What is Spray Foam Insulation?
Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) is a spray applied plastic that provides insulation while providing an air and moisture barrier for roofs, attics, crawlspaces, walls and basements. Spray Foam is a two-component foam that includes an “A” side of isocyanate and a “B” side of Resin and when combined creates a chemical reaction to make foam. After the chemicals are mixed by a trained professional, the foam is dispensed through professional equipment at high heat as a liquid and expands as it sprayed on to a substrate filling any cracks, gaps and voids.
Spray Foam Insulation comes in the form of open and closed cell foams. Open cell foam is a light density half pound foam, that can expand up to 100 times when sprayed and has a sponge like texture. Most open cell foam applications are used in the interior of buildings and provide noise-reduction. Closed cell foam is a medium to high density 2 pound foam that is air and water impermeable. Closed cell foam is used for interior building applications, exterior building applications lifting and has a ridged like texture.
R -Values and Spray Foam Insulation
Traditional forms of insulation such as cellulose, fiberglass and Rockwool, have what’s called an R-Value to help measure the transfer of heat through the material. The higher the R-Value of an insulation material, the more resistant it is to heat transfer. Spray Foam Insulation is practically resistant to heat flow and does not allow air to pass through creating a thermal break, which means R-Values for spray foam insulation are treated differently. R-values for spray foam insulation are categorized as air impermeable insulation and the R-value Ratings are based off of the Region you live in. Just like with traditional insulation, thicker insulation is a higher R-Value but is not to be in comparison to traditional insulation types.
Purpose of Spray Foam Insulation
The Purpose of Spray Foam Insulation is to create an air barrier and insulate while creating a more energy efficient and comfortable space. Spray Foam Insulation also can provide a moisture barrier and is commonly used for noise reduction, strengthen structures, reduce air infiltration such as dust and allergens.
Spray Foam Insulation Installers
Due to the complexity of equipment and materials used, it is important to have a trained and certified spray foam insulation installer. Certification programs properly train installers of the correct techniques and handling of products and equipment. Installers who have not been properly trained and certified risk errors that can have harmful effects on the structure and the environment. If you are homeowner seeking a contractor make sure they are trained and certified and if you are an installer it is important to have all training and certfications necessary for your position. Additional information can be found at http://www.sprayfoam.org/certification