In a world where saving energy is so important, the use of spray foam insulation in your home can really boost your green credentials. Whether you're in the process of building a house or your house has been standing for years, spray foam insulation is one of the best methods around to help you lower your energy bills.
What Does it Do?
Spray foam insulation, also known as SPF (Spray Polyurethane Foam), uses a polyurethane foam. When the foam is applied, it hardens and expands to around 100 times its initial volume. It can be used to fill spaces in walls and in the attic and can even be sprayed underneath your flooring to provide maximum insulation. The foam will work its way into every nook and cranny, providing an air-tight seal, which is one important quality that the other insulation method of fiberglass cannot claim.
This sealing action means that the temperature in your house will be regulated so conditions inside can always be comfortable, whatever the world outside delivers. Your house will be warm in the winter since the heat can't escape and cool in the summer as the cool air is retained indoors.
Can I Do it Myself?
Once upon a time, spray foam insulation could only be carried out by a professional. However, improvements in the chemistry of polyurethane means that it is now possible for the average DIY enthusiast to execute spray foam insulation themselves. There are many kits available now that come with everything you need to complete the job with ease.
What are the Advantages of Spray Foam Insulation?
- The application is a quick process which can often be completed within a day
- It wont irritate your skin if you touch it, unlike fiberglass
- It has a high resistance to heat flow (known as its R-Value). Compared with polyurethane, a far thicker layer of fiberglass is needed to exert the same high resistance
- The foam can get to hard to reach places like in between pipes
- Your home may go up in value
- Environmentally friendly as it contains no ozone-damaging chemicals and takes less energy to produce than fiberglass
- Improves structural durability
- It provides a completely air tight seal
- It will prevent bugs and pests from getting into your home
- Flexibility of the foam means it expands and contracts in unison with your house, thus eradicating the possibility of spaces and cracks appearing through which air can escape
- The adhesive property of the foam means it will stick to walls etc. and wont crumble off like fiberglass
- It will last a lifetime
What are the Disadvantages of Spray Foam Insulation?
- It is considerably more expensive than fiberglass insulation.
- Foam can get into unwanted areas.
Comparing the two lists, it is easy to see that the advantages of spray foam insulation out-weigh the disadvantages. However this method is an expensive option so carefully consider your budget. You should bear in mind, however, that due to its efficiency in providing insulation, it is a wise investment. The extra money that you spend on it now will save you money in the future.