Thermal spray foam insulation is an application of thermal insulate materials that is used in buildings and homes. It is applied by various spraying methods into a roof space or a wall cavity and its main purpose is to prevent heat loss in your home or building. Spray foam insulate is a synthetic material that is made up of organic and inorganic materials that are combined together. These materials combined with certain chemicals cause a reaction that expands the material to about 100 times its original volume. so it acts very similar to the foam in your shaving cream can.
Spray foam insulation as we know it today began it’s emergence in the 1980’s but it actually has been around for several decades dating back to the 1940’s.
An industrial chemist named Otto Bayer began working with polyurethane in Germany around the late 1930’s. The technology was then brought to the U.S. in the early 1940’s by a man named David Eynon who was the president of Mobay. Mobay was a war effort conglomerate that was created from the partnership of the two chemical giants – Monsanto and Bayer Corporation.
During the 1940’s the primary use for polyurethane polymers was for military and aviation applications. During World War II the need for these high-grade plastic polymers was high so the production wasn’t really considered for other applications at the time.
With all the different choices in foam insulation today, how do you understand which is finest? This article reviews the various types of foam insulation and the advantages of each.
The Kinds of Foam Insulation and the Benefits of Each
Foam Insulation is unquestionably among the most efficient ways to decrease energy waste and lower your month-to-month energy bills, but with all the various kinds of foam on the market, how do you determine which choice is best for you? There are 3 major types of insulation which include spray foam, blown in foam and rigid foam. This article will attempt to help you better understand the differences.
When the time comes to take a deeper look at the insulation in our homes and consider some serious changes to help better manage your utility bills, spray foam insulation should not be overlooked. Spray foam insulation offers some incredible benefits and cost savings for both home owners and commercial property owners.
Foam insulation can be installed in the attic, walls, ceiling, crawl space and around outdoor pipes. Spray foam insulation has nearly twice the insulation value of your standard batt insulation. And unlike batt insulation it lasts forever. Batt insulation will sag and droop over time – losing its ability to do the job right.
In order for us to better explain the importance of spray foam insulation in the building industry we need to start with the goals of building engineers and architects today. Protecting our environment is at the forefront of many debates today and although most agree that we need to do more it seems like a daunting task. Architects and builders however are making strides in this area by making homes more energy efficient while also looking at environmentally friendly materials.
If you are a homeowner or business owner putting insulation into a new building or having to re-insulate your home or business, it pays to know the benefits of spray foam insulation. The best insulation for homes and business on the market today is spray foam insulation. Spray foam insulation has been around for years, although one of the newest and best innovations in the field is that of RetroFoam spray foam insulation. There are a number of benefits provided by spray foam insulation that other forms of insulation simply do not provide. Homeowners who make an investment in spray foam insulation are investing in the future of their home as well as in the health and comfort of their families. Business owners who have this type of insulation installed are protecting their employees, customers, vendors, and their business. It is a wise decision that pays off for years to come.
Key benefits to spray foam insulation include properly sealing a building to prevent moisture and air infiltration, adding strength to the building’s structure, enhances comfort, and improves the fire safety of the building. Spray foam insulation helps improve the building envelope. The building envelope is the compilation of various construction materials and design methodologies that help to control the moisture, temperature, and passage of air into and out of the building. Where other styles of insulation are crammed between walls and packed into crawl spaces, it does not have the same tight fit as spray foam insulation.
The ventilation methods required for attics and crawl spaces have always left a glaring hole in building construction when it came to properly sealing air leaks within the home. These places often brought about issues with condensation, radiant heat transfer, and excess air ventilation. The air ventilation is necessary as it provides breathing room for pipes, electrical conduits, and seasonal weather issues. The problem with that ventilation is that it brings in more moisture and pollutants from the outside. Those voids created by the ventilation techniques also provide ample space for insects and rodents to enter into the home. When we have the heat or air conditioning on, that extra ventilation makes our HVAC units kick into overdrive as air passes in and out of the ventilated space, leak into the rest of the home.
