Spray foam insulation is one the most effective ways to insulate your home – it has a higher effective rate of insulation than other options like fiberglass and organic insulation. Because of how effective spray foam insulation is at keeping heat in (and energy bills down), Spray foam insulation can last anywhere from 80 years to 100 years, if it is properly applied. For most people, that could be the life of your home.

Unlike blown-in insulation that can lower your energy bills by 25%, with spray foam insulation in your building you can profit from a 40% decrease on your monthly energy bills. Spray foam has the ability to expand 30-60 times the volume when installed, therefore it can seal all gaps and cracks on your walls. when done correctly and professionally, spray foam insulation can actually increase the value of your home. This type of insulation adds value to any residential property by providing superior energy efficiency, durability, soundproofing capabilities, and more.

Spray foam insulation is made by combining isocyanate and polyol resin into a foam. Polyurethane, a polymer made of organic units, is the most commonly used material for spray foam.

How Spray Foam Insulation Is Made What is spray foam insulation made of: Spray foam insulation is made by combining isocyanate and polyol resin into a foam. Polyurethane, a polymer made of organic units, is the most commonly used material for spray foam. Although polyurethane has been around since the 1940s (where it was used by the military for airplanes), it wasn’t used for insulation until the 1970s. Polyurethane spray foam contains a low-conductivity gas in its cells and is available in two forms:

Open cell (very effective sound absorber)

Closed cell (higher density, higher R-values)

Spray foam insulation is meant to provide an extremely tight seal and help protect against not only air leaks but also moisture. It can be installed in hard-to-reach areas, such as around wiring, and is used in both new construction and retrofit jobs.

SPRAY POLYURETHANE FOAM INSULATION : This is a big step for the climate and a big step in building. There are two major sources of greenhouse gas emissions in buildings that we need to reduce or eliminate if global heating is going to be kept below 1.5 C: Operating emissions that come from running a building and upfront emissions—or embodied emissions—that come from the production of the materials used in the construction of the building.

In the decades since the oil crisis of the 1970s, the industry has been focused on reducing operating emissions. Spray polyurethane foam was the most wonderful stuff for dealing with these because of its very high R-value, or resistance to heat transfer, per inch of thickness. It was incredibly useful in tight spaces like cathedral ceilings or flat roofs—I installed it in my own home under a roof deck.

However, since the Paris Accord set a carbon budget—a limit on how much greenhouse gas we can put into the atmosphere—the green building world has been looking at the upfront emissions of materials much more closely.

Spray polyurethane foam has been such an interesting contradiction: It’s brilliant at dealing with operating emissions, but disastrous upfront, because the blowing agents used to make it foamy were hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). Originally introduced to replace chemicals that were destroying the ozone layer, HFCs have global warming potential values 2,100 to 4,000 times that of carbon dioxide.

Spray foam insulation expands as it comes into contact with the air and hardens as it dries, resulting in a transformation from liquid to a rigid state.

Mold and mildew can begin growing behind the insulation which can go unnoticed until it’s already become a huge problem. This often happens when the spray foam isn’t installed correctly and space is left between the insulation and the wall, which allows moisture in and gives mold the perfect place to grow, unfettered.

Insulating foam provides effective thermal insulation, as well as very good levels of acoustic insulation. That means that wherever you install insulating foam in your home, be that in the walls or the roof, for example, you’ll stop heat energy and sound energy from travelling both in and out.

A vapour barrier is not necessary with closed-cell foam but with open-cell spray foam such as Icynene®, it is sometimes required. Any air that migrates though a building envelope will carry water vapour. As Icynene® spray foam creates a seamless air-seal, it controls air leakage and the moisture in the air.

Open and closed cell foam are two different types of spray foam insulation. They have different strengths and weaknesses, and one is not necessarily better than the other. It comes down to understanding the benefits of open cell vs closed cell foam and choosing the type that fits your needs.

Building insulation comes in differing colors, white, blue, green, shades of yellow, and pink. Sometimes color is used by manufacturers to distinguish the type or thermal Value. White is usually styrofoam, which has a lower thermal value. Light yellow foam is usually Urethane the highest R Value. Fiberglass Insulation and Asbestos

While some have voiced concerns that fiberglass insulation contains asbestos, this is actually a misconception, rooted in two misunderstandings. Touching the insulation bare-handed or breathing in an area where fiberglass insulation has been worked with can irritate the skin, eyes, nose and throat, but this irritation comes from the fact that the colorful, fluffy insulation is made of tiny glass shards.

FIBERGLASS INSULATION doesn’t generally cause health hazards, working with it, especially when it’s being blown in rather than laid out in batts, can release a cloud of particles that can act as irritants. And, while there’s a relationship between fiberglass insulation and asbestos, it’sa positive one: Fiberglass replaced asbestos as the primary form of insulation after reports were released highlighting the health hazards of asbestos. When purchasing it, you don’t need to worry about asbestos exposure.

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