is most commonly utilized in roofing/outdoor applications.  

Pros and Cons

As with anything else, spray foam insulation comes with a set of both pros and cons. These are characterized by the following:

PROS

  • Reduced Energy Costs — It’s no secret that proper insulation can help to reduce energy costs within a home or commercial setting to a large degree. When used effectively, spray foam insulation can help to keep utility bills low and prevent costly overutilization of energy.
  • Moisture Protection — When closed cell spray foam insulation is utilized to its fullest extent, it helps to protect moisture from overcoming a space. This means that mold and mildew instances will usually be reduced, which can improve indoor air quality.
  • Lessened Noise — While not primarily used for sound reduction, spray foam insulation can help to reduce noise within a home, which can help to make for a more comfortable living environment.

CONS

  • Pricing — Spray foam insulation can be more expensive than conventional forms of insulation. As a result, it can be difficult to afford for those who are on a tight budget but well worth the investment.
  • Health Effects — Because spray foam insulation contains chemicals that can be irritating to those who are sensitive, it can sometimes cause adverse health effects over time. However, this can be prevented through proper installation and by taking the whole home into consideration as a connected system during the design process.
  • Expansion Damage — In some cases, spray foam insulation can expand after being installed, which means that damage can occur to walls in the areas it is sprayed. This too can be avoided with proper installation techniques by a certified spray foam specialist.

Determining the Right Solution

Spray foam insulation can be the most effective option to help to keep your home or commercial building well-insulated and warm throughout the colder months of the year while keeping cool air inside during a hot summer. This being said, there are a number of different types of insulation to consider, such as mineral wool and cellulose. At Weatherseal, we believe that everyone’s insulation needs are unique and help our customers to determine exactly which solution may be right for them.

Contact us today for more information about how we can help you take your building’s insulation to the next level.

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We hired Weatherseal Insulation of Charlottesville after receiving a recommendation about them from our LEAP representative.

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