Staying warm in the winter and cool in the summer is a matter of getting the right amount and the right type of insulation. Insulation goes in your walls, attics, between floor joists, and other places to keep the outside air out. One particularly efficient type of insulation is called spray foam insulation.
This insulation is sprayed in place and then through a chemical reaction expands to fill cavities and spaces. This creates an airtight barrier wherever it is used. But this is only one advantage of using spray foam insulation in your home. Here are a few more.
R-Value of Spray Foam Insulation
You can compare all types of insulation with their respective R values. This is a measurement of the material's resistance to heat flow. The higher the R value, the better the insulation. As an example, here are some common types of insulation and their respective R values:
- Spray foam insulation: as high as 6 per inch
- Cellulose: about 3.2 per inch
- Fiberglass: 3.14 per inch
Spray foam insulation is the front runner in the R value category.
Moisture and Air Barrier
Unlike fiberglass or cellulose insulation, spray foam insulation can keep out moisture and air. While the R value of an insulation is important, if the seal on the room isn't air tight, the R value is almost meaningless. This is because air can get in through gaps in the insulation. The unique way in which spray foam insulation is installed and works fills those gaps and creates a barrier.
Speed of Installation
Spray foam insulation is something you want to leave to the pros to install, but it goes in fast. With the right equipment and a skilled operator, an entire attic can be done rather quickly. Two containers holding different chemicals feed into one nozzle. When the two compounds meet they form the spray foam and begin expanding immediately. While the two raw chemicals can be harmful if breathed or ingested, after the chemical reaction takes place the insulation is not a hazard. This is one reason the installation should be taken care of by a professional.
One little-known benefit of spray foam insulation is that it is a good pest deterrent. Most pests like moist, warm places, but since spray foam acts as a moisture barrier, there isn't any moisture inside the walls. In fact, pests don't have any place to set up their homes since spray foam expands to fill most gaps.
Whether you have a new or an old home a professional will be able to utilize spray foam insulation to help lower your heating and cooling bills and create a more efficient environment in your home. For a higher R value per thickness of the material, a good air barrier, and quick installation, go with spray foam.