You want to keep your home comfortable throughout the year, free from drafts and chills in the winter and cool through the long, brutal North Carolina summer. You also want to keep your energy bills affordable, and with proper insulation, the two aren’t mutually exclusive. While fiberglass rolls and cellulose are traditional options, spray foam insulation is growing in popularity in Raleigh. We’re breaking down what you need to know and whether foam insulation is right for your home.
What Is Spray Foam Insulation
Foam insulation consists of two different liquid polymers that, when mixed, form an expanding foam that can fit into small areas, permanently adhere to surfaces, and dries to a solid, impermeable substance that blocks moisture and air transfer from the inside to the outside and vice versa. There are two types of spray foam insulation based on the cells, or bubbles, of the foam:
- Open cell insulation consists of open air pockets that allows it to expand to up to three times it’s size, and once dry, is less dense, softer, and easier to trim and cut.
- Closed cell insulation has closed, tightly compressed air pockets which are fully encapsulated. It doesn’t expand to the volume of open cell insulation, and when it dries, it’s much harder and more dense.
How Is It Applied?
Because of the chemical reaction and airborne nature of the foam, spray foam insulation can only be applied by a licensed professional who is experienced in using these chemicals safely.
Where Is It Applied?
This type of foam insulation can be sprayed in several places in the home to block heat and moisture transfer in and out of the home to create a more comfortable, healthy environment:
- Attic walls and ceilings
- Crawl spaces
- Basement walls
- Basement ceilings around floor joists
- Between wall studs during construction
Benefits of Spray Foam Insulation
When you’re comparing types of insulation, consider the benefits spray foam has over fiberglass and cellulose.
The leading benefit is R-value of sprayed insulation. The R-value is the rating given to insulation to measure how effective or ineffective it is at thermal resistance to conductive heat flow. Basically, it’s measuring how well it stops heat from passing through.
- Blown in fiberglass: 3.2
- Rolled fiberglass: 3.5
- Cellulose: 4
- Open cell spray foam insulation: 3.8
- Closed cell spray foam insulation: 7.0
Over time, blown in fiberglass, rolled fiberglass batts, and cellulose insulation types all have one thing in common – they aren’t very durable. Each year, these types of insulation lose volume, shift, and compress, which causes them to be less effective as well as break down and enter your duct work, which can lead to respiratory distress. With sprayed insulation, it doesn’t break down, shift, or deteriorate, so you can feel confident that the highly effective insulation you install will still be working for you for years to come.
No Moisture Transfer
In addition to blocking heat and cold from entering your home from outside, this is also a moisture impermeable substance that blocks damp air from entering your home. Using this in your basement or crawl space blocks damp air from seeping in and causing mold, mildew, and even wood rot that can occur in moisture-prone areas.
Choosing Open or Closed Cell Sprayed Insulation
If you choose foam insulation as the right choice, you then have to determine if closed cell or open cell is the better option.
Closed cell insulation offers the best resistance to heat conductivity, especially in open areas. On the other hand, it’s significantly more expensive, and because it’s a denser substance, it does not get into small nooks and crannies as effectively. Open cell insulation doesn’t have as high of an R-value, but because it expands so drastically, it can easily get into small spaces and block drafts and heat transfer in those spaces.
Schedule a Consultation to Discuss Foam Insulation in Raleigh Today
If you’re ready to lower your energy bills and improve the comfort of your home with long-lasting spray foam insulation, we can help. Our qualified team will sit down with you to help you choose which option is right for you and provide you a quote for services. To learn more, reach out to us today at 919-847-7072 or fill out the form below to get started.