Spray polyurethane foam (SPF) is a spray-applied plastic that can form a continuous insulation and air sealing barrier on walls, roofs, around corners and other surfaces. SPF insulation is known to resist heat transfer extremely well and offers a highly effective solution in reducing unwanted air infiltration.
As much as 40% of a building’s energy is lost due to air infiltration. Gaps, holes and air leaks can make energy bills unnecessarily high. Spray foam performs as both insulation and an air barrier, closing gaps that let air escape and add dollars to monthly energy bills.
As much as half of the energy used in a home goes to heating and cooling, according to EPA1. Maintaining an optimal heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system can make your home more energy efficient. With spray foam, HVAC sizing can be reduced as much as 35%. 2 Air leaks that can waste energy and drive up utility bills can be filled with spray foam.
There are two types of spray foam insulation. Closed and Open Cell.
While less expensive "Open Cell" foam has about half the insulating capacity as closed cell and adds no structural integrity. On the other hand Closed Cell insulation offers and R-Value of 6/inch, resists water infiltration, and structurally re-enforces.
Applying an Closed Cell foam to a roofing system can improve the building’s strength. In fact, these roofs have effective lifespans that can exceed 30 years. Closed Cell foam can help create a strong bond to protect the roof and can eliminate water seepage through weak spots. It can also be applied in a sloped manner to allow water to easily drain off the roof.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has classified Closed Cell SPF insulation as highly resistant to floodwater damage, saying, “These materials can survive wetting and drying and may be successfully cleaned after a flood to render them free of most harmful pollutants.”
Blown-in fiberglass/cellulose is a cost effective and energy efficient way to insulate your home. The product is fed into a hooper and then blown into roof/wall cavities.
For complex and irregular spaces blown insulation can save a lot of time and produce superior results, and save time and money on labor.
Cellulose is made from recycled paper and an adhesive. The product is often treated with fire retardants so it is not a fire hazard. Fiberglass is spun glass that traps air in between strands. It is often used in rolled batts but can also be blown in using a hopper. There is no clear winner as both will perform similarly and do the same job. However, there may be a price difference between the two
One key advantage to blown insulation is its ability to block sound. While it may be counterintuitive, the more dense closed cell spray foam doesn't do a very good job of blocking sound. If this is a concern of yours then it may be a good reason to go with a blown-in insulation.
One of the most cost-effective and fimulare types of insulation is the fiberglass roll. These are inserted into studs/joists and offer adequate insulation for a great price.
One of the main drawbacks to rolled insulation is the care that must be taken when installing it. If it is compressed it will lose much of its insulating ability. It also offers no protection from sound, water, and airflow.
However, properly installed it remains one of the most cost effective options for new construction.