The Pros and Cons of Spray Foam Insulation

The Pros and Cons of Spray Foam Insulation

Spray foam insulation offers an effective solution for many common energy-efficiency problems. It can reduce your home’s utility bills by sealing the building envelope so that air doesn’t leak into the house during the summer and out of the house during the winter. The result is lower energy costs and a more comfortable and sustainable environment for homeowners.

But it’s not without its pitfalls: it can burn, release toxic gases and be difficult to work on when plumbing or wiring is embedded in the material. It’s also a more expensive option than batt insulation and requires careful application.

Seal the Savings: Understanding the Cost-Effective Benefits of Spray Foam Insulation

The two main spray foam options are open-cell and closed-cell. Closed-cell is more expensive but it’s also physically stronger and better insulating than open-cell, with an R-Value of up to 6 per inch. It also provides an effective vapor barrier, so homeowners don’t need to apply a separate vapor barrier. It can be applied to a wider variety of applications, including attics and crawl spaces and to rim joists in new construction.

In order to make spray foam, professional contractors must acquire liquid chemicals called A-Side and B-Side, which are mixed together in a special spray gun and sprayed onto walls and ceilings. The A- and B-side chemicals then react on contact with each other, expanding into a thick foam. Some companies are beginning to address the high global warming potential (GWP) of traditional blowing agents by switching to alternatives such as polyols derived from naturally renewable oils and post-consumer recycled plastics.

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