Innovative Use of Spray Foam Insulation

Pat J. Fraley

It is interesting to know that research studies undertaken by the US Department of Energy have shown that 40% of a residence’s energy is lost due to air infiltration through walls, windows, doors, and other apertures.

The second law of thermodynamics states that heat flows from a warm space to a cold one. This is to say, warm air from inside your compact home will flow towards the colder air outside – mainly when the outside weather is cold.

Insulation

Fiberglass, which has been traditional building insulation, helps prevent this from happening. However, many are not aware that spray foam insulation is a more effective method for preventing heat loss. It is also easy to install and quite economical. It is reliably learned that spray foam insulation saves on energy costs and meaningfully reduces utility bills.

Apart from temperature and moisture control, spray foam insulation is also said to reduce noise. Foam insulation serves as an impediment to airborne sounds and dilutes sound radiation through a building’s roof, floor, and walls. It is also noteworthy that in the United States, residences treated with spray foam insulation often qualify for lower state and federal taxes.

If you plan to insulate a small part of a wall or a few small spaces, then you may as well learn about spray foam inspections in New Orleans. If you intend large insulating areas such as an attic, you should hire a professional. This way, it will work out cheaper, and the job will be done neatly, and the professionals will also have the required equipment for such a large-scale job.

It is good to know how spray foam insulation is done:

  1. The procedure is to start with a test spray. As this material expands to about 100 times its initial volume, it has to be used judiciously.
  2. Spray uniformly between the studs and on the backside of the exterior sheathing. Please wait for it to expand and effectively fill all the gaps.
  3. After allowing the foam to form and set, use a handsaw blade, and shave off any excess foam that protrudes past the studs. The foam has to be flush so that it will not interfere when you are installing the drywall.

By using spray foam insulation in walls and attics, you can create a better air-tight envelope than the conventional fiberglass or Rockwool. There are two types of Spray Foam – Open-Cell and Closed-Cell. Closed-Cell is costlier, but it is more durable, more productive, and thus cost-effective in the long run. Open-cell foam is softer and less dense, which can allow breaking and cracking. Most building contractors, therefore, recommend the use of the closed-cell type polyurethane spray foam instead of the open-cell type foam.

The right method of insulating would be to use spray foam insulation to fill the gaps between the framing studs in the walls and attic. Spray foam insulation is non-toxic and lasts a lifetime. Studies have shown that spray foam expands to about 100 times its original volume, so it virtually fills in all air gaps.

Increasing the air sealing and decreasing the leaks within homes prevent moisture from external sources from getting into the house. It also arrests moisture being released during everyday activities such as respiration, bathing, cooking, etc. Curiously enough, the foam is rigid as well as flexible. Hence, it can fill vacant air gaps, and still expand and contract concerning the building.

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