Spray Foam Versus Cellulose Insulation: Which is Better?
Insulation helps improve your home’s energy efficiency significantly reducing your heating and cooling costs. It slows down heat transfer, blocks outside noise, reduces the moisture in your house and prevents mold growth. There are several different insulation materials available in the market, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. You can select a material for your home according to your needs. If you are looking for an insulation contractor in Ottawa, O'Reilly Brothers Ltd can help. We provide blown cellulose and spray foam insulation along with sprayed fireproofing to our clients.
Spray Foam Insulation
Spray foam insulation is made up of polyurethane and isocyanate. It is available in two different types: open-cell and closed-cell. Open-cell is denser, provides better sound dampening and is less expensive than the closed-cell version.
Properties of spray foam insulation:
• It has a higher R-value (R=5.5 to 6.5 per inch).
• It provides energy savings of up to 50% or more.
• It is about 24 times less permeable to air infiltration compared to other types of insulation.
• It is impermeable to water. It not only provides higher moisture resistance but also does not absorb water in case of flooding.
• As it is composed of an inert polymer, it provides better protection against mould growth and mildew.
• It has a lifespan of about 20 years which means you do not have to reinsulate your home for a long time.
Precautions to be Taken While Using Spray Foam Insulation
Spray foam insulation is the best option for floors and attics. During the curing process, it emits a gas that may cause blurred vision and breathing problems. Full face and respiratory protection is recommended while applying the product. It contains isocyanates, which can cause irritation in the eyes, gastrointestinal tracts and respiratory tracts. Direct skin contact can lead to inflammation or rashes on arms, chest and neck. Therefore, hire only experienced professionals to install the product.
It is usually made by crushing waste newspaper and treating it with chemicals such as boric acid to prevent the spread of fire. There are four different types of cellulose products: dry cellulose, spray-applied cellulose, stabilized cellulose and low-dust cellulose.
Properties of cellulose insulation:
• It has a lower R value compared to foam insulation (R=2.6 to 3.8).
• It is less expensive than foam insulation.
• It provides energy savings of up to 20 to 50%.
• It provides better noise reduction.
• Cellulose insulation offers better protection against mold as borates are present in the material.
• It has the highest (Class I) fire rating.
• It offers many environmental benefits, including the reduction of solid waste.
Cellulose insulation is typically used in enclosed existing walls, open walls and also unfinished attic floors. The material consists of small particles that could be blown into the house if it is inadequately sealed. If it is not installed properly, it may settle after application, resulting in some areas of the wall remaining uninsulated. As cellulose is heavier compared to spray foam, it is not the best choice to insulate the ceilings of any structure.
Take the help of insulation experts to determine which material will best suit your requirements. O'Reilly Brothers Ltd has been proving insulation solutions to our clients in Ottawa for over 50 years. We also offer contaminated insulation removal. For further queries, contact us today!