Spray Foam Insulation
There is no better way to insulation a home than with spray foam that can seal your home from moisture and air, save on utility bills, strengthen your homes structure, and protect your family from mold, allergens, and air pollutants. A building envelope is a total system of construction materials and design components that control the temperature, movement of air and moisture into and out of your home. The insulation, air and vapor barrier all need to work together to create a stable, healthier, and more comfortable indoor environment. Spray foam insulation is redefining traditional construction methods, benefits modern building sciences and energy efficient green building initiatives. Proper ventilation in attics and crawl spaces have been the traditional and code requirement method of home design and building, ventilation in these spaces is required because standard materials and building design practices were not capable of addressing radiant heat transfer, condensation, and the results of stack-effect issues.
To address heat transfer from weather issues, utilities and the formation of moisture due to condensation and air infiltration, the only option was to ventilate these spaces above and below your home. The major problem with ventilating these spaces is that the air brings moisture, pollutants, and other problems like rodents and insects, allowing heat and air conditioning to escape. Another major reason traditional building methods call for attic ventilation is that during the summer heat from the sun builds on the roof and radiates into the attic space, bringing temperatures up to 130 degrees or more. This heat radiates into the attic and living spaces creating condensation, the potential for mold issues, and increasing energy consumption from air conditioning units.
Spray foam insulation can provide many benefits over fiberglass and cellulose whether you decide to ventilate these spaces or not. Spray foam is most effective sprayed directly under the roof between the joists, in soffit areas, and on gable wall ends effectively sealing off and insulation the entire attic space from any air infiltration. Severe temperatures are then eliminated radiated through hot shingles, sheathing and from the roof creating a conditioned space of the home that is just as comfortable as any other room. Sprayed polyurethane foam has an aged R-value of approximately 6 per 1 inch thickness, depending on the application, enabling it to provide more thermal resistance with less material than any other type of insulation material, providing monthly energy savings and utility savings of 30% or greater compared to alternative roofing and insulation systems. The cost of a spray foam roof or insulation system can often be recovered in less than 5 years through energy savings.
As much as 40% of a buildings total energy loss is due to air intrusion. Traditional insulation is places into cavities within a wall and allows air to pass through these gaps, making it less efficient than spray foam that can form to the walls and flooring stopping the air flow. Creating an un-vented attic, using foam insulation at the roof rafters instead of ceiling joists will turn attics into part of the building’s thermal envelope, letting the HVAC system rest in extreme temperatures found in vented attics. You can downsize equipment, saving money by buying smaller machines that use less energy.
Eco-Friendly Spray Foam
Applied as a liquid, water-based insulation contains no formaldehyde, CFCs, or HCFCs and emits no harmful gasses. It’s sprayed on almost as thin as a coat of paint, expanding up to 100 times in volume to fill and seal every crack. Water based foam stays soft and flexible so the building envelope remains intact over time. The foam acts as a air barrier system to minimize air leakage and create an air tight seal for the building envelope. The foam will permanently adhere to any plumbing, electrical and wiring installed. surrounding building materials and sealing every gap.
Insulating Your Home’s Subfloor
The best way to prevent moister from entering your home is properly insulating the sub-floor to create an air barrier, air cannot move through to bring heat and humidity into the home. Foam insulation will also not fall out, creating a home for small animals to live and enter your home. Using closed-cell foam will block all moisture from entering through the floor but will also cause issues when floor joists flex from walking across the floor making hairline cracks where it connects to the framing members because its not able to flex enough, open cell foam will expand and contract with the wood. Another issue is water leaks from a bathtub or broken pipe that will not allow water to seep through foam when closed-cell insulation is used, this will lead to rotting in the flooring and floor joist. Open cell foam does not create an air tight vapor barrier, allowing water to flow properly and allows it to dry and return its thermal properties. Additionally, building codes may require the use of a fireguard or ignition barrier when using closed cell foam.
Open Cell versus Closed Cell
Polyurethane spray foam is categorized as either open or closed cell with many advantages and disadvantages for both, depending on the application. Open-cell is recommended for residential applications due to great vapor barrier properties, best used in walls, floors and ceilings. Along with building wrap or tar paper on exterior walls, open-cell insulation can create a virtually water resistant barrier for your home.
Spray-on Foam Insulation
Open-cell spray foam is lower in density, providing a more economical yield with a about half the R-value closed-cell insulation will provide, this option can still provide great thermal insulating and air barrier properties. Open cell foam is more permeable to moisture vapor, with approximately 16 per 3 inch thickness, the foam allows for a very controlled diffusion of moisture vapor with a consistency that can easily be managed. Open cell insulation is not used in exterior applications, or where it can be in direct contact with water. It’s an incredible sound barrier, with about twice the sound resistance in normal frequency ranges as closed cell foam can provide.
They are not recommended for hybrid applications because of the softer properties and lower strength and rigidity versus closed-cell foams but are recommended for residential applications. Closed-cell foam is one of the most efficient insulating materials available, incorporating an insulating gas retained within the cells that creates highly efficient insulating properties of the material. closed cell insulation’s will provide a highly effective air barrier, low moisture vapor permeability and excellent water resistance with a foam density around 2 pounds per cubic feet, providing the optimum insulating and strength characteristics for most building applications. Closed cell polyurethane foams are usually characterized by rigidity, strength, and the high R-value.
Blow In Insulation
Along with spray insulation 123 Remodeling Chicago can also provide blow in insulation which is traditionally used for walls which are already finished.