Spray foam insulation is usually defined by its density. Density is measured by weighing one solid cubic foot of foam material. There are three main types of spray foam that are installed in homes. Open cell foams when used, typically have density around 0.4 to 0.5 lb./cu. Ft and Closed cell foam for insulation applications ranges in density from 1.7 lb./cu. ft. to 2.0 lb./cu. Ft. Different densities of foams are used in various combinations of layers for different insulation needs. Roofing applications use spray foam density around 2.8 to 3.0+ lb./cu. ft. to support traffic and loads better. Often 1 inch of two-pound foam is installed in exterior walls, which is then covered with other insulation products. Half-pound foam is the insulation which is typically found installed at the underside of roof sheathing and in exterior walls. Three-pound foam is generally installed on roofs. As the density of foam increases stronger and heavier it becomes. Many times polyurethane foams are molded into decorative interior molding and painted or stained to give wood effect. These “higher density” foams are typically in the 30 lb./cu. ft. to 40 lb./cu. ft. density range.
The R value or R-value is a measure of thermal resistance used in the building and construction industry. Bigger the R-value of an insulator, better the building insulation’s effectiveness. The resistance of each material to heat transfer depends on the specific thermal resistance which is a property of the material and the thickness of that layer.
The R-value is the measure of insulator’s ability of heat loss retardation under specified test conditions. The principal mode of heat transfer retardation by insulation is convection but unavoidably it also retards heat loss by all three heat transfer modes namely conduction, convection, and radiation.
R-values are given in SI units, typically square-metre kelvins per watt or m²•K/W (or equivalently to m²•°C/W). In the United States customary units, R-values are given in units of ft²•°F•h/Btu (1 h•ft²•°F/Btu = 0.176110 K•m²/W, or 1 K•m²/W = 5.678263 h•ft²•°F/Btu). Typically for closed-cell spray foam insulator R-values is commonly around 6.0 per inch which is among the highest R-Values of any commercially available insulation and R-values of open-cell spray foam is around 3.5 per inch which is nearly half of closed-cell foams but it still provides excellent thermal insulating and air barrier properties. So before any decision consider both R-value and your requirements.
Star Spray Foam Systems is located in New Orleans and operates in the South Gulf region including Biloxi to Venice and Baton Rouge to Houma. It is licensed and insured and carries a $2 million general liability policy. Star Spray Foam has a vast experience in insulating both residential as well as commercial buildings. Having well-trained and knowledgeable workforce which are leaders in the industry it performs at the highest level of expectations to earn your trust and satisfaction.
Star Spray Foam Systems offers the best solution to lower your home’s energy consumption by use of the latest cutting-edge equipment and high performance spray foam insulation technology. Its founder being a residential builder has a complete understanding of Residential and Commercial business and considers the most efficient and effective means of accomplishing the job under any circumstances. The main motto of Star Spray Foam is to meet the homeowner’s expectations in context of requirements of the foam, timing of installation, costs of the foam product and the return on investment.
In addition to spray foam insulation services star spray foam also provides other services including energy audit, Installation of residential solar energy products and maintenance and installation of new HVAC systems. Details of services are listed below:
- Thermal Imaging Video of Home
- Moisture Reading Technology
Solar Energy Products:
(Provided by Riverland Solar, Inc)
- Small Wind Turbines (Residential)
- Installation of new air-conditioning and heating systems.
- General maintenance of existing equipment.
- Cleaning and charging HVAC systems.
- Ductwork sealing and installation of new ductwork.
Polyurethane spray foam is classified into open-cell or closed-cell foam. Despite belonging to same category of spray foam both have differences in nature and physical properties. It is very important for consumers to understand differences between them before selecting them for application.
Closed-cell polyurethane spray foam – In closed-cell foam all of the tiny foam cells are closed and packed together and these cells are filled with gas. This gas helps foam to rise and expand making it better insulator. Size and density of cells can be varied to obtain different properties of foam. Generally density of closed-cell foam for insulation applications ranges from 1.7 lb./cu. ft. to 2.0 lb./cu. Ft (Density is measured by weighing one solid cubic foot of foam material). Closed-cell polyurethane spray foam is among the most efficient insulating materials. R-values of closed-cell foam are commonly around 6.0 per inch which is among the highest R-Values of any commercially available insulation. It is a highly effective air barrier with low moisture vapor permeability and excellent resistance to water. Closed-cell polyurethane foams are rigid and have greater material strength.
Open-cell polyurethane spray foam – In open- cell foam tiny cells of the foam are not completely closed. These cells are broken and air is filled in open space inside the cells which makes this type of foam weaker or softer than closed-cell foam. Generally density of open-cell foams is typically between 0.4 lb./cu. Ft to 0.5 lb./cu. Ft (Density is measured by weighing one solid cubic foot of foam material) . R-value of open-cell foams is around 3.5 per inch which is nearly half of closed-cell foams but it can still provide excellent thermal insulating and air barrier properties. Open cell foam is more permeable to moisture vapor but allows a very controlled diffusion of moisture vapor. Open- cell foam due to its lower densities provides more economical yield as density is inversely proportional to yield. Open cell foams are extremely effective as a sound barrier and have twice the sound resistance in normal frequency ranges as closed-cell foam. Open cell foams are softer or spongier having as lower strength and rigidity than closed-cell foam.
Spray foam and fiber glass are two of the most common insulations. Both of them have their own advantages and disadvantages. Following is the comparison between spray foam insulation and fiber glass insulation:
Lifespan – Spray foam insulation is more durable than fiberglass insulation. It will generally last much longer than its fiberglass counterpart.
