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High-Pressure Versus Low Pressure Spray Foam: What’s the Difference?

In the world of spray foam insulation, there is a large variety of materials and systems that can get the job done. However, choosing the right equipment and methods for a particular project can be difficult.

One major choice spray foam installers have to make, when starting a spray insulation project, is deciding between high-pressure and low-pressure equipment. Use this guide to understand the difference, and choose which insulation is right for your work:

What are high and low pressure spray foams?

There are many different types of spray foam. Each foam is designed to be delivered utilizing high pressure, low pressure, or both. The pressure rating, of spray foams, simply refers to the rate at which the spray leaves the spray foam gun. Generally, low-pressure foams are delivered at 250 psi or less and high-pressure foam is delivered at 1000 psi or more. In other words, the pressure refers to how powerfully the spray foam gun delivers the insulation, and has little to do with the insulation itself.

What’s the difference between them?

The main difference between high pressure and low pressure spray foam application is how experienced the user needs to be. Since high pressure foams require high speeds and professional-grade equipment, which requires safety training and access to business funds, it is almost always installed by an expert.  In contrast, low-pressure spray foam kits can be purchased by homeowners looking to do insulation work themselves without the upfront cost of equipment and training.

Which is right for my job?

Job suitability depends on a person’s experience, the area that needs to be covered, and the project budget. Generally, at-home applications are ideal for low-pressure spray foam. Home-based projects can be great ways to save money, especially since the EPA estimates that adding insulation and properly sealing air leaks can slash energy bills by up to 20%. Filling wall cavities, working in small areas like crawlspaces, and rim joists are all jobs well suited for low-pressure spray foam.

Larger, more industrial jobs make high-pressure spray foam more cost effective. High pressure spray foam equipment might be needed for roofing or exterior insulation jobs. Using high pressure foam in these applications makes covering these larger areas faster and reduces chemical costs substantially.

Sometimes, it can be difficult to know exactly what equipment and what strategies are best to insulate a building. If you’re not sure if high pressure or low pressure spray foam is practical for your project, don’t hesitate to reach out to experts. Spray foam installers and equipment companies can help you find the right products to get the job done.

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