The air ducts in our homes often run along these ventilated spaces. What that amounts to is an average 10% loss in heating or cooling power. This is due to an effect referred to as radiant heat transfer. It is basic thermal dynamics, that there is no such thing as cold—cold is merely the absence of heat. Heat strives to be wherever it is cold. So, if the outside is warm, you have warm air transferring into the ducts due to these ventilated spaces. If the air outside is cold, warm air from the ducts is escape to try and warm that surrounding area. That amounts to a typical energy cost increase to heat or cool a home of somewhere between 10 and 20 percent.
The way the hot sun beats down on the roof through the summer allows these attic and crawl space ventilation points to build up more heat. In the winter, the winds blast the roof and snow and ice sit atop and keep the roof cold. Those changes to temperature make it uncomfortable for those of us who live in the home. We turn up the heat or increase the output of the air conditioner unit. This then puts extra work on those units, causing them not only to eat up more in energy costs, but also wear away sooner than they should requiring more maintenance and perhaps earlier replacement than necessary.
There is no argument that the home needs to “breathe.” However, there is a way to do it right. Do not rely on the cracks, gaps, and other uncontrolled air leaks of traditional construction. Instead, the house can be built tight and right, having an overall lower cost of ownership. Spray foam insulation can help make these doable. It can work with seasonal expansion without sacrificing air seal within the home. Spray foam insulation helps keep the house stronger and allows for a higher level of indoor air quality within the house. A contractor specializing in spray foam insulation in Yarmouth ME can perform an in depth inspection and help you get your home up to modern standards so that it wastes less energy and is more comfortable all year round.
Taking some preventive measures, homeowners could save money, while making their contribution to saving environments and get prolonged service from HVAC system.
Measures and procedures are quite many and vary from using appropriate variety of building materials to selection of efficient domestic appliances. Though most owners of present houses can’t really have much control over many of the factors, they can yet carry significant modifications without investing huge sums of money.
Two most important areas that homeowners certainly have control over are insulation and sealing. Air leaking from the house or entering the house causes similar effects.
Controlling Air Leaks
Open windows and doors along with small crevices and opening facilitate entry of outside air into the house. While keeping the windows and doors closed is more of a behavioral subject, sealing of areas around other outlets like jambs is practically an easier way to block the outside air from entering the house. Sealing is imperative for maintaining internal temperature and humidity at comfortable levels.
Maintaining Proper Air Flow
Good ventilation is a part of airflow, quality of indoor air and moisture control. Forced purposeful movement of air brought around using exhaust fan, whole-house fans, or ductwork checks unnecessary build-up.
During winters, hot air, needed to keep you warm, continues to move to cooler areas within the room. These areas could be walls, ceiling, floor and outdoors too. As a result you continue to lose heat, causing strain on HVAC system to maintain the inside temperature. In summers it’s reverse with hot air coming in to warm up your cold room and once again the HAVC needs to work harder. Apart from increased energy bills, this leakage of air adversely affects the life of your heating and cooling system.
Insulation restricts the flow of heat. It slows down the movement of warm air wanting to escape to a cooler area. Many insulating materials, like fiber, blanket and foam can be used for attic insulation. Another new technique known as reflective insulation or radiation barrier is frequently employed in association with blanket insulation. Having reflective foil on the floors restricts the flow of radiant heat that gets reflected back to the point of its origin, and thus can’t escape to cooler areas. Simply put it means that in winters the heated area will maintain comfortable level of temperature for long as there won’t be much loss of warm air. Likewise, in summer the living area will retain its cool, as external hot air is unable to enter the room.
Such simple changes that aren’t too expensive to implement make your life more comfortable at reduced energy expense!
