Spray Foam Basics

Summer has come and gone. Labor Day has been celebrated, and the kids are back in school. Cooler weather is on the horizon – but is your home ready for Fall and Winter?

When it gets cold outside, we normally rely on our HVAC systems to keep our homes warm and comfortable. But if your house is not properly insulated, your HVAC system will have to work harder than normal and your home still won’t be as comfortable as it could be.

That’s where spray foam insulation comes in.

62503_139476552763847_2672466_nSpray foam is exactly what it sounds like — a liquid foam that hardens to form a solid, air-tight foam insulation. It is an environmentally-safe, non-toxic way of insulating residential and commercial buildings. As opposed to traditional insulation, it is installed by directly spraying the polyurethane foam onto the wall and floor cavities. It can also seal spaces around electrical outlets and light fixtures.

Traditional insulation, like fiberglass and cellulose, operates like a wool sweater. It can keep you warm, but air is still able to pass through. This air leakage is what causes high heating and cooling bills in your home. According to the US Department of Energy, 40% of a home’s energy is lost as a result of air infiltration through walls, windows and doorways. Spray foam insulation, on the other hand, acts as a hard, air-tight seal against your walls that prevents cold air from seeping into your home during the winter months. It can insulate as much as 50% better than traditional insulation products.

While traditional insulation is cheaper than spray foam insulation, it is also less effective – especially during the cold winter months. Spending a little more to invest in spray foam insulation will pay off in the short- and long-term.

10357132_779761965401966_6036351367115416556_nThere are two types of spray foam insulation – closed cell and open cell. Open cell spray foam is softer and weaker form, because of the tiny open cells within the foam. Closed cell spray foam, on the other hand, creates a harder foam because the cells are closed and packed tightly together.

Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages. Open cell uses fewer chemicals, provides a strong air barrier and can reduce outdoor sounds; however, it is not as air-tight as a closed cell foam would be. Closed cell is much denser, making it a stronger barrier against air leakage and water vapor. It can be used anywhere in the home as well as outdoors. Because of its stronger structure, though, it is more expensive than other alternatives.

If you’re considering installing spray foam insulation in your home, give us a call for a free consultation at (804) 798-1127. Our team of professionals would be happy to learn  more about your needs and make recommendations specifically for your home.

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