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Things to Know About Spray Foam Insulation

Equipment 1

In use since the 1940s, foam insulation is a two-part liquid insulation material that was originally used in aircraft. In more recent years, foam insulation has become more popular with homeowners and builders. Spray foam insulation protects and air seals by expanding to fill up a form 40 – 100 times its size, depending on the type of foam used. When foam insulation is used in the attic, it creates an air seal, which helps reduce the heating and cooling bills for a home. The two liquid parts, ISO and a resin are kept separate until sprayed through a heated hose to the spray gun upon application. There are two types of foam insulation. Open cell and closed cell.

Open cell insulation is a soft, low-density material that is very pliable, making it very easy to work with. The pliability of open cell foam is one of the main reasons it is typically used for interior applications, such as walls and attics because it expands into all the nooks and crannies and yet remains flexible enough to work with when running wires. The material helps with moisture management and bi-directional drying of the wall assembly. Open cell insulation primarily uses water as a blowing agent whereas closed cell insulation primarily uses a synthetic chemical as a blowing agent. Benefits of open cell insulation are:

  • Allows for bi-directional drying.

  • Can accommodate long-term creep and seasonal movement.

  • Can be installed at a significantly lower cost per square foot and target the same specified R-value.

  • Is not considered a food source for mold.

  • Provides dampening qualities.

Equipment 2

Closed cell insulation is higher density and more rigid than open cell and although it is used primarily in exterior applications, it can also be used in interior applications as easily as open cell insulation, but it is not as easy to work with as open cell insulation is. When closed cell insulation is used in a pole barn, for instance, the walls are stronger because the closed cell insulation reinforces the wall, making it less likely to be damaged when hit by equipment. Closed cell insulation also rejects bulk water and is recognized as a flood-resistant material by FEMA. Benefits of closed cell insulation are:

  • Ability to reject bulk water.

  • Can be applied at very low temps.

  • Adds to a wall’s racking strength.

  • Impact resistant.

  • Higher R-value per inch – easier to accommodate high R-value requirements in narrow spaces.

  • Lower vapor permeance – can be a Class II VDR.

  • High tensile and bond strength.

How do you know when it is time to get new insulation in your home?

  • High energy bills.

  • Floors in your home are cold.

  • The walls of your home feel cold to the touch in the winter.

  • Your current insulation is more than 15 years old.

These are a few of the signs that your insulation might need to be replaced. To discuss your insulation needs, call 850-466-8887 and speak with one of our knowledgeable agents. Let us make your home warmer, more energy-efficient, and water-resistant.

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