Spray Foam Insulation – Questions and Answers

Spray foam insulation is rapidly gaining popularity in every part of the country, and along with the wide popularity there is a lot of marketing and advertising.  Product manufacturers and contractors promote the product every season, and with 40% annual growth in spray foam usage, consumers have important questions to ask.  The questions are relevant, and allow the consumer to be better informed.  Understanding the spray foam product and the installation makes it easier to decide on everything BEFORE the project starts to take shape.

The truth is, a reputable insulation contractor will be ready (and willing) to answer all manner of questions.  A good contractor will be fully committed to customer support and satisfaction.  It means having credible answers to questions, without making grandiose claims on the product or the installation.  This is the kind of approach to look for, and it will have positive outcomes throughout the life of the project.  It’s also important because of there are some inferior providers in the marketplace – those who deliver poor installations and unreliable service.

What is Spray Foam Insulation?

Spray foam insulation is also referred to generically as polyurethane foam insulation.  It is essentially a sealant, but it’s multi-purpose – it’s an insulator, air barrier and vapor barrier all at once.  A good spray foam installation will cut energy costs and improve home comfort levels.

What are the properties of the spray foam product?

When installed, spray foam insulation provides a seamless envelope of coverage and adheres to virtually all surfaces.  It is impermeable to air and moisture, delivers a very high R-Value, and does not settle over time.  It’s an ideal application for walls, roofs, ceilings, and foundations.

What kind of contractor installs spray foam?

It is most prudent to employ trained, certified, licensed installers for spray foam installations. This approach will ensure a professional install, consistent with established industry standards and with an assurance of quality.

Are there industry standards for installing spray foam?

Beyond being certified and licensed, contractors have a responsibility to the consumer to make sure that safety provisions are accommodated, and building code requirements are adhered to.  Anything short of this kind of professionalism should raise important credibility concerns.

What are the advantages to spray foam insulation?

Because the spray foam application is completely seamless, it’s a more efficient insulator than any other product or material on the market.  It is airtight and eliminates both air infiltration and exfiltration.  It does not settle or shrink, and it seals up even the hardest-to-reach spaces.

How costly is the spray foam and installation?

The spray foam product and the associated installation are known to be more costly than other insulation products.  However, the benefits of a good install, and the substantial energy savings, make the initial investment worthwhile.  Over the long-term, no other product can compare.

In the end, its up to the individual to be cautious and aware, and that includes choosing product options, and selecting the right contractor.  It’s always preferable to be an informed consumer.