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.