Benefits of Spray Foam Insulation
At O’Reilly Brothers, we get asked a lot about our services, blown cellulose, sprayed fireproofing, and spray foam insulation which garners the most, generally because of inexperienced and inappropriate applications in the U.S. with contractors who are unwilling to fix problems, giving the industry a black eye. When installed incorrectly, spray foam insulation can result in a strong, unpleasant fishy smell from off-gassing that has driven some people from their homes with difficulty breathing and other health problems.In Canada, however, a contractor must be trained, licensed, and certified in order to install certain kinds of spray foam insulation. According to an October 2013 CBC News article, “the Canadian Urethane Foam Contractors Association (CUFCA) estimates that spray foam insulation is installed in between 300,000 and 400,000 Canadian homes every year. Part of the product’s appeal is that, when properly installed, spray foam insulation can reduce heating and cooling costs by up to 50%, according to CUFCA.”
Spray foam insulation is developed from two types of composite materials, polyurethane and isocyanate. When combined, these two materials chemically react to each other and cause their combined substance to expand and harden. During the installation process, both materials are simultaneously sprayed from the tip of a spray foam gun, allowing them to expand and form a protective layer of spray foam insulation over the desired area. Benefits include:
- Improved insulation - spray foam provides an air-tight seal and because of its expansive nature and resistance value, it’s ranked at R-6, the highest rank on the market today;
- Energy savings - an average of 50% or more, unlike other types of insulation that average a savings rate of about 30%;
- Air-tight seal - spray foam insulation creates a powerful airtight seal that has shown to be 24 times less permeable to air infiltration than other types of insulation;
- Moisture barrier - spray foam insulation is impermeable to water and will not absorb the water like other materials;
- Deters mold - it is composed of an inert polymer that provides no source of food for mold or bacteria;
- Long life - inert polymer that spray foam insulation is comprised of allows it to have an indefinite lifespan;
- Eco-friendly – it helps reduce energy consumption, produces fewer consumed materials, and protects against moisture and mold growth.
The two areas homeowners should focus on first when adding new insulation are unfinished basements and attics, followed by exterior and interior walls, hot water pipes, floors, and around windows and doors is also recommended. Installing a Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) or passive ventilation system will further prevent condensation issues and allow your home to breathe.
If you’re looking to upgrade your insulation, have questions about spray foam applications, or any of our other products and services, contact O’Reilly Brothers today to make an informed decision about spray foam insulation for your building.