Understanding the spray foam products and the installation makes it easier to decide better for your project. Spray foam insulation has been people’s first choice for long-term energy savings and for the comfort of their homes. Below our experts have listed some of the most frequently asked questions.
Q. What Is Spray Foam Insulation?
A. Spray Foam is a mixture of two chemical ingredients, isocyanate, and polyol resin, which when combined together form an expanding foam. Within less than 10 seconds after spraying, the liquid mixture expands 30-100 times of the original volume and hardens to form a solid isolating barrier.
Q. What does Spray Foam Insulation really do?
A. Spray Foam insulation provides thermal and acoustical barriers, helping to improve your home’s comfort and energy efficiency. The ability of the spray foam to expand during application makes possible closing of small cracks and openings, isolating the building from air and sound infiltrations. When closed cell insulation is used, the newly formed barrier will also add to the strength of the building structure.
Q. Where Should Spray Foam Be Installed?
A. Spray Foam can be installed on any clean surface that is dry, free of grease, oils or anything else that could complicate the solidifying process. When considering insulation, the first to come in mind are the attic and the outside walls, but other areas of a building structure as per below require as much insulation:
- Any flat roof, cathedral ceiling, overhang and garage ceiling
- Side and sloped walls of attics used as living spaces
- Any interior wall, ceiling and floor where extra sound barrier is required
- Band, joist pockets, pipes
- Basement side walls and ceiling
Q. How Much Spray Foam Should Be Installed?
A. The spray foam thickness depends on where it will be applied and on the purpose of the insulation. Generally speaking, for closed cell insulation we recommend 5 inches for flat roofs, ceilings, and overhangs, 3 inches for basement walls, and 4 inches for upper floors’ outside walls. For open cell spray foam, we usually recommend 3 inches of insulation.
Q. What Is the R-Value and how do I figure it out?
A. The R-Value indicates the resistance of the insulation to conductive heat flow. A denser material has a higher R-value and as a consequence, more insulating power. Closed cell spray foam has an R-value between R-6.0 – 7.0 /inch of thickness. This means that if you put 4 inches of closed cell insulation to your outside walls, you reach a thermal resistance value of R-24 ( 4” x R-6.0 = R-24). Open cell insulation on the other hand is less dense and its thermal resistance value stands at around R3.7 / inch of thickness.
Q. Should I use Open Cell or Closed Cell for my home?
A. The answer to this question depends on several factors. Closed cell spray foam will offer a higher R-Value to your insulation, but if you are more interested in the insulation to act as a sound barrier as well, then Open Cell is the right for you. Closed cell insulation is more solid and can improve the stability of a building. The table below shows the different properties for each type of spray foam application:
|Spray Foam||Closed Cell||Open Cell|
|R-Value per inch:||R-6.0 – 7.0 /inch||R-3.7/inch|
|Min. Thickness to block air:||1”||3”|
|Used for sound proofing:||Sometimes||Yes|
Q. Is Spray Foam Safe? Should I access the house right after Spray Foam Insulation?
A. Spray Foam in itself is a very safe product for your home or industrial building if installed properly by the insulation company. However, during the process of spray foam insulation, there can be generated fumes and mists that can be hazardous for the health of the homeowners and other trade members working on site. For this reason, it is recommended that the work area be vacated during and after 24 hours of spray foam application and access to the site be limited to technicians wearing adequate personal protective equipment.
Q. How much will I save on my utility bills by insulating my home?
A. It is well proven that a properly insulated home will act as a barrier to conductive heat flow, preserve the indoor climate, and lower the pressure on your HVAC system. Lots of our customers have reported savings on their monthly energy bills of between 15 to 50%. However, there are extra factors that will determine the amount of energy you will consume such as the climate of your location, the construction shape and size, the HVAC system, and the type of fuel in use, as well as the living habits of the homeowner.
Q. Can insulation help reduce unwanted sound?
A. In addition to blocking outside air and pollutants entering the house, insulation also blocks unwanted sounds, creating a quieter and more comfortable home environment. Good insulation will also reduce the transmission of sounds and noises in between floors and walls of the same building. Our experts at Eco Spray Insulation will help you choose the proper insulation type that answers your needs for home insulation.
Q. What is the Average Cost of Spray Foam Insulation?
A. Spray Foam products are in general more costly, but at the same time much more effective at providing high isolating properties than other traditional materials. However, the number one factor to consider when planning the costs for home insulation is the square footage of the building. Another factor to consider when planning for insulation is the difficulty of the job. Most of the houses have a very regular shape, making the Spray Foam application process very easy, but other homes with a more complex layout can prove to be more difficult to insulate.
Q. Can I Add Spray Foam Insulation Myself?
A. Many more people nowadays are wondering if they can install themselves the spray foam insulation, following the “Do It Yourself” home improvements culture. Although practically it wouldn’t be impossible, the real concerns on our side would address the quality of the spray foam application process, which in turn would compromise the insulating properties and can result in additional costs.
Q. Can I Install Spray Foam Insulation Without Removing the Drywall?
A. Spray Foam insulation can be added to existing walls, but for a better application process, it is recommended that drywalls be initially removed. The expanding ability of the initially liquid material would put pressure on the inside of the drywall, resulting in cracks and breaks of the latter.
Q. Does Spray Foam Insulation Emit Odours?
A. Some spray foam materials may retain a noticeable odour lasting various days after the application process. This is not an indication of hazardous materials and proper ventilation of the insulated area for a few days would minimize to zero these odours. If the odours are persistent for longer periods, this might be a consequence of poorly installed spray foam.
Q. Will insulating my home raise the resale value of my home?
A. The short answer is “Yes”. More and more homeowners are using their utility bills to prove the energy efficiency of the building, and so prove a strong selling point for potential buyers. A well-insulated home is environmentally safe, high resistant to heat flow and so it would be considered a good investment for the future.
Call Eco Spray Insulation experts anytime at (416) 860-6664 for further explanation or to discuss your project.