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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

Southwestern Ontario

7035 Industrial Drive
Comber, Ontario
Canada N0P 1J0

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

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GTA & South Central Ontario

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

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Eastern Ontario

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

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259 Campbell Street
Sarnia Ontario
Canada, N7T 2H3

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Niagara Region

6260 Don Murie St
Niagara Falls, ON
L2G 0B4

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Great Northern Insulation - Better Business Bureau Profile.


Best of 2017

From reputation to responsiveness, HomeStars consistently ranks Great Northern Insulation at better than 95% for customer satisfaction. Thanks to everyone for the great ratings! 

HomeStars 2018

Best of 2018

For the second year in a row, HomeStars consistently ranks Great Northern Insulation at better than 95% for customer satisfaction. Thank you again to everyone!

Homestars Best of 2019 Award

Best of 2019

For the third year in a row, HomeStars ranked Great Northern Insulation at better than 95% for customer satisfaction.

Homestars Best of 2020 Award

Best of 2020

For four years now, HomeStars has ranked Great Northern Insulation at better than 95% for customer satisfaction.

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

Enenrgy Savers

Energy Saving

Energy saving and energy efficiency is easier than one might think. Great Northern Insulation helps to identify performance issues, while taking advantage of improvement opportunities.

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

WALLTITE® ECO™ is a high-performance system, professionally installed by certified and approved specialists. Its C.C.M.C. approved (Canadian Construction Materials Centre) - with product quality guaranteed - and with installation by highly trained experts with the technical know-how to do the job right, the first time.

Insulthane Extreme

Insulthane® Extreme

For the ultimate in high performance spray foam insulation, Insulthane® Extreme is the professional choice for residential, commercial, and industrial application. With improved thermal performance over other products, Insulthane® Extreme has an exceptionally low Global Warming Potential (GWP). Considered environmentally friendly, this next generation spray foam insulation is non-ozone depleting, and exceeds specifications of other HFC product alternatives.


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).


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Professional, Certified and Insured

Baeumler ApprovedTM gives you peace of mind when connecting with contractors, trades and home service providers. All Baeumler Approved members have demonstrated high quality work for customers and other trade professionals. Members must also have Workers Compensation, liability insurance of at least $1,000,000 and prove professional certification.

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 Energy Conservation Program provides incentives of up to $1,600 to customers who achieve energy efficiency and fuel savings – and Great Northern Insulation can pave the way.


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


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

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