Spray Foam Benefits
7 Reasons to Use Spray Foam
1. Superior Air Barrier Properties
Spray foam is able to block air leaks much more effectively than other types of insulation. Traditional insulation materials like rigid foam board or ﬁbreglass batts may slip out of place over time, leaving spots for air to penetrate the home. In addition, when installing wall insulation, these materials rarely ﬁll the entire wall cavity, which means air can usually ﬁnd a way into the home between the sections of insulation, or at the top or bottom of the wall. Polyurethane spray foam insulation ﬁlls the entire space, leaving fewer gaps for air leaks. This material is also denser than many other insulators, and provides a tight, impenetrable barrier to air inﬁltration and leaks.
2. Superior Insulation
When traditional R3.5 (US R20) ﬁberglass batts are ﬁeld installed using traditional methods, the result is an effective value of only R2.45. Much is lost in inexact ﬁt, ineffective air barrier and broken vapour barrier. Oak Ridge National Laboratory conﬁrms the labeled vs installed performance. (download the report) Polyurethane foam does not suffer from the installation challenges of traditional batts.
3. Increased Energy Efficiency
Air barrier sealing and a superior insulation material result in increased energy efﬁciency. This can mean a reduction in the use of heating or cooling systems, which can result in lower energy bills and fewer carbon emissions. A well insulated house may even allow you to choose smaller air conditioning and heating systems, which can save both money and space.
Polyurethane foam is a particularly good insulator because of its high Rvalue. R-value is a measure of how well a material resists thermal penetration, and higher R-values mean higher levels of insulation. Polyurethane spray foam has an R-value between R1.0 and R1.25 for every 25mm of thickness. This is nearly double the value of traditional ﬁberglass batts, which offer an R-value of R0.5 per 25mm. (R.035 installed performance).
The R Fairy Tale explains this in more detail.
4. Never Sags or Breaks Down
Polyurethane Foam bonds to the surrounding substrates as it is installed. This bond holds the foam in place for the life of the building ensuring its effectiveness lasts offering ongoing savings.
5. Acoustic Beniﬁts
Low density Polyurethane Foam Insulation has excellent sound absorption properties and sound transmission properties. When comparing polyurethane foam to other insulations, there is a very noteworthy difference. As an effective air seal, it eliminates the air gaps through which sound travels easiest. Low density polyurethane foam Insulation is superior in controlling mid-range frequencies that include the most common sounds, the human voice and stereo music.
While polyurethane spray foam insulation is generally more expensive than traditional batts or rigid insulators, it's true cost may actually be much lower. Spray foam serves as insulator, vapor barrier, and moisture barrier, eliminating the need for most exterior caulking, building paper, and separate vapor barriers. Not only does one save the cost of these materials, but there is an associated installation saving. Rather than buying and installing four or more products, a single application of spray foam can be used instead. When the cost of spray foam is compared to the total cost of batts and related weatherprooﬁng systems, foam actually appears to be the more affordable option. In addition, the higher R-value of foam means a greater reduction in energy bills is likely, resulting in a shorter payback period for this project.
Because polyurethane foam expands to ﬁll a space, it offers many beneﬁts to those in need of a ﬂexible insulating material. It is particularly useful when ﬁlling oddly-shaped spaces, or those subject to some type of obstruction. Spray foam also allows for smaller, thinner walls, which means more ﬂexibility with living space. It's also great for underfloor insulation and ceiling insulation. Finally, because it is so versatile, builders have much more ﬂexibility when it comes to framing designs. While rigid insulation requires adequate spacing between studs, polyurethane foam can easily be sprayed into any size opening.