Spray Foam Insulation FAQ

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION

Efficiency Spray Foam Insulation team uses environmentally-friendly sprayed polyurethane foam insulation materials to keep the homes and commercial properties in Toronto and the GTA warm in the winter. Is spray foam insulation in Toronto and GTA right for you? Contact us today to learn more.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION (FAQ)

Spray foam insulation, also known as spray polyurethane foam insulation, is a product that is applied with a sprayer that mixes two liquids. The foam expands to fill cavities and cover surfaces completely, and it can be used to insulate in walls, attics, ceilings, floors, and basements and crawlspaces. The two liquids contain the following: “methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) and polymeric methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (pMDI), polyols, catalysts, blowing agent, flame retardant, and surfactant.
Yes, we can spray Polyurethane foam insulation on the underside of your roof deck, under crawl spaces, on basement walls, and into new additions or home renovation projects involving the removal of the existing drywall. Here you can see an example of both the walls and ceiling of this basement with new polyurethane spray foam insulation application.
Yes, spray foam is safe. Some people can be sensitive to the fumes that come from the installation process. This process is known as off-gassing, which is why we recommend that occupants vacate the home once the spraying has begun and for a period of 12-24 hours after it ends. This will allow for the foam to fully off-gas, and afterwards the home will be completely safe to live in.
If undisturbed and shielded from direct sunlight, spray foam should last the lifetime of the structure. It does not break down, so it lasts indefinitely.
Spray foam insulation is sprayed directly into place onto the work surface (many substrates will accept foam). It is applied as a liquid, using a hose and spray gun set up. It is a combination of two substances that blend together on contact and immediately transform into a thick foam, permanently in place, creating an air-tight seal with any surface to which it is applied. The curing process happens within seconds. After several days, exposed foam may change colour, often to a yellowed state. This has zero impact on product effectiveness; it is simply a reaction to ultraviolet light, such as sunshine. As with any open surface, the foam insulation can be sprayed after electrical and plumbing services are installed. It then expands many times its initial volume in seconds, sealing all gaps.
A. Spray Foam Insulation has two main advantages over other insulation types. The first one is R-Value per inch. Closed cell spray foam has an R-Value of 6 per inch. Thats nearly double the old fashioned fiberglass batting we all remember from our parent’s attic. The second main advantage enjoyed by spray foam is its ability to completely seal out air leaks. Even a single inch of spray foam prevents the drafts around electrical boxes and pipes that are the gremlins of traditional insulation. Remember air leaks equal money leaks.
There are two distinct types of spray foam insulation: open cell and closed cell. Closed cell spray foam cures into a hard, rigid state whereas open cell cures with a spongy, softer feel to it. In terms of R-values, closed cell spray foam is close to R-7 per inch and open cell around R-4 per inch. Also, closed cell becomes an air barrier at only 1” of application, while it takes on average 3” of open cell foam to achieve an air barrier. Another big difference in the two is that open cell is water permeable and closed cell is not. Open cell also has soundproofing qualities that can help in dampening outside noise.
While every job and application can be different, we generally recommend open cell spray foam for attic encapsulations and closed cell spray foam for basement or crawlspace encapsulations. Open cell spray foam works best in attics because of its ability to permeate moisture, meaning that if do have a roof leak, the water would pass through it and enable you to see the issue. Because closed cell spray foam is not water permeable, we do not normally recommend it for attic applications since it could trap moisture from a leak and potentially cause issues like rot and damage to your roof. There are some applications where closed cell might be a good option along the roof-line because it can add some structural integrity in hurricane prone/high-wind areas. However, closed cell spray foam makes the most sense for basement and crawlspace encapsulations because it creates a moisture barrier that can keep that damp, musty air from infiltrating into the conditioned space of your home.
Both Open-Cell and Closed-Cell spray Polyurethane foams are effective for reducing noise from outside sources by sealing cracks and gaps that allow sound to travel through the walls, floors, and ceilings into the building. Of the two, Open-Cell foam has the best soundproofing capabilities.
On new construction or major renovation projects, we can insulate exterior walls with spray foam or a combination of spray foam and traditional fiberglass batts through a process called “flash and batt.” For existing homes, spraying the attic and crawlspace/basement makes a substantial difference and leads to greater comfort and efficiency – without having to also insulate in walls. Insulating walls on existing homes is a bit invasive, so we can help clients avoid this by focusing on the top and bottom of the thermal boundary of the conditioned space.
Yes – your home needs to breathe, and it can become too airtight. If your home is perfectly sealed, then the indoor air quality will become poor because no new fresh air is entering the home to offset the carbon dioxide produced from breathing, fumes from cleaners, off gassing from paint/carpets/flooring, etc. This doesn’t mean that sealing your home is a bad idea – it means that you may need to consider installing a Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV), depending on how airtight your home is. HRVs have been used for the last 40 years worldwide to provide high quality indoor air into buildings for the benefits of the occupants.
This is a spray foam FAQ we get a lot! R-value measures insulation’s resistance to heat flow. It can also be referred to as “thermal resistance.” The R-value of different insulating materials must be based on test methods established by the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM). Don’t forget that R-values are determined by material type, thickness, and installed weight per square foot, not by thickness alone.
This is a spray foam FAQ we get a lot! R-value measures insulation’s resistance to heat flow. It can also be referred to as “thermal resistance.” The R-value of different insulating materials must be based on test methods established by the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM). Don’t forget that R-values are determined by material type, thickness, and installed weight per square foot, not by thickness alone.
This is a very common spray foam FAQ! Yes, the installed cost of spray Polyurethane foam insulation is somewhat higher than Fiberglass and blown-in Cellulose. However, the higher initial cost is partially offset because of the sustainability of the insulation (it will not degrade over time like fiberglass and cellulose). In addition, you may be able to downsize your heating and air conditioning equipment. Additionally, you will save on your heating and cooling bills. Studies suggest that homes insulated with spray foam use up to 40 % less energy than homes insulated with conventional insulation. Your savings may be greater or less depending on your lifestyle, appliances, house site, number and size of windows, etc.

A Proper spray insulation will prevent condensation & moisture Issues & will have An Airtight Seal

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