Spray Foam Insulation

Spray Foam Insulation

Spray foam is a high performance and versatile insulation

Watch how Dr. Energy Saver can improve your home's efficiency with spray foam insulation.

When it comes to home insulation, it's hard to beat the quality of spray foam. Spray foam insulation outperforms other insulation materials in terms of R-value, resistance to mold and moisture damage, durability, air sealing, and versatility.

Spray foam can be used for a variety of applications, including attics, crawl spaces, walls, and more. At Dr. Energy Saver, we specialize in spray foam installation that makes your home more efficient and comfortable. If you're interested in learning more about how spray foam can help your home, call Dr. Energy Saver for a consultation and estimate.

Advantages of spray foam

  • Excellent gap and crack filling capability
  • Stops air leaks in addition to providing insulation value
  • Won't compress, fall out of place or lose R-value like fiberglass
  • Closed-cell spray foam is waterproof & won't support mold growth

The difference between one-part and two-part foam

You probably have some familiarity with spray foam insulation, and you may have even used the foam that comes in pressured spray cans at home improvement retailers. This foam is know as one-part foam, meaning that it is one continuous mixture that is simply applied to the area in need. One-part foam is frequently used for sealing small gaps and cracks.

For large jobs, professionals such as Dr. Energy Saver use two-part foam, which comes in larger containers. With 2-part spray foam, it's necessary to mix separate resin and catalyst compounds at the application nozzle. Combining these ingredients starts a chemical reaction that creates expanding foam. Contractors use small 2-part foam "kits" to air-seal an attic or to seal and insulate ductwork. To insulate an entire attic or wood-framed wall with spray foam, the resin and catalyst compounds are pumped to the application nozzle from 50-gallon drums in a specially equipped truck.

Open-cell vs closed-cell spray foam insulation

There are two types of two-part spray foam insulation -- open-cell and closed-cell. Each has different features, advantages, and disadvantages. Your local Dr. Energy Saver will help you determine the best foam for your needs.

open cell spray foam

Open cell foam is spongy and light, resisting air leakage but allowing moisture vapor to pass through.

Open-cell spray foam

Open-cell foam is a very light material that is designed to break or pop as the foam expands but before it sets, allowing pieces to be removed. Open cell foam is low density and can fill larger areas with less material, and it has a R-value of 3.5-4 per inch.

On a cost-per-R basis, open-cell is the more economical spray foam choice. However, it is not as effective as closed-cell spray foam. Open-cell is a more environmentally friendly option as well, which is a benefit for homeowners concerned about their environmental impact. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of open cell foam.

Advantages Disadvantages
  • High coverage rates
  • Lower cost per R than closed-cell foam
  • Higher real-world R-values for wall, floor, and roofing assemblies
  • Forms an air barrier
  • Blocks and absorbs sound
  • Blowing agent is water
  • Lower R value makes it less suitable for insulating small areas
  • Avoid use where contact with water is possible, such as below-grade
  • May require the installation of house wrap and vapor barrier
  • Shrinkage may negate air barrier benefit

closed cell spray foam

Closed-cell foam cures as a dense, hard material that seals off the space from both moisture and air.

Closed-cell spray foam

Spray polyurethane foam, or SPF, is the main type of 2-part, closed-cell spray foam used by insulation contractors. Large-scale insulation jobs require special equipment as well as safety gear to protect the installer from chemical fumes during installation. When the foam cures and hardens just several minutes after application, it's completely safe for as long as it stays in place.

When properly installed, SPF creates a highly insulated building assembly that's also free of energy-wasting air leaks. Closed-cell is about 3-4 times as dense as open-cell foam, and it provides an R-value of 6-7 per inch. Here are the key advantages and disadvantages of closed-cell foam.

Advantages Disadvantages
  • Adds strength to framing and sheathing
  • Higher R-value per inch
  • Higher real-world R-values for wall, floor, and roofing assemblies
  • Seals off air infiltration
  • Forms a moisture barrier
  • Blocks and absorbs sound
  • Greater resistance to the leakage of air or water vapor
  • Adds weight
  • Less coverage (requires more material)
  • Forms a moisture barrier (a negative in applications where water can be trapped)
  • More expensive material
  • Less environmentally friendly than open-cell foam

What does spray foam insulation cost?

Before you decide on spray foam or another method of insulation, it's important to understand the superiority of spray foam compared to traditional materials. When compared to fiberglass batts, spray foam offers nearly double the R-value per inch, achieves air-sealing and insulation in one step, won't be damaged by mold or moisture, and won't settle, compress, or otherwise be damaged to the point it needs replacement.

Spray foam insulation is typically priced by volume, meaning your cost will depend on how much material you need to use to insulate your space, although other factors may influence price as well. In most cases, the cost of spray foam insulation is more than worth it, as it's a once and done upgrade that will not only provide energy savings in your home, but also improve your home's overall comfort.

If you're interested in spray foam insulation for your home, contact your local Dr. Energy Saver dealer today. We will help you find the right materials for your home's needs and give you a quality installation. Call today for an estimate!

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