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How Does Spray Foam Insulation Work?

January 20, 2015

Spray foam insulation, also known in the industry as polyurethane foam, is created when chemical compounds are mixed together and react with each other.The actual chemical reaction results in a foam formula that the professional installer can spray into a given space using special application equipment.The foam formula quickly spreads, expands, and hardens to create the super-dense foam insulation layer that remains in its place.

A properly installed application of spray foam insulation provides BOTH an air barrier AND moisture barrier simultaneously.The application resists heat transfer better than any other insulation product, and restricts air infiltration through any opening, crack, or crevice.As an air barrier, it offers the highest rating for an insulation barrier - and as a moisture barrier, there is no need for an additional vapor barrier to be installed.

Whether it's a retrofitting job, or a new home building project, homeowners are quickly learning that spray foam insulation is the best way to save on energy, while improving indoor home comfort.The product is very highly regarded by the professionals, but it needs to be considered carefully, depending on the job requirements and the project objectives.An expert in the field will be able to properly assess when and how to install.

A good insulation contractor will advise which product is best suited for the customer's needs.Inasmuch as spray foam insulation has become an industry favorite for all kinds of applications, there are contractors who will recommend a combination of products in order to achieve the best short term and long-term results for the premises.It's the professional installer who understands the products, and has the expertise with installs.

Without getting overly technical, the chemical compounds and chemical reactions that create the spray foam require careful handling and safe operation.Professional installers are highly trained in both the preparation and application of spray foam.Indeed, a good contractor company will provide installers who are both certified and licensed.The key to a proper application is safety and security for installers and residents alike.

During an install, the foam spreads and expands and hardens very quickly - that's why an experienced professional is best suited to provide uniform and consistent coverage.As well, the workspace needs proper preparation, and protective safety equipment must be worn (including a respirator).Clearly, this is a project for a professional, and not for the uninitiated, which is exactly why a do-it-yourself approach is highly discouraged.

Properly installed and professionally applied, spray foam insulation is recognized as the best insulation on the market.And the benefits are superior to any other application - it delivers the highest insulation R-Value - it provides the perfect air and moisture barrier - it allows for more efficient energy consumption - it enhances HVAC performance - and it improves indoor air circulation and air quality.It's a multi-purpose product that delivers.

The bottom line with spray foam insulation is the significant energy savings that are realized throughout the year.And although the product and installation are expensive, the long-term savings far outweigh the initial project investment.

Western Ontario

935 Keyes Drive
Woodstock, Ontario
Canada N4V 1C3

Phone: 1-800-265-1914

Fax: (519) 539-7946
TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

Muskoka, Haliburton, Northern Ontario

1027 Elwell Park Road
Gravenhurst, Ontario
Canada P1P 1R1

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Central Ontario

29 Ferndale Industrial Drive
Barrie, Ontario
Canada L4N 9V5

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Greater Toronto Area

2 Guided Court
Etobicoke, ON
M9V 4K6

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

GTA East

103 North Port Road
Port Perry, Ontario
Canada L9L 1B2

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South Central Ontario

450 Industrial Dr,
Toronto (Milton), Ontario
Canada L9T 5A6

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

Eastern Ontario

1035 Moodie Dr #1,
Nepean, ON
K2R 1H4

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

Niagara Region

25 Lincoln Ave
St. Catharines, ON
L2P 2C7

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914


Great Northern Insulation - Better Business Bureau Profile.

Homestars Best of 2021 Award

Best of 2021

HomeStars has ranked Great Northern Insulation as a company that goes above and beyond in every aspect of business for the year of 2021.

Homestars Best of 2022 Award

Best of 2022

HomeStars has ranked Great Northern Insulation as a company that goes above and beyond in every aspect of business for the year of 2022.


GNI is the Authorized & Trusted Insulation and Air Sealing Installer for Lowe’s

Trusted for Over 40 Years

Over 40 Years in Business

At GNI, we service your project with the most experienced staff in the industry. Ongoing professional development is an obsession at GNI and we will not compromise at any level to bring to our customers the very best Installers, Sales Representatives, Customer Care Personnel, Field Superintendents, Estimating and Technical Support to your project.

100% Canadian

100% Canadian

Great Northern Insulation is recognized as Canada's largest full-service insulation contractor. GNI is 100% Canadian owned, proudly serving Ontario customers since 1980.

Foam Masters

Do it right the first time
- with foam mastersTM

January, 2021 regulatory phaseout of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) with the introduction of WALLTITE CM01. Using hydrofluorolefins (HFOs) with lower global warming potential (GWP) compared to HFCs, WALLTITE CM01 is the next generation of spray foam insulation.



Heatlok® Soya HFOTM leverages Honeywell’s latest Solstice® Liquid Blowing Agent technology. This new hydrofluoroolefin (HFO) blowing agent is the most environmentally conscious blowing agent produced to date, with a zero ozone depletion potential (ODP) and a global warming potential (GWP) of 1, which is more than two orders of magnitude (99.9%) lower than HFCs used in this industry.


3MTM products.
Quality + Performance = Savings

3MTM energy-saving products are designed to keep warm air in, and cold air out, while keeping energy bills down. Products optimize energy efficiency in buildings and homes; improve indoor environment for occupants; and effect the reduction of seasonal energy costs. 3M products are authorized for LEED credits (Leadership in Energy/Environmental Design).

Holmes and Holmes

Holmes and Holmes


Mike Holmes and his son Mike Jr. (MJ) convert MJ’s bachelor bungalow into a two-storey home for MJ and his girlfriend Lisa. Choosing the newest materials and build techniques, the father and son team follow Mike’s famous motto – “Make it right.” The show can be watched on HGTV and DIY Network.


Enbridge Incentives

The Home Efficiency Rebate Plus program offers up to $10,000 in home reno rebates – and Great Northern Insulation can pave the way.


Great Northern Insulation proudly abides by a renovation-specific Code of Conduct set by RenoMark™.


We are Verified & Bonded by eRenovate. When you choose to proceed with our services through their platform, you receive the gaurantees set forth through their program.

As Seen on Love It or List It

The GNI crew have been featured installing insulation on Love It or List It - have you seen our logo in an episode?

Climatizer Cellulose


CLIMATIZER PLUS cellulose insulation is manufactured from a minimum of 85% locally-sourced post-consumer recycled newsprint. Non-toxic additives are applied to the uniquely fiberized paper generating a building material with superior thermal and acoustic properties, as well as exceptional resistance to fire, moisture, mould and pests.

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