Spray foam insulation is a type of highly effective insulation and air sealant that can be used in homes or businesses. The foam is made up of a special chemical blend that when combined expands and creates a matrix that insulates a space. There are 2 basic types of spray foam insulation: open cell and closed cell. Closed cell insulation is usually called high density spray foam insulation.
Closed Cell Insulation
Closed cell insulation consists of trapped gas bubbles that are formed during the expansion and cure portion of the installation process. The gas bubbles contain the blowing agent and they remain inlace during the curing of the foam. The trapped gas not only gives the foam its shape, it also creates better insulation once cured. The cured foam is strong and helps it resist water, acting as a vapor barrier as well as an insulation.
Many people consider closed cell or high density insulation as the superior variety because it has a higher R value per inch and seals air leaks better. Other types of insulation allow air to pass through which creates drafts and lowers the R value of the insulation. High density foam spray insulation usually costs more to instal per square foot and you will likely need a professional to do the work for you.
Installing High Density Spray Foam Insulation
You can figure out how much insulation you’ll need by measuring the wall, ceiling or floor that you want to insulate and then calculating its surface area. After you have the surface area, you’ll want to figure out which R value you need. An inch of foam usually has an R value between 5 and 7. So, for example if you have a wall with 240 square feet of space and you want an R value of 19 and the wall is 4 inches wide, you’ll need about 960 feet of insulation. You can mix foam and batt insulation by spraying an inch of foam to seal the leaks and then topping with traditional batt insulation to finish filling the wall.
Before you begin installation, you’ll need to clean the area that you wish to insulate. Dust can prevent the product from adhering and sealing properly. Once cleaned, you’ll want to use plastic and tape to seal off the work area. Put on gloves, a breathing mask, safety glasses and ensure the area is empty before you begin spraying. The manufacturer will supply a list of safety precautions as well. Commercial grade products can damage your lungs and cause second degree burns, so plan ahead before beginning.
Next, do some spray tests to familiarize yourself with the sprayer. Once you’re comfortable, you can begin spraying the area. Read all precautions before you begin so you know how to properly handle the foam.
When installation is complete, you’ll have a more comfortable living space that’s better on energy usage. Usually, spray foam insulation pays for itself in energy savings in just 2 to 4 years. For quotes on spray foam insulation, click on the link below.