Specialized Use & Purpose – Spray foam is a great material when we are looking to insulate roof, air ducts or pipes. For these applications it is better to opt for spray foam insulation.
Environmental Qualities - Spray foam insulation is lot more environmentally friendly as compared to fiberglass. When you install fiberglass, you will undoubtedly have particles of fiberglass floating in the air which pose health risk.
Fitting Around Small Spaces – Spray foam insulation is a great product to use when you need to insulate small areas and holes. It is lot more difficult to use fiberglass insulation to fill little cracks, holes and apertures.
Costs – Spray foam insulation is bit more expensive than fiberglass insulation. It is usually anywhere between 20 and 30% more expensive than fiberglass insulation.
R-value - Spray foam has much higher R-value than fiber glass so it is lot better insulator as compared to fiberglass
Energy Saving Efficiency – Spray foam being better insulator than fiberglass so it helps in saving more energy than finer glass insulation in fact it saves 20 – 40% more energy than Fiber glass insulation.
Spray foam insulation has its own wide spread advantages as compared to other kind of insulation available in the market. Spray foam blocks airflow by expanding and sealing all cracks, holes and apertures. It serve as almost perfect vapor barrier and that too with a better permeability rating than plastic sheeting vapor barriers thus reducing the build up of moisture, which causes mold growth. It increases structural stability in very similar manner to wet-spray cellulose also it can be applied even in small quantities wherever needed. Spray foam can be used in places where loose-fill cannot be used such as between joists and rafters. When spray foam is used between rafters it covers up the protruding nails from the underside of the casing, decreasing chances of getting injured. One of the most important bonus with spray foam is that can fill wall cavities in finished walls without tearing the walls apart. Spray foam insulation makes your home more comfortable and healthier place to live in and has a higher R-value than other insulators so it provides better insulation. It decreases energy consumption hence decreasing energy bills. Spray foam improves air quality and is permanent in nature additionally it also provides sound insulation for residential and commercial buildings.
Posted by Green Tips Comments Off
Apr 20, 2010 @ 02:04
Spray foam is typically applied directly in between wall studs as the last step before installing the drywall .It fills all cracks and holes making an air-tight seal thus preventing insects, moisture from coming in and also minimize mold and water damage. You’ll no longer have to fumigate with dangerous pesticides saving your resources.
In comparison to fiber glass insulation spray foam is lot safer. Fiber glass is known to cause skin allergy to lot of people when it comes in direct contact also when fiber glass on falling falls disintegrate into very small particles causing irritation in eyes and skin and sometimes even bigger medical emergencies where as spray foam is made up of much safer material which is renewable and recyclable, it stays put and does not disintegrate and can also be used to insulate floors and ceilings.
Spray foam covers more thorough area than fiberglass or cellulose and prevent both roaches and mold from sneaking into your home. This insulation is difficult to tear through and helps you maintain a cleaner, more hygienic house, eliminating health risks for you and your family. By using renewable and recyclable resources, spray foam we contribute back to both the economy and the environment.
Spray foam is one of the most effective and greenest insulators presently available. Energy saving is one of the primary environmental benefits of spray foam insulation it lowers your energy bills while concurrently contributing to the environment. Spray foam insulation keeps your home and office warm during cold months, and keeps it cool when it becomes hot cuttings down energy requirement by 20-40%. The amount of energy saved in your home and business is remarkable so by insulating your home with this energy-efficient material, you are using less energy and save your hard earned money.
Spray foam insulation initially cost more than traditional fiberglass or cellulose insulation as it can only be applied by professionals but energy it saves will eventually pay for itself also there are additional tax benefits available for owners who are able to document their green efforts. Buildings with spray foam insulation also sell at higher prices thus adding value to your property so your environmental concern will also prove to be an investment for the future.
Recently I was contacted by a homeowner that was concerned about a foul musty odor coming from his second floor area. When questioned, he informed me that he had recently had spray foam insulation installed in his attic and that he couldn’t get a call back from the foam applicator as to what the problem was and more importantly was there a safety issue. This homeowner got my number from the internet and asked if I could help him. I immediately asked him if he had an “unvented attic system or vented system” and he informed me “unvented”. I then asked if he had gas appliances in his attic and he again said yes. I set a time to meet with him that day to review the attic and determine the problem.
This is what I found:
The company that did the installation completely sealed the attic without any testing of the ductwork for leaks,which was determined to be approx 18%, flue tests for the gas appliances and the absolute most important item, “combustion and fresh air piping”. The problem he was experiencing was caused from the fact that attics do not have air returns like the inside of the conditioned part of the main house. So what happens is that the leaks that occur in the attic from the air conditioner are magnified due to the fact that the air is on average 38-45 degrees and damp. Without the ability to re-circulate and dry itself through a normal process, the attic becomes moist and stale causing the odor. There are many problems with this situation, however the main one is the pressure build-up in the attic that was happening and the carbon monoxide that could have possibly been siphoned into the main house. The quick fix was to open the roof line attic fan that had been foamed closed and to open approximately 10% of the eave ports of the roof system to provide the proper ventilation. It is my recommendation that if you decide to go with an “unvented” attic system, use a licensed and insured professional and invest in an attic carbon monoxide monitor. They are relatively inexpensive, somewhere around $40 for a good, but then again, what is a life worth. By the way, the homeowner did eventually reach the foam installer and had requested a certificate of insurance, but never received it. It is highly likely that the foam installer was uninsured. A serious risk, just to save a few dollars and go with the lowest price. Do your research on the company.
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