Denver Spray Foam Attic Insulation
Its easy application makes spray foam insulation a preferred medium for modern day insulation as compared to fiber glass insulation. It’s important to understand the benefits of foam insulation and disadvantages of foam insulation before one starts using it. The effectiveness of insulation employed has a direct bearing on the cost of heating or cooling your home.
It is estimated that internal heating and cooling of your home results to forty percent of your energy cost. Going by the findings of a government survey, a normal US household incurs an expense of about $659 per annum towards its heating and cooling. Another US EIA survey found that heating and operating appliances is the largest draw of energy nationwide. Employing an appropriate insulation can help to cut down on that expense. Investing few hundred dollars is worthwhile in helping to cut the heating and cooling expense by thirty to forty percent. The pros and cons of using any kind of insulation should not be ignored while choosing an appropriate insulation for your home. The type of chosen insulation can affect the quality of air inside the house. Another factor that can’t be ignored is the environmental effect of disposing the insulation after its use. The thermal efficiency of an insulating material is measured in terms of its R value. The higher the value of R, the better is the insulation offered by the material.
What Foam Insulation Actually Is?
Before going into the merits and demerits of foam insulation, let’s first know what foam insulation is and how it is to be used. Foam insulation is available in the form of spray guns which help to fill the gaps and crevices. After the liquid chemical has been sprayed into the gaps it expands to seal the cavities and thus provides an effective insulation. These chemicals derived from foaming agents and polymers get inflated in the form of foam that is almost a hundred times as large as the original size and subsequently gets dried out as a heap of polymer bubbles.
There are many types of spray foam insulation. The expanding spray foam that is most often used is spray polyurethane foam and derived from polyiso and polyol resin, though at times it is based on soya to some extent. It provides effective insulation to ceiling and walls. It acts as a barrier, preventing heat to escape from the room and thus maintaining the temperature of the room.
Foam Insulation Advantages
Fiber glass insulation leaves some gaps and cracks, making it easy for heat to escape. On the other hand, spray foam insulation expands on entering the cracks and adequately seals the same. Therefore, the quality of resultant insulation is far better. Moreover, this kind of insulation prevents moisture from getting built up and reduces the formation of mold and mildew. On getting hardened it prevents invasion by insects that could hideaway in the walls. Another helpful feature of spray foam is that it works as a very good adhesive thus enhancing the strength of the building structure.
Foam Insulation Disadvantages
Despite all its advantages, foam insulation has some drawbacks too. Compared to other types of insulations it’ is more expensive. It should not be exposed to direct sunlight and certain solvents. People allergic to foam insulation may develop health issues on coming in direct contact with it. Moreover, foam releases toxic fumes when set to fire. Some varieties of foam insulation also release green house gases.
Hopefully, you’ll find the above information of help in deciding the kind of insulation to be used. It will be befitting to primarily use the traditional eco-friendly insulating materials, restricting the use of spray foam insulation for filling in the gaps and cracks.
Ty Pennington & the benefits of spray foam insulation
It is the most beautiful time of year once again!
With twinkling lights indoors and out, on virtually every corner, it’s true that Christmas is nearly here! That said, however, those twinkling lights and other important rituals of Christmas can get quite pricy which is why we want to help you save energy during the holidays with this month’s post.
6 Tips to Save Energy During the Holidays
#1: Unplug Holidays Lights During the Day
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you’ll save more money on electricity if you limit the time your holiday lights are on to less than six hours per day, and ensure you turn them off when you’re away. It’ll also save you the expense of locating a tiny bulb in your tree and replacing it when it burns out.
#2: Set Holiday Lights on a Timer
Setting your holidays lights on timers provides benefits that are two fold – it allows you to turn them off or on while you’re away, thus giving the illusion that you’re still home, and it allows you to save money knowing that the lights will automatically turn off at a specified time should you forget.
#3: Switch to LED Christmas Lights
It’s a fact! LED Christmas lights use 90% less electricity than regular Christmas lights. Plus they’re much safer; especially for those of you setting up a real tree this year. You can typically find these at your local retailer for under $10.00 depending on how many lights per strand you desire.
