Expanding foam insulation is a method of applying a liquid resin that reacts with air to expand into its surroundings. The resin can be injected into small or large voids to fill the space with a solid foam. The resulting foam can seal gaps and cracks to prevent air from entering into your home. It can be sprayed onto larger areas to provide a thick layer of insulation for resistance to heat transfer.
There are many benefits to this form of insulation over traditional materials. These benefits include ease of installation and durability.
Insulation in the roof and walls is clearly beneficial for its ability to reduce heating and cooling losses and costs. The savings achieved by reducing heat transfer by conduction justifies the cost of adequate insulation.
But don’t forget that convection is another source of heat transfer when air moves between two spaces. Minimizing or controlling losses via convection is desirable but requires more consideration. Adequate outside air is necessary for breathing, and sufficient air transfer is required to ventilate other gases and odors from interior spaces.
Most homes are so leaky that there is plenty of opportunity for air to intrude and be enough for the occupants. However, as structures become more air-tight and interior materials become more synthetic, there is the possibility that the indoor air quality is compromised.
Spray Insulation is worth looking into for many reasons, even if it’s not always the ideal solution. Although it is more likely to be the best option for new construction, its features also serve the needs of many existing homeowners who are adding to or trying to improve their homes.
For example, even if the spraying must be done by professionals, and therefore is more costly than other options, the high R-value of spray insulation can make it cost- effective over time, through lower heating bills. In very cold or hot climates this advantage may be well worth the cost.
Spray insulation also carries the advantage of filling uneven areas well. The sprayed foam expands to fill cracks and fit into irregular spaces that would be difficult to work around with other kinds of insulation. The do-it-yourself handyman might be very relieved not to have to work in difficult nooks and crannies, and to just let expansion of the foam do the work.
Another advantage is that spray insulation adheres well to the surface onto which it is sprayed. If a house is being expanded upward, to a second story, then spray insulation under the new floor will be securely in place and offer good insulation for years. It might be a better solution than trying to attach other forms of insulation in such a space.