What exactly is spray foam insulation?
Developed in the 1960’s spray polyurethane foam (SPF) is an innovative foam plastic substance that is sprayed onto an open surface in paint-like form and then expands to create an insulating barrier against wind and outside temperatures. Initially used primarily in industrial and roofing applications, it has exploded into the residential construction market over the last 20 years due to its high performance and the ever increasing energy standards. Not all spray foam is alike. At Fortkamp Foam we spray both open cell and closed cell spray foam. What is the difference?
Just as the name suggests, the tiny cells of closed cell are sealed from one another. More dense than its counterpart, closed cell is sometimes referred to as 2lb foam. Meaning that a cubic foot of foam would weigh 2 pounds. Because of its density, closed cell carries a higher R-Value per inch than open cell and can be applied in thinner coats to achieve the desires results. The closed cell structure of the foam makes it the foam of choice in any area where moisture or extreme vapor drive could be a concern such as below grade or in the walls of a cooler or freezer.
This is the less dense variety of foam, often referred to as 1/2lb. The lower density allows the product to yield more finished product from the same amount of raw material. In areas where the foam will be protected or covered by the wall coverings, open cell foam provides a lower cost for more R-value.
What Does Spray Foam Insulation Do?
It helps ensure that the conditioned air created by your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system (HVAC) stays inside. In this way, it helps you save thousands of energy dollars while also protecting the environment. It can also protect your home from condensation and water. In addition to providing excellent insulation, spray polyurethane foam acts as several products including:
- Air barrier
- Vapor retardant
- Sound barrier
- Adhesive- Spray foam effectively “glues” your structure together
Where is spray foam insulation used?
- Insulation in walls, attic spaces, ceilings, basements and crawl spaces. Both new and existing
- Industrial and agricultural insulation for cold storage spaces, shops, warehouses, walk-in refrigerators/freezers, pipes, tanks, and more
Benefits of Spray Foam Insulation
- Versatility – Spray foam insulation works for all exposed surfaces including walls, ceilings, basements, crawl spaces, and attics. Spray foam literally takes the shape of what it is applied to.
- Structural value – Spray foam insulation adds to the structural integrity of your home.
- High R-value – The higher the R-value, the more resistant a material is thermal exchange. Closed cell spray foam has the highest R-Value per inch of any insulation available.
- Multi-level barrier – Spray foam insulation serves as an air barrier as well as a sound barrier.