Building materials and construction costs have all been on the increase in the last few years. At the same time, there is increasing consumer demand for energy efficiency. Ands that, of course, includes home building products, as well as construction techniques. Spray foam insulation has fast become the “cure-all” for all of the above. It has proven itself as the best multi-functional insulation product on the market today, with practically no similar products that can compare
On of the upsides of spray foam is that it can be applied in every place and in every application, including inside walls, above ceilings, under floors, around foundations, and throughout attics and crawl spaces. A proper application delivers better R-value than other insulation products (or combination of products), and provides a moisture management system that delivers its own specific benefits to the building and to the indoor air environment.
The spray foam installation uses specialized equipment and a customized spray applicator to apply the foam (also known as polyurethane foam). It presents as a thick liquid, expands to many times its volume, and quickly hardens into place. Spray foam has become the favorite of the professional contractor for good reason – one application does it all in one shot – it’s an air barrier, a vapor barrier, and an excellent insulation insulator all in one.
With spray foam, there are no gaps or openings left unfilled after a proper install. Depending on where the application takes place, the foam blanket will envelop everything, including wall studs, plumbing pipes, HVAC ductwork, and electrical wiring. A comprehensive installation will also add structural strength to the area where it’s applied. There are also “green” advantages with the product and the install, but these will vary depending on the extent of the project.
Spray foam is considered a premium product with premium benefits. The long-term energy savings are measurable; the consistency of indoor temperatures from one season to the next is noticeable; and the improved indoor environment is notable, with much less dust and pollen. The product and installation are known to be more expensive than other options, but there is nothing more cost effective, and nothing that delivers equivalent value over the long run.
One particular highlight of spray foam, especially when installed throughout an attic space, is the enhanced performance of HVAC equipment (heating, ventilation and air conditioning). The equipment operates much more efficiently, and quite often performs to the full potential that is was meant. Needless to say, this contributes to reduced energy consumption, and significant cost savings during the winter heating season and the summer cooling season.
Beyond its insulation features, spray foam also prevents mold growth, and restricts both insect and rodent infestations. And because the application acts as a seamless air barrier, it also cuts down on sound and noise, creating a quieter indoor environment throughout. Over the years, a good install will not shrink (like other products) and will therefore not lose any of its R-Value. Indeed, a spray foam application needs NO replacement, refilling or replenishment.