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How Does Spray Foam Insulation Actually Work?

January 28, 2015

Spray foam insulation is known in the industry as Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) or just plain Polyurethane Foam, and except for the specific brand name products, it's the same.Without getting too technical, the spray foam product is mixed at the jobsite, and is basically a chemical reaction that results in the formation of thick liquid foam.When sprayed out of special application equipment, the foam expands quickly, and hardens into a super-dense blanket that covers everything completely.

Spray foam is more than just a layer of insulation.While it fully insulates the entire coverage area, it also acts an impermeable air and moisture barrier, and without the need for a separate vapor barrier.Spray foam is known for resisting heat transfer, and is highly effective in reducing air movement through holes, openings, cracks, and crevices.It therefore provides superior SEALING properties and the highest INSULATION value of any product on the market - it's the perfect insulation product.

The beauty of the spray foam product (whether it's new construction, a renovation, or a retrofit) is its capacity to create a continuous barrier - it will cover everything - every crack and crevice, every nook and cranny, and all manner of even and uneven surfaces.An expert installation will be all encompassing, and will even penetrate the hard-to-reach spaces that other insulation products are hard pressed to handle.No other product on the market can seal and insulate to the extent of spray foam.

Once again, without getting too technical, spray foam is comprised of two distinct chemicals that are combined in a chemical reaction to form the actual foam.The reaction of the chemicals is designed to produce the unique attributes of the spray foam product, like its airtight and watertight quality.Needless to say, this is a product that requires special handling, extensive product knowledge, and specific expertise during the mixing and preparation stage - its best left to a professional.

Both preparation and installation require safety measures.Personal protective gear is required during an install, and both the jobsite and residence must be prepared appropriately.Above all, the safety of occupants and residents must be considered - especially during the install, but also after the job is complete.A reliable, reputable contractor will provide re-entry guidelines for the post-installation.Needless to say, this is another reason why a project like this is not suited for the DIY advocate.

As for the actual application, customized equipment is used to apply the spray foam throughout a given area.By example, the attic is an ideal application area and one that delivers excellent results in terms of insulation value and energy efficiency.The equipment requires proficiency and the installation process requires experience.And because the spray foam expands and hardens so quickly, expertise is required in order to create coverage that is consistent, uniform, and comprehensive.

In short, spray foam insulation is the very best product on the market - it seals and insulates like no other - it lasts for a lifetime - and it delivers more benefits than any other product or combination of products.

Western Ontario

935 Keyes Drive
Woodstock, Ontario
Canada N4V 1C3

Phone: 1-800-265-1914

Fax: (519) 539-7946
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M9V 4K6

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South Central Ontario

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Toronto (Milton), Ontario
Canada L9T 5A6

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

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Niagara Region

25 Lincoln Ave
St. Catharines, ON
L2P 2C7

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914


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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™.


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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?

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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