Spray foam insulation provides an effective air and vapor barrier. It also boosts home resale value and reduces energy costs.
Spray polyurethane foam contains liquid chemicals that react to produce a substance that expands quickly, filling nooks and crannies. It can also be sprayed on existing walls and roofs to prevent ice dams.
Homeowners can expect to save up to 50 percent on energy bills after installing spray foam insulation. This is primarily because the air seal created by the foam keeps the air you pay to cool and heat in your home and prevents outside air from sneaking in.
Foam insulation also helps reduce noise in your home. This is because it fills the small cracks and gaps that would otherwise allow sound waves to penetrate the walls of your home. This makes it a lot quieter to live in your home and creates a more peaceful atmosphere.
Additionally, the air seal created by spray foam eliminates drafts and air leaks that cause your HVAC system to work harder. This means that your HVAC system will last longer and you will spend less money on maintenance. In addition, you can decrease your HVAC tonnage by up to 25% when you install spray foam insulation. It also doesn’t deteriorate or settle over time, like other types of insulation such as cellulose.
Spray foam is made from two liquid components that combine and expand to cover large surfaces. This makes it extremely durable and resistant to moisture damage. It can last for decades and will not need replacement due to age like other types of insulation do.
Spray Foam Insulation is known for creating an airtight seal and insulating a space well. However, it is not a great material for wood framing, and often contractors will leave spots uninsulated. If this is the case, it will create mold problems in the future and may require expensive wood repairs. Spray foam can also be difficult to inspect for leaks, so the homeowner will need to hire a professional.
When using spray foam, make sure to use a contractor that uses low GWP blowing agents. This will help reduce the amount of toxic chemicals that are released into the home. Homeowners with spray foam should also be cautious about crawl spaces and ensure they keep these areas ventilated to avoid moisture damage and unwanted pests.
Spray foam insulation can fill gaps, cracks and holes that can let air escape in the attic, crawl space, knee walls, and bonus rooms. This can help prevent energy loss by reducing the flow of outside air and moisture into the home.
If properly installed by trained professionals, spray polyurethane foam is safe. However, improper installation can cause a variety of problems including air leaks, insufficient sealing and inadequate insulation. This can compromise the insulating benefits and lead to costly repairs.
During and after spraying, chemicals called isocyanates off-gas in the air. These chemicals can affect indoor air quality and make people sick. As a result, spray foam contractors should tell customers to stay out of their homes while they are being sprayed and for 12 to 24 hours after spraying.
This is not always being done. In fact, the Marketplace investigation found that some contractors are emphasizing green claims while neglecting to give customers safety information and advice.
Spray foam insulation must be installed properly to be effective. It is highly recommended to use a professional insulation contractor for spray foam insulation installation. This is because the spray foam expands quickly once mixed and can damage drywall, making it difficult for homeowners to handle without training. In addition, the chemicals used in spray foam are dangerous and require special protective equipment.
Homeowners should be aware that the spray foam contains isocyanates that can cause rashes, allergies and inflammation if they come into contact with skin or eyes. They should wear masks and protective gloves during the application process.
It is also important to know that the blowing agents for spray foam are hydrofluorocarbons, which have a global warming potential (GWP) over 3,400 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. These chemicals are extremely detrimental to the environment and should be avoided at all costs.