The use of spray foam has since revolutionized from being primarily used in aircraft, to construction of residential and commercial uses. This adoption has paved way for the numerous benefits that spray foam has in construction and sensitized users on the benefits and characteristics of different types of installation available in the market. However, what is spray foam installation?
Spray foam installation consists of a spray polyurethane liquid material that is sprayed and applied to the building to seal gaps, cracks, and air. This spray foam chemically reacts to foam which expands and fills the gaps in the building to create a strong air barrier beneficial for insulation. This installation offers various beneficial properties to the building, making it comfortable and energy-efficient. Spray foam comes in various types based on its distinct uses in different areas. It is best to know the resistance to heat values of each type of spray foam installation, to be able to ascertain the individual uses of each. The higher the R-value, which is the resistance to heat flow, the greater the spray foam’s insulation power.
How it works
The spray foam comes in a liquid form which comprises of two parts, a resin, and an iso. These liquids are kept separate until arrival at the site. During application, the two liquids travel through a heated hose to combine resulting in foam. This foam expands instantly filling up the area required for installation. The foam spreads throughout the cavity area depending on the type of installation used. The foam can expand to up to a hundred times its size during application to cater to its specific purpose during installation. Individuals may have to wait for a minimum of twelve hours during installation for the spray foam to cure, after which they will be able to return to the building.
Types of spray foam installation
When it comes to spray foam installation, three major types offer insulation and other purposes:
- High-density spray foam
This is always used for roofing and exterior purposes due to its high insulation and strength. The high-density spray foam is thicker and denser as compared to the rest, and offers superb insulation due to its seamless structured nature. With R-values of 5.5 per inch, the high-density spray foam is closed cell foam making it usable in areas that require a high R-value to be able to meet the building’s code of requirements. The high heat resistance also gives this spray foam a water-resistant material, preventing water from seeping into the building. This spray foam gives moisture, thermal, and air barrier to the building.
- Medium density spray foam
The medium density spray foam is used for continuous application especially in attics or to fill up interior cavities in the walls. Being a closed-cell foam enables this spray foam to be of use in areas where the highest R-value is required, to assist in reducing air, moisture, and even noise. This makes it the perfect soundproof insulator due to its strength.
- Low-density spray foam
This spray foam offers almost similar capabilities to the medium density spray foam in filling up interior wall cavities and attics which are not vented. This spray foam is open-cell foam, and weighs the least, giving it the flexibility to fill in the interior cavities. Its softer and flexible texture makes it suitable for sealing joints and seams in interior cavities and helps insulate against moisture and sound.
Costs of spray foam installation
Closed-cell spray foam costs significantly higher than open-cell spray foam due to its versatility and depth of the foam used. However, the cost of spray foam is hugely dependant on the amount of material required, the type of spray foam used, and the work required. The closed-cell spray foam costs $0.90 to $1.50 per foot, while the open-cell spray foam costs $0.25 to $0.50 per foot, on average. However, different companies offer varying installation costs depending on location and the season in question. For instance, spray foam installation costs may go up during the fall season and lower during summer. It is advisable to create a budget that offers a leeway of up to 10% more of what is required, to be able to meet any contingencies during installation according to the building’s additional requirements.
Advantages of spray foam installation
There are various advantages of spray foam installation as listed below:
- Offers insulation
As described above, spray foam offers incredible insulation and sealing properties. The application of the product on-site makes it hardy and efficient, resulting in proper insulation and sealant properties. The foam reacts fast and efficiently in sealing moisture and vapor.
The versatility of spray foam in the building is commendable. By sealing exterior walls, attics, and cavities along the walls, there is air and moisture leak prevention which helps maintain optimum energy levels inside the building and reduce the use of energy. These sealant properties prevent the spread of pollutants and allergens consequently making the building comfortable and safe.
- Improves the performance of the home
Spray foam is one of the best insulation methods available in the market and seeks to significantly retain heat into the home. With air leaking through vents and spaces, the home’s HVAC system may be compromised and destroyed. Spray foams seek to retain energy inside the home by providing insulation that maintains the home’s temperature at optimal levels.
- Saves on cost
Spray foam issues users with a return on investment due to the ability to save on electricity and heating costs.
The application of spray foam for installation should be done by a qualified and licensed spray foam installer to achieve the best possible results. The application process is extremely crucial for the proper use of the spray foam and necessary for the best outcome. Depending on the building’s interior, the spray foam contractor will always recommend and help you choose the right spray foam product for the job. Spray foam is recognized as a flood-resistant material by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This makes it sufficient for use in the event of a flood as it greatly minimizes the damage to the building’s interior.
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