Traditional fluffy pink or yellow blanket insulation is the most common type of insulation homeowners think of when it comes to making their home more energy-efficient. While these blankets are good options, they are not the only ones. If you’re looking for a material that takes up less space or can go into odd-shaped spots, then spray foam is worth considering. This type of insulation has become increasingly popular thanks to its performance, durability, cost, and easy installation.
What is Spray Foam Insulation?
This type of insulation is made by mixing two liquids together in a spray foam machine. Once applied, these liquids quickly expand and become a foam that is able to stretch into every crack and gap within the area it’s being applied to. Spray foam’s ability to expand is one of the reasons why it makes an excellent insulation material. By filling all open areas, it creates a tighter seal that can help reduce sound and air transfer between rooms. After it has time to set, spray foam will become hard so it stays in place and can actively insulate for years to come.
Pros of Spray Foam Insulation
Spray foam can effectively reduce airflow loss in your home to reduce the demand on your HVAC system. This can save you money each month as you use your heater/air conditioner less.
Spray foam won’t budget once it is set, making it one of the longest-lasting insulation materials available today.
Improved Structural Strength
Once hardened, spray foam can add strength to your home’s walls and roof. Since it won’t sag over time, you can rely on this strength to hold for years.
Cons of Spray Foam Insulation
Professional Installation Recommended
While many homeowners choose to do DIY installation for spray foam, it’s generally not recommended. This is because amateurs can miss areas when installing, which can leave gaps that are susceptible to air loss and water damage. Professional installation is always the way to go with this material.
Spray foam is more expensive than other insulation materials, which means it may not be an option if your budget is tight.
Best Material Types to Consider
Spray foam is available in either open-cell or closed-cell. While these may seem similar, they do perform differently once installed. To ensure you install the type that is right for your home, it’s important to note the differences between these options so you know which will work best for your property.
In open-cell spray foam, the cells of the material are left open so they are flexible and softer. This type of spray foam also has a lower R-value, is not water-resistant, and can’t be used on the exterior of a home. This can be installed under roof trusses in conditioned attics, in media rooms, in walls when combined with other insulation materials, and in areas where new wiring is being installed. On average, you can expect to pay around $1 to $1.20 per board foot for this material in your home.
- Expands up to 3 inches
- Not rigid
- Susceptible to shrinking
- Dries quickly
- Can’t withstand extreme temperatures
The cells in this type of spray foam are closed, making it rigid so air and moisture are unable to pass through. The R-value of this material is higher, at around 6 to 7 per inch, which is why it’s commonly used inside of walls, attics, and basements for soundproofing. It’s also great for reducing the transfer of air from room-to-room, making it energy efficient for homes of all sizes. The average price for closed-cell is around $1.25 to $1.50 per board foot, making it a bit more expensive than open-cell.
- Optimal performance
- Resistant to floodwater damage
- Not as breathable as open-cell
- Not flexible/Highly dense
Average Labor Cost, Hiring a Professional
The average cost to have spray foam installed will vary based on the space of your space and the thickness you need to have applied. In general, 3 inches of spray foam in a 1200 square foot home will cost around $2,700. While the cost to hire a professional is more than doing the job yourself, our team at Action 1 Insulation highly recommends it. Contractors have the experience and knowledge that it takes to spray evenly and achieve the depth that you need.
Where Can You Buy Spray Foam Insulation?
Spray foam materials can be found at most home improvement stores and online. However, if you hire a professional to do the work for you, they will bring the materials to the job. This can reduce your stress and make the process of having spray foam installed much less time-consuming. Most contractors also get better pricing on raw materials, which can ultimately save you money in the long run.
What is the Installation Process?
Prep work in any home project, is one of the most important steps to follow. Before spray foam can be applied, you’ll need to repair any damage to the area and install a vapor barrier (if necessary).
Learn Machine Usage
Using a spray foam machine is fairly simple, although it does mean you need to read through the instructions before beginning. By doing so, you’ll become more familiar with how to use the spray machine and how to properly insert the liquids.
Applying spray foam may not be as easy as it looks, especially if you haven’t done this type of work before. You must apply the proper amount and it needs to be even in order to prevent an inefficient insulation barrier. If you can’t get the right technique for this, our team at Action 1 Insulation recommends hiring a professional to do it for you.
Wait to Set
It takes spray foam insulation anywhere from 8 to 24 hours to set. Wait the proper amount of time before moving on to any additional work that needs to be done to close off the space and finish it.
How We Can Help You
Installing spray foam insulation can be difficult if you don’t have the right tools and experience. To make this project less of a burden, our team at Action 1 Insulation is available to help with any insulation. From the start, we work with you to determine where spray foam can be applied and which type is right for your home. After this, our contractors bring in the materials and machinery needed to apply it inside your home. With vast experience with spray foam, you can trust our contractors to apply it evenly and with the expertise that’s necessary to leave you with lasting results.