Spray foam insulation is considered a green product for several of its characteristics:
Reduces heating and cooling energy consumption and costs by 40% for the life of your home.
Made with renewable Soybean and Castor bean Vegetable Oils and other plant based materials, grown in the USA
Contains No Ozone Depleting Chemicals
Is manufactured in the US reducing transportation energy usage
Substantially reduces heating and cooling costs by up to 40%
Is safe and non-toxic for your family and the environment
Keep interiors quiet by reducing noise by 75%
Protects your family with a fire retardant barrier
Protects against dangerous mold, allergens, and pathogens
Stops insects and pests from causing harm to your house and family
Adds structural integrity that helps protect homes against storms
Increase the value of your home investment
Spray foam insulation has approval of all major building codes in the United States. Spray foam insulation is one of the most rigorously tested insulation products ever created.
There are two main types of commercially available spray foam insulation: open-cell and closed-cell. Both foam types seal air leaks and you may need both types, depending on where you plan to install it. Keep the differences of each in mind before you start your project.
The closed-cell foam that Seamless Spray Insulators use on large-scale spray foam jobs is also known as “two-component” foam or polyurethane foam. Two chemical compounds are blended together at the application nozzle, causing the expanding foam reaction.
Even though it’s more expensive to install than open-cell foam, closed-cell foam is often preferred for home insulation projects because it offers higher R-value — between R-6 and R-7.1 per in. — and because it forms an effective moisture barrier. The ability to block moisture transmission while also providing air sealing and high insulation value is an advantage in many applications
Has a lower R-value per inch with a higher permeability. Like its name suggests, open-cell foam is made up of tiny bubbles that are interconnected. The bubbles hold air, which provides insulation value — typically between R-3.5 and R-4 per in.
Like closed-cell foam, open-cell foam expands to fill gaps and cracks as soon as it’s applied. But instead of curing to a hard, smooth-surfaced mass, open-cell foam has a spongier feel. And like a sponge, it will absorb moisture. Since insulation loses R-value when wet, it’s not advisable to use open-cell spray foam in damp environments like basements and crawl spaces. It can be sprayed between rafters or studs, but its low R-value won’t provide much total insulation value in a confined space. Open-cell foam is usually less expensive to install that closed-cell foam.
No. Spray foam insulation is no more of a fire hazard than fiberglass and cellulose. Spray foam insulation is a cellular thermo set plastic which means if it comes in contact with direct flame, it will blacken and char and smoke. All smoke is toxic and dangerous if inhaled, but foam does not increase the risk of fire, and does not fuel a fire. Foam is a Class I building material just like fiberglass and cellulose. Foam has a flame spread rating below 25 and a smoke development rating below 450. Closed attic assemblies have performed well in fires by creating an air barrier and eliminating the air currents that fuel fires in vented attics. Spray foam insulation is endorsed by many fire departments and fire marshals. Local building codes require ignition or thermal barrier application depending on where the sprayfoam is applied, please check with local code officials.
Absolutely not! Spray foam insulation is a safe, clean product. There are no “off gassing” concerns for your family once the initial process is complete. (Off gassing is the evaporation of volatile chemicals in non-metallic materials at normal atmospheric pressure.) In fact, Spray Foam has been used in many of the American Lung Association’s “Health House” project homes.
Spray foam insulation adheres very well to steel studs and other materials such as cement board, wood, metal roofs and concrete. Because spray foam insulation will adhere to almost all surfaces, areas or objects that do not require insulation need to be protected from over-spray with plastic or tape.
There is a smell during the application. This is caused by amines released in the air during the exothermic chemical reaction used to make the foam. Sprayfoam is non toxic after it has cured, but should be avoided during application unless you are appropriately protected. Similar to paint overspray, the amines can get in unprotected eyes and lungs and on unprotected skin or clothing and is difficult to remove. The smell is typically absent after a few hours with fresh air ventilation.
HVAC systems can be too large for a building. HVAC systems are often referred to by tonnage, or the amount of air that is blown into a structure. If a system is not correctly sized, the HVAC will cool a structure too quickly and shut off not allowing the moisture to be properly pulled over the condensers and removing the humidity in the air. An over-sized HVAC will continually short cycle and create serious humidity and comfort problems in the building.
Spray Foam Insulation is considered to be more expensive to install than most conventional insulation, but this really isn’t a fair comparison. When using a Spray foam insulation system it actually seals the building and eliminates energy-robbing air leakage along with the problems associated with moisture, mold and mildew and condensation. Plus, it provides many other benefits including consistent comfort, lower utility bills, a quieter interior environment, etc… The typical owner will actually be in positive cash flow from the day they move in when you factor in the incredible savings in comparison with the same home insulated with typical insulation.
Because Spray foam insulation is an air barrier, builders can significantly reduce HVAC tonnage by correctly sizing the HVAC mechanicals to work with an air barrier, and electrical requirements are often less because of the reduced amperage requirements of the smaller HVAC equipment. Radiant barrier (or tech shield OSB) and vents are also not required on closed attic assemblies. Canned lights do not need to be insulated in a closed attic assembly, saving significant cost on lighting.
From a positive cash flow perspective, the payback is 1 month. From a return on investment perspective, spray foam can pay for itself in less than 2 years, depending on the size of the project.
Spray foam insulation is considered a stable insulation meaning that it will not settle, sag, or deteriorate over time. The R-value on the day you install foam will last the lifetime of the structure. The stability of Spray foam insulation also eliminates many fibers, dust and allergens that cellulose and fiberglass release as they deteriorate making for a much healthier indoor air quality and significantly less dusting.
No, buildings need to be built tight, but ventilated right. Make sure your HVAC installer or MEP knows you plan on using spray foam insulation which is an air barrier. Follow ASHRAE 62.2 guidelines for ventilation. Remember, by building tight, the air exchanges are under your control rather than Mother Nature’s control.
The foam is created within a few seconds after spraying. Foam expands rapidly to 120 times its original volume right before your eyes. It completely cures within several minutes.
Spray foam insulation applications can be completed in the same time frame as conventional insulations such as fiberglass and cellulose. Spray foam insulation will have little to no impact on construction schedules.
An experienced applicator can spray foam under almost any condition. Suppliers recommend not spraying foam on surfaces that are wet, dirty or oily. Spray foam can be sprayed in subfreezing temperatures, Seamless Spray recommends spraying when the temperature of the substrate is above 45 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal performance. On external applications, spray foam should only be sprayed in non windy conditions with proper overspray protection.