It can be difficult to choose the type of insulation for your home, as you want the most cost-effective solution. One common form of insulation is spray foam insulation, and we’ll tell you everything there is to know about this type.
What is spray foam insulation?
Spray foam insulation is made up of spray polyurethane foam (SPF), which is a heat-activated polymer. An insulation specialist will mix two ingredients onsite to make SPF and then spray the mixture through a heated hose onto the surface that needs insulating.
A chemical reaction takes place and the mixture heats up in the hose, causing it to expand. It turns to foam and hardens in place, which gives it its insulating properties.
There are two types of spray foam insulation:
- Open-cell SPF: Lighter and less dense, cheaper but has a lower R-value so is not as good an insulator
- Closed-cell SPF: Denser and more expensive, but acts as a water vapour barrier and provides more support to structures
Easy to install
Spray foam insulation is easy to install as it can just be sprayed on or injected into a wall cavity. It’s a great option for renovation projects where it might be difficult to insulate using more traditional methods like batt or board insulation.
…But there are challenges
Although it is relatively easy to install, there are instances where SPF has been used incorrectly and causes problems. There are some common issues that you can come across with spray foam insulation:
- The chemicals fail to mix correctly and the foam doesn’t adhere to the surface
- The chemicals are not mixed correctly and cause lingering odours and even health problems
- Installers don’t insulate to the recommended thickness, making it less efficient
- Installers leave gaps and holes so reduce the efficiency of SPF
- A vapour barrier isn’t installed and causes roof rot
The problems that can arise with spray foam insulation make it all the more important that you choose a reputable insulation company to carry out the work for you. To find up to 4 installers to give you a free no-obligation quote, fill in our online form below.