Frequently Asked Questions
Spray Foam Insulation
What is Spray Foam Insulation?
This is an insulation and air sealing system that is ideal for residential applications. An application of Spray Foam Insulation combines both a material and a service. The Material is a lightweight foam compound called Poly Spray Foam Insulation. The service is custom installation of each stud cavity or rafter cavity of a building directly on the construction site by trained, licensed installers. Spray Foam Insulation is much more than just another insulation. By virtue of its low permeability to air infiltration, its adhesion to other building materials and its flexibility, it provides good air leakage control, moisture control, and sound control, as well as great insulation, all in one application.
How does Spray Foam Insulation save on energy costs?
Properly insulating your home or business will provide an effective resistance to heat flow. The more heat flow resistance your insulation provides, the lower your heating and cooling costs will be. Presently, Spray Foam Insulation provides the highest thermal resistance in the market (R-value).
Does Spray Foam Insulation have building code approvals?
Yes! Spray Foam Insulation has approval of all four major building codes in the United States and Canadian building code. In fact, it is one of the most extensively tested insulation products ever. Concern in the 1970's over the excessive off-gassing of an early foam product called urea formaldehyde, and related concerns in subsequent years over the health effects of other insulating products, specifically asbestos and fiberglass, have resulted in some of the most thorough and sensitive emissions testing of a new building product to date. Based upon the results of this stringent testing, Spray Foam Insulation met the requirements of the building codes and subsequent re-certifications as required on a periodic basis.
What are the advantages of Spray Foam Insulation?
The major advantage of Spray Foam Insulation is that it does more than just insulate. It also wind proofs and air seals wall and ceiling cavities from air movement, with a 3 1/2" sample of foam proving to be about 24 times less permeable to air infiltration than a similar thickness of fiberglass batt. In addition, the insulating power of Spray Foam Insulation is not diminished by lower temperatures or by air movement. Its R-value performs as stated. By contrast, some building experts stated that an R-13 fiberglass batt in the presence of a 10 mile per hour breeze (the real world) diminishes the insulating power of a batt to an R-5! hardly the kind of protection from heat and cold you were hoping to arrange for your family.
What is Spray Foam Insulation made of?
Spray Foam Insulation is an organic material developed from products of the petrochemical industry. It is a two-component system that is sprayed like paint. The chemical constituents are similar to those used in the manufacturer of many products already in your home, such as upholstery foam and the foam used for pillows and mattresses. Although the properties of the foam are different. Spray Foam Insulation is and environmentally friendly urethane in which the ozone-robbing CFC's have been replaced with air and water.
How long does it take to cure?
The foam is created within seconds after spraying. You can watch it expand within seconds to 120 times its original volume, literally before your eyes. It completely cures within a few minutes. Does Spray Foam Insulation absorb water? No, it looks like a sponge but it is actually hydrophobic, i.e. it repels water. If placed in water, it will float, and on removal, it will dry rapidly with no loss of insulating properties. If you ever have a roof leak or plumbing leak in your home which would soak the insulation, the water will ultimately settle out of Spray Foam Insulation and it will not damage the foam. We can't say the same for other insulations. Water breaks down the glue in a fiberglass batt, so the batt is destroyed and loses its effectiveness. Water also turns cellulose to mush and it dries out very slowly. The cellulose settles into a lump leaving a large un-insulated cavity in the wall. Of course, if it remains wet long enough, it can cause wood to rot and foster mold or mildew growth within your walls.
Does Spray Foam Insulation entrap water?
No. As stated above, Spray Foam Insulation is open cell foam which is ideal for architectural purposes. the foam breathes slowly. and any moisture in the buildings' concrete or lumber can escape through the foam as the building dries out, thus eliminating any risk of lumber rot or mildew usually associated with materials that trap moisture. How long does Spray Foam Insulation last? does it change physically? Aging is not an issue with Spray Foam Insulation. It is inert, and its physical and insulating properties are constant. Are there glass fibers or formaldehyde in Spray Foam Insulation? No to both. Glass fibers have been listed as a suspected carcinogen by the EPA and most fiberglass batt manufacturers now print a warning label on the wrapper. Formaldehyde was present in early commercial foam called urea formaldehyde which was also used in residential applications in the early 1970's. Spray Foam Insulation is free of both glass fibers and formaldehyde and is a great choice for insulating your new home.
What are Polyurea Coatings?
Polyurea coatings are typically two component, high build coatings used where high wear, chemical resistance or other special characteristics are needed. Polyureas can be formulated to provide special characteristics to solve many coating challenges. Common applications are special roof coatings, pickup truck bedliner type coatings, sanitary sewer applications, etc. The uses for Polyurea are being expanded every day by creative applicators. There are several subsections of Polyureas, each with their own properties. Aliphatic Polyureas typically have high UV light resistance. Aromatic Polyureas and hybrid systems provide more cost effective solutions and can be combined with Aliphatic systems to provide high performance and better value. Contact Green Foam for assistance in choosing the appropriate coating for your project.