Spray foam insulation can be sprayed in attics, crawl spaces and rim joists in new construction, as well as wall cavities, walls and pole barns in existing buildings. The insulation has tiny pockets that create a barrier between conditioned space and unconditioned space, cutting down on air infiltration and helping to save energy by creating an effective thermal envelope. It also acts as an effective moisture barrier, keeping pests out and dampness in.
From Drafty to Dreamy: Transforming Your Home with Spray Foam Insulation
When working with a professional contractor, homeowners can opt for open- or closed-cell spray foam. Closed-cell spray foam is physically stronger and does a better job of insulating, but is significantly more expensive. Open-cell spray foam is less expensive and is a good choice for low-moisture areas.
Spray-foam insulation requires a lot of prep work to get the best results. It needs to be properly cleaned and the space should be clear of any dust, debris or other contaminants. It’s also important that the area be well-ventilated, especially in existing homes, to prevent toxic gases from building up inside.
The spray-foam insulation is applied using a mobile rig that the contractor sets up in the area to be insulated. The rig mixes the A- and B-side components of the spray foam to create the insulation, which is then sprayed into place in the wall, attic or other area.
Many spray foam insulation companies are making the switch to low-global warming potential blowing agents, such as HFOs (hydrogenated fatty acids), which have a much lower GWP than HFCs. BASF Walltite CM01 and Genyk Boreal Nature are two examples of products that use HFOs as the primary blowing agent in their closed-cell spray foam insulation.