Spray Foam Insulation is a form of insulating material that is applied to walls, ceilings, and other areas in the home. The material is typically polyurethane, and it expands as it is applied to create a dense coating that is resistant to moisture and abrasion. When applied to a home, the material can help reduce energy costs and improve comfort by sealing off air leaks.
In addition to insulating the walls and ceilings, spray foam can also be used to seal spaces around electrical outlets and light fixtures. This is particularly helpful in retrofit jobs, as many of the existing building’s components may be difficult to access. A spray foam insulation contractor can assist with choosing the right product and delivery system for the application.
One of the most common applications of spray foam is to fill cracks in the wall, ceiling, or attic. However, improper installation can lead to a buildup of air in these spaces. This can cause problems. In addition, it can emit odors that may be harmful to your health.
There are two types of spray foam: closed cell and open cell. The main difference between these two is that closed cell foam is more durable and provides more effective protection from moisture. This is usually the type of foam used to insulate foundations and roofs.
A board foot of closed cell spray foam is about 12 inches long and about a half inch thick. It is much more expensive than open cell foam. The density of closed cell foam is about twice that of open cell foam. This makes it a better insulator.
In the United Kingdom, polyurethane foam insulation is approved by the British Board of Agreement. It has been installed on about 150,000 properties in the UK. It is also used to insulate new constructions, as well as in retrofit jobs.
Some homeowners choose to install the insulation themselves. However, it is best to leave the job to professional contractors who are trained to handle the application. You can find free estimates from local professionals and get a feel for how the process works before hiring a contractor.
Another disadvantage to spray foam insulation is that it can be toxic to your health. It contains isocyanates, which can cause eye, gastrointestinal, and respiratory irritation. There are also reports of chemical fumes being released by the product. If you plan on using spray foam insulation, be sure to leave the area for a few days after installation. This will give the material time to dry.
The Environmental Protection Agency recommends avoiding spray foam insulation for at least 72 hours. If you are concerned about the odors that it may produce, consider a broad spectrum pollutant control. You can also install an air purifier to keep indoor air as fresh and healthy as possible.
It is also important to remember that there are different types of spray foam insulation. While closed-cell and open-cell foam is more costly to install, they provide a more effective insulating barrier. They can save you a lot of money on your monthly energy bill.