Misconceptions About Spray Foam Insulation

explaining some of the rumors about spray foam insulation

Spray Foam Insulation being sprayed into cavity.

Spray Foam

A better understanding

When it comes to choosing the best type of insulation you're going to use to insulate your home, everyone has an opinion on what way to go.
Age old stories of cellulose insulation blown into the walls that settled over time or battle wounds from itchy fiberglass batt insulation can leave a person feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. Ok maybe that was a bit of a stretch but there are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to insulating your home.

One of the newest (and most commonly misunderstood) ways to insulate is polyurethane spray foam insulation and there seems to be a lot of confusion surrounding exactly what it is and whether or not it's the right solution for your home.

Our goal is to try and answer some of these questions and help you to make a more informed decision when it comes time to insulate your home.

Spray foam insulation is the combination of two chemicals (A-Side and R-Side) that when combined produce a foam that hardens into a stiff insulation material that prevents airflow so that your home will keep cool air in during the summer and warm air in during the winter all while adding to the rigidity of your home.

So what are the misconceptions about spray foam insulation?

We've chosen the most popular rumors and provided actual answers for you

  • It's all the same spray foam, so whatever's cheapest is the best.

    Wrong. There are three major different types of spray foam insulation, each designed with a specific purpose for your home. The most common way to classify these types of foam is by density.
    High-Density - is the most durable and is mostly used for exterior or roofing projects.
    Medium-Density - also known as closed cell foam is the most common foam used to insulate a home continuously
    Low-Density - or open cell foam is the only type that can purchased from the store in an aerosol can and installed by anyone for the use on small projects.

  • Is spray foam insulation harmful for my family?

    This is wrong as well. While the two chemicals are being mixed and sprayed into the home heavy protection is required but after the foam has cured it is nontoxic and is actually a better insulation material for the health of your family.

    closed cell spray foam insulation is hydrophobic, meaning that it repels water and with it a harmful home invasion of mold and mildew. This means your family is less likely to experience the affects of mold along with lowering the likelihood of rotting wood in your home.

  • That itchy stuff is just as good as spray foam right?

    Incorrect... Not only does traditional fiberglass batt insulation settle over time, causing the need for replacement, it has a far lower r-value than spray foam insulation. Fiberglass insulation does not provide an air barrier as is the case with spray foam insulation.
    This ends up meaning that spray foam insulation has a higher level of air, moisture, and thermal resistance, keeping your home dryer and warmer without the need to ever be replaced or added to over time.

  • It's so expensive there's no way I'll get that money back.

    Wrong! Studies done by the US Depatment of Energy have shown that you can actually lose about 60% of your home's energy from air loss through the attic and/or crawlspace, and the rest through walls, windows and doors.

    Houses that have been insulated with spray foam lose at least 50% less air than homes without. This not only saves you money on your energy bills but you could also qualify for federal and state tax deductions for using this type of insulation.

  • I hear spray foam isn't safe for the environment. Is that true?

    Technically Yes, but No. While there are spray foam insulation products that are not safe for the environment, there are some that are eco-friendly.
    These kinds of products are HCFC, VOCs, and formaldehyde-free and use renewable energy sources in the foam mixture, such as polyols derived from sugar and natural oils, which helps eliminate harmful chemicals from being released into the environment.

    Spray foam insulation solutions will also help in the reduction of emission of green house gasses into the environment and, as spray foam insulation does not settle or decay, there is no chance that there will be any "off-gassing" over time.

In Closing:

So while it may seem misunderstood, spray foam insulation is actually an excellent choice for keeping your your family safe and warm, no matter what the rumors may say, or what the weather may bring.
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