#4: Reduce the Number of Outdoor Displays
Arguably, the holiday season is the one time of year that the phrase “go big or go home” holds true for many, but unless you want to see your December electricity skyrocket you may want to consider cutting back on the outdoor displays; even if it means not outdoing the neighbor next door.
#5: Say NO to Gifts that Require Batteries
Forty percent of all batteries are purchased during the holiday season, which accounts for big dollars spent, according to energyquest.ca.gov. This holiday just say NO to gifts that require batteries! If you have no choice in the matter, then you may want to consider rechargeable batteries.
#6: Buy Energy Star Rated Electronics
Energy Star rated electronics – big screen television sets, Blu-ray players, video game systems and more – use up to 60 percent less electricity than traditional non-energy star rated electronics. Be sure and visit energystar.gov for a complete list of qualifying models so that you can shop smart this holiday.
Also don’t forget that properly insulating your home will play a major role in energy savings all year round. Contact the Foam Insulation Professionals for all your residential spray foam and commercial spray foam needs.
Holiday Energy Saving Tips
We, humans, have being using insulation for generations. At first, we used natural materials because they were the only thing to use at the time. Natural materials form the cheapest of insulation. It’s not difficult to guess that at one time people would have used items like grass and straw in their clothing for staying warm. These days insulation finds many different uses. Apart from being used in clothing and household effects like thermoses and coolers, it’s also used for commercial and residential buildings. Technological developments led to developments in the field of insulation and even space shuttles, space stations and rocket capsules use specific types of insulation.
Different types of insulation of varying properties and prices are available for homes. The cheapest variety of insulation is usually inappropriate for human use as it may cause irritation to lungs and skin. It’s better to negotiate the prices and buy a quality product. You get rigid foam insulation boards in 4×8 feet or 2×8 feet sizes. These are available in varying thicknesses of different R value for being used in different ways. Such insulation boards are long lasting and weather resistant too. These can ideally be used for basement walls and foundation vent covers during winters. There are many manufacturers for this product that you may have in different colors like blue, green and pink.
We also have foil backed insulation board comprising of rigid foam that is gas charged to increase its R value. It is offered with thin sheets of foil of either side and finds wide application in pole barn buildings to get enhanced lighting and insulation. This is also available in varying thicknesses having diverse R values. Being weather resistant, it can be used for insulation of pump houses.
Perhaps, the cheapest board insulation comes by way of Styrofoam boards. It effectively insulates garage door panels and shed walls. Though it may be used for garage walls, its R value is quite low. Some homeowners use its cut pieces of 2×4 feet for ceiling tiles. Though it makes for a cheap ceiling, its cleaning is very tedious.
Roll insulation is available in different thicknesses and widths. Most house walls are made using 2×4 or 2×6 wall studs. Generally, these are framed with boards keeping a distance of sixteen inches from the center. Wider boards are needed for ceilings and floors and are kept further apart, usually twenty-four inches from center. This kind of insulation has a paper face on one side. It’s used as a vapor barrier and also for insulation. Care should be taken to avoid getting it wet, lest it loses its insulating characteristics.
Then, we also have blow-in type of insulation. This insulation comprising of cellulose or fiber glass is blown into the walls and attics with help of appropriate blowing machines. The cellulosic variety causes a lot of dust when blown but expected to deliver better results on getting cold. The fiber glass variety is easily blown and causes no mess. Cellulose variety is economical of the two and despite the limitation already stated, it proves better in the long run. Bothe the types come with charts enabling you to determine the footage needed for getting the required value of R.
Irrespective of the type of insulation you may opt to use, you’ll save on your energy bills. There are other ways too to save energy expense. The simplest one is to switch off the lights when not needed. If you dress warmer in winters, you’ll need to turn down the thermostat and thus save on consumption of energy. You can buy a guide to help you install insulation. That will help you save substantially on cost of labor.