Whether you’re about to move into a new build or simply need it replaced, it is important to carefully consider what type of insulation you need. Insulation can help keep you warm in the winter and reduce your energy bills. One type of insulation that is normally touted as the best insulation in terms of quality is spray foam insulation.
But what is spray foam insulation and why should you choose it over other options? Read on to find out.
Insulation is a material designed to prevent heat or sound from moving from one space to another. It’s usually used in houses to keep heat in and cold out, or to make sure it stays in a certain part of your house. It does this by trapping heat and sound in it, stopping it from transferring out of your home.
Insulation is usually found in the walls and ceilings of your home and is measured in R Values. It is thought that the higher the R-Value, the better the thermal insulation it provides is.
Insulation also commonly controls sound, able to reduce the amount of outside noise coming in and the amount of noise getting out. It is especially useful if you live in an area with lots of exterior noise, such as near busy roads, airports or factories. It is also ideal if you have an area of the home you wish to soundproof, such as a home theatre, gym or a room where you play an instrument.
Insulation normally leans more towards dampening sound or keeping in heat, so you need to think about what you want to prioritise when installing. There are a few different types of insulation you can get:
- Batt Insulation: Batt insulation uses batts of wool, cotton or fibreglass. It is available in easy to install pre-cut pieces and is usually the most cost-effective solution.
- Reflective Insulation: This type of insulation blocks heat transmission from the underside of roofs, best used in warmer climates.
- Blown Insulation: This type of insulation comprises of small particles of cellulose or fibreglass that is blown into a space. The particles can be reused and redistributed easily and are great in attics.
- Rigid Foam Insulation: Rigid foam insulation blocks thermal conduction and must be cut to fit your space. You cannot use rigid foam insulation for structural elements.
While each type of insulation has its advantages and disadvantages, it is commonly thought that spray foam insulation has the most positive benefits in a home. So this brings us to the type of insulation this blog will focus on, spray foam insulation.
Spray foam is a two-component mixture of isocyanate and polynol resin that combines to create a polyurethane foam. This liquid foam then expands to fill spaces and sets. Spray foam insulation is very versatile, being able to be used in floors, walls, roofs and lofts. It’s also easy to install in hard to reach areas in these locations.
Spray foam insulation requires installation by a specialist contractor with plenty of training, as it can produce toxic gas during its insulation. However, there is no danger after the installation as any hazardous gas will dissipate by then. You should usually wait about 24 hours before reentering the area where the spray foam has been installed just to be safe.
Spray foam insulation is great if you want to use your loft for storage or a conversion, as it doesn’t take up as much space as other types of insulation. There are two main types of spray foam insulation, these are closed-cell and open-cell. Here are some of the differences between the two.
Closed-cell foam is what its name says, and is made up of cells that are completely closed. Because the cells are pressed so tightly together, it acts as a vapour barrier not allowing air and moisture to get inside or through the foam. The foam is also unharmed by any water damage because of this.
Because it is a moisture barrier, you need to ensure you install it in a well-ventilated space, as condensation could build up if not.
Closed-cell foam is a lot more rigid and stable than open-cell foam, making it the best choice for robust insulating where space is an issue. It can achieve 2x the R-Value of open-cell foam inside a standard wall. Because of its rigidity, it also adds to the structural integrity of any building it is installed in.
Open-cell spray foam has small cells that are sealed and allow air to fill the space and take on water. However, while it takes on water it also allows moisture through so you don’t have to worry about condensation building up in your insulation. It is a great choice if you need sound insulation, as it blocks and reduces airflow.
The open-cell foam expands after it has been applied, making it easier than ever to insulate parts of the house that are tricky to reach. It expands to fill all these spaces, meaning you won’t be losing heat through all the small nooks and crannies that other types of insulation will miss. As it expands, Open-cell foam usually only takes one application to completely insulate your home.
Open-cell foam is more affordable than closed-cell foam, but it doesn’t offer the extreme weather protection that closed-cell foam does. So if you live in an area with adverse weather conditions, closed-cell is probably the best option.
Because of its diverse nature, spray foam can be used for a vast number of applications. Residential applications include cavity wall insulation, pitched roof insulation, room in roof insulation, flat roof insulation, attic/loft insulation, underfloor/crawl space insulation and Passives House insulation.
It is also used for a wide range of commercial applications, such as garages, shops, new buildings and basement walls. It can also be used in places you might not usually expect such as the insulation of warehouses, boats, shipping containers, car parks, vehicles, marines, barns and other agricultural buildings.
Now you understand how it works, you may be wondering about the benefits of using spray foam insulation. As previously mentioned, spray foam insulation is commonly thought to be the best insulation and this is because of the wealth of benefits it has. This includes:
- Lowers Energy Costs – Spray foam insulation can help reduce heat loss by up to 50%, meaning you’ll see a reduction in your energy bills as you try to keep your building warm.
- Drafts and Cold Spots – As spray foam expands to fill all crevices in a house, you won’t suffer from drafts or cold spots anymore.
- Resale Value – New buyers will look at the type of insulation installed in a home. If your house has spray foam insulation, this can increase the resale value of your home.
- Soundproofing – As well as providing great insulation for heat, spray foam insulation is also a great sound proofer.
- Prevents Pests – Due to spray foam expanding to fill all areas of your home, this will stop any pests from nesting in gaps.
Now that you’ve been wowed with the benefits of spray foam insulation, it’s time to get it installed. But how do you choose? As mentioned previously, spray foam insulation needs a specialised contractor to install. Look no further than Spray Foam Tech Ltd. We are a professional insulation company with over 20 years of experience in the field, working to build relationships with our customers by providing high-quality work at reasonable prices.
We work on all sorts of projects including existing homes, shipping containers, warehouses, boats, agricultural sites and new builds. You’ll know you’re getting quality service when shopping with us, as all of our technicians have over 1200 hours of job experience with one of our Master Technicians always on hand with all jobs. Our clients are very satisfied with our service, increasing their energy efficiency by up to 50%
Our services are available in London and the surrounding areas, including Margate, Brighton, Basingstoke and Luton. So get in touch today by calling on 01130 828 695 to talk with one of our friendly and expert team about your requirements. If you want to find out more about all the services we offer, visit our website now.