Spray Foam Insulation FAQ: A Question and Answer Sheet for Homeowners.

“What should I know about spray foam insulation?”

If you are constructing a new home, or you are considering installing additional insulation in your existing home, you may be asking yourself this question and many more!

Maybe you have heard of spray foam insulation, but you are unsure of the benefits.

Or you may be wondering how to find a contractor to install such an insulation system.

Or you may be hearing about spray foam for the first time and have no idea what it is all about.

Perhaps you have questions concerning whether or not spray foam insulation will pass your local building inspector’s scrutiny.

This article is intended to dispel some of the myths surrounding spray foam so that you can make more informed decisions when it comes to choosing the right insulation for your home.

This article will hopefully answer most of your questions, and point you in the right direction!  

What is Spray Foam Insulation?

This type of insulation is sprayed in place and expands to fill an area. It is meant to fill all of the cavities and cracks in a structure, including in between studs, beams, joists and rafters. It is most commonly installed by experts trained in this method of insulation installation. It can minimize moisture trapped in walls and is one of the most effective types of insulation due to it’s high R-value!

How Long Does It Take To Install?

Not long! It usually takes a day or two to complete the initial installation, all depending on how many areas you need to cover and what types of materials you have in your home.

The foam expands incredibly fast, up to 100 times in just a few seconds. You will want to wait the 24 hour curing time before your space is ready for use.

How Long Does It Take To Set?

In most cases, once the material is sprayed into place, it takes a while before it sets completely.  The time it takes will vary depending on temperature and humidity, and other potential variables. The foam will cure up to 75% of the way within the first few seconds, typically drying the remaining 25% within 24 hours.

When Should It Be Installed?

It is best to have spray foam installed before the walls are closed up or finished. This will ensure that the insulation is installed seamlessly. This type of insulation can be considered in new construction, and even existing homes where remodels are being done.

For existing structures, exterior walls can be insulated using a combination of spray foam and fiberglass. Applying spray foam to attics, crawlspaces, and basements can make a considerable difference in energy efficiency and comfort without having to rip apart any existing walls.

If you are wondering about what time of year is the best for installation, check here.

What Are the Biggest Benefits of Spray Foam?

Spray foam can give your structure a more durable, tight, and weather resistant shell.

Spray foam is lightweight, durable, and can last a lifetime. It is totally waterproof and can add strength and integrity to the structure in which it is installed. Most importantly, it has the highest R-value per inch when compared to any other insulation material on the market.

Why Are Other Methods Inferior?

This type of insulation is superior to fiberglass or cellulose since it does not attract moisture and provides a tight sealing air barrier. It will protect the building from moisture and water damage.

Spray foam insulation can last the entire lifetime of your home or workshop.

Spray foam can reduce pollutants and allergens entering your home, due to its ability to produce an airtight seal.

Is Spray Foam Safe to Install in My Home?

Yes, you may breathe easy knowing that your home will only get safer with time. Spray foam insulation has been proven as one of the most effective ways to reduce air infiltration/exfiltration and maintain the thermal comfort levels required for healthy living conditions inside residences or workspaces.

Some people may be bothered by the fumes that are produced by the initial installation process, but these fumes will dissipate fully after about 24 hours. After the spray is completely set, it is considered to be completely safe!

Can Spray Foam Prevent Mold and Mildew ?

Absolutely! Since it can provide a moisture barrier, it will prevent moisture from getting into the drywall and wood that may promote mold and mildew.

The spray foam itself also does not have any nutritional value that could encourage the growth of mold or mildew.

Will Spray Foam Insulation Reduce My Monthly Utility Bill?

Yes! If you are looking to improve your home’s thermal efficiency, then spray foam is the way to go. Spray foam insulation can provide a complete air barrier which will significantly reduce HVAC costs and power consumption. What more could you ask for from an insulation material?!

Can I Do the Installation Myself?

It is possible, however not recommended.  It will take a trained professional to correctly install spray foam insulation, in order to provide you with the best possible long-term results. Refer to this article for information about DIY spray foam installation.

What is the Difference Between Open and Closed Cell Spray Foam?

Open cell spray foam is porous, and cures to a spongy texture, which allows for moisture to pass through, but not air. This is ideal for projects in areas such as crawlspaces, or other spaces where breathability is important.

Closed cell spray foam is much more rigid and has a higher density. This type stops the movement of both air and water. Closed cell will have a higher R-value per inch.

Does It Comply With Building Codes?

Absolutely! The structure will be better insulated with this method, which brings it up to building code standards. The foam Ppastic section of the building code approves this type of insulation.

How Much Does Spray Foam Cost?

Depending on the size of your structure, spray foam can be slightly more expensive than other types of insulation materials. However, for energy savings and additional air sealing properties, it is worth it in the long run!

Check here for an explanation of different insulation types and their costs.

Does Spray Foam Work In All Climates?

Yes, the benefits of spray foam are long-lasting and will help keep your home comfortable year round. This insulation can be used indoors or outdoors to provide you with a safe, energy efficient structure with dependable temperature regulation.

Will Spray Foam Insulation Save Me Money?

If you invest in spray foam, your structure will be more energy efficient. This means that it will be easier to maintain the temperature levels inside your home or office, and save on power costs.