When it come to insulating your home, if it’s a new home construction or the altering of an old one, the spray polyurethane foam is one of the materials offered by your local spray foam insulation contractors near you. This material is also commonly referred to as SPF, and is a very viable option when you’re trying to increase the R-value of your home.
What it is is a plastic that is applied in a spray-like manner to ensure that your building is both air-sealed and got a good layer of insulation on walls, corners, edges and any other surface that heating or cooling could be leaking out through. Air leaks is one of the biggest contributions to your energy bill being high, and having a properly insulated home will pay for itself with savings in a matter of a couple of short years. An insulation contractor will easily be able to find the areas of your home that are leaking the vast amount of energy.
When SPF is installed, what happens is that the liquid content is sprayed evenly on the surfaces it is supposed to insulate, and upon contact it starts expanding to produce the foam that you may be aware of. Not only will this help limit the energy loss in your house and lower your energy bill, but it will also help reduce the risk of moisture related problems. Since it is easily applied with spray upon which it expands, the SPF is able to thoroughly get into all the small joints, cracks and seams that may be leaking a surprising amount of air, where other materials would be hard to effectively use.
Different Kinds of SPF
There are different types of SPF grades that you need to be aware of, and while it is finally your call, the spray insulation contractors are able to provide you their recommendation. The different grades are generally applied in different areas. The higher the density, the higher the R-value of that material, and the more it helps insulate. The 3 different grades you need to know are explained in greater detail below.
- High Density SPF – roofing and exterior insulation are the most common places to use this spray.
The thermal resistance properties of this spray makes it good to apply to the areas of the house that are the most likely to contribute to your energy bill. Since the roofing and exterior walls have direct access to the outside, and therefore the two temperature differences between your home and the outside, this is where it’s applied. It weighs roughly 3 pounds per cubic ft, and it even strengthens the structure to by being applied to it. It also helps your home against times with a lot of wind.
- Medium Density SPF –unvented attics and interior wall cavity fill.
When your building needs continuous insulation, this is often the material that people turn to. It weighs roughly 2 pounds per cubic ft and can even be applied to help reduce noise, if that is a problem where you live.
- Low Density SPF – unvented attic applications and interior wall cavity fill
This stuff weighs 0.5 pounds per cubit ft, so 4 times less than medium density SPF and 6 times less than high density SPF. It also means that its R-value is significantly lower. This will let vapor and moisture through, and may therefore not be a good solution for areas that have problems with excess moisture. It is open-cell foam and it will feel relatively soft if you touch it due to its low density. The soft texture and cell structure makes it effective absorbing sound too. If the building moves a little bit, this foam may be able to shift with it without breaking, giving it the possibility to keep insulating.
No matter which type of foam you go for, it should be applied by professionals who have the right training and protective gear to protect them against the inhalation during the time when this is applied. It is important for those people without protective gear to stay away from the area while it is being applied, and reasonable measures should be taken to make sure people without protective gear do not accidentally go close to it during its installation.
The different grades pf SPF have their own advantages. Ask the contractor for his recommendation with regard to the area you are having insulated to make sure it is the right kind that is being installed given the type of building, budget and climate.
Besides the type of foam, they can be applied either through high or low pressure and be either one or two-component foam. In a one-component spray, all the spray is stored inside the same container, while a two-component spray stores the two different components in two different containers. When they’re applied, they’re mixed in the process.
You can also get one-component insulating foam which is readily available for home owners to purchase, which can be used for small gaps around windows and penetrations from hoses, water faucets and gas lines. Basically this stuff may help where there are small holes, but will not be the thing you spray on a wall that needs insulation.
Advantages of Spray Foam Insulation
As mentioned, each of the different grades of SPF possesses advantages and disadvantages that may make it good to use for one application but not for another. However, for SPF there are also some general advantages that it has relative to other types of material for insulation.
Air leaks will make generous contributions to your electric bill every month, and SPF is a great way to create an airtight seal, where air cannot escape through however hard it tries.
Depending on the state of your previous insulation job, SPF helps save home owners an average of 30%, while some have seen savings go as high as 50%. A house that started out by leaking significantly more than another house will after being insulated also save more.
The way it expands on contact means it can easily help you deal with sealing nooks that leak valuable heat. Other materials simply do not have the same ability to thoroughly fill holes.
No matter where the air leaks are, this stuff will fill it out. The contractor will start out by finding out which places are causing issues with air leaks and then goes to fix them.
A poorly insulated home will also be bad at insulating again moisture, so water and moisture can get into your house if it isn’t properly sealed, which can end up costing you dearly if not fixed. Unlike other materials, SPF does not absorb these things, but just ensures that it is kept out of your house, like you want. It is important to remember that the low density SPF does not create a moisture barrier, for that you will need at least medium density.
Since it keeps moisture and water out of your home, it will also help lower the risk of mold developing and blocks the things that mold would be feeding on. You will need to get the closed-cell SPF for this, though, which means the medium or high density option.
Benefits of Hiring SPF Professionals
Why you need to hire SPF contractors by now should hopefully be obvious. There are so many advantages to this material, and they know how to most effectively apply the material to your home, and doing it safely. When you don’t know what the right solution is with regards to your insulation needs, they can guide you.
When you have decided to proceed with insulating your home, you should use the form on our site to request quotes from screened SPF contractors, and take the time to talk to each one of them and hear what recommendations they have for you. It is important to contract with a contractor who you believe will take the time to explain everything to you and get the job done right, so you can enjoy the savings from an airtight house for years to come.
What are you waiting for? Filling out the form on our site comes with no risk for you.