IS SPRAY FOAM INSULATION REALLY BETTER THAN OTHER INSULATIONS?
YES - Spray foam insulation when properly installed will seal every nook and cranny and perfectly fit in spaces fiberglass couldn't possibly seal up . GREATLY reducing air penetration and air loss, the reason why most homes are hard to heat and cool. Plus, spray foam insulation has a higher R-value than fiberglass or cellulose.
IS SPRAY FOAM INSULATION SAFE FOR MY FAMILY?
ABSOLUTELY ! - Fiberglass for example will have small particles break loose and floating around in the air years after installation (you know what an irritant it is to your skin, just imagine what its doing to your lungs). Spray foam after it is cured (within an hour or so) isn't irritant to most people. And it contains no CFC'S or formaldehyde. However it strongly recommended that during installation and a few hours afterwards that you don't enter the building without proper ventilation equipment.
CAN SPRAY FOAM INSULATION BE INSTALLED IN AN EXISTING HOME?
YES - The attic space is where most of your heat is lost. Even after construction is completed, the attic space will still be accessible in most cases and spray foam can still be installed. Also, spray foam can be installed on the bottom side of the floor deck in the crawl space and in some cases even be injected into the wall cavities.
WHAT IS DRAFT EFFECT?
Every building has what is called draft effect. When warm air rises it starts the air moving. When the warm air escapes out thru the attic or roof, cooler air HAS to come in at the lower levels to replace the air lost. Since spray foam seals all of the small cracks, warm air doesn't escape thru the attic or roof and the cool air stays outside where it belongs.
DOES SPRAY FOAM INSULATION HELP PREVENT MOLD GROWTH?
YES - Water is the main food source for mold growth. When the outside cool air meets the inside warm air (or vise versa) inside the walls, condensation (water droplets) forms. Spray foam unlike other insulations prevents the two different air masses from coming together. Stop the condensation, stop the mold growth.
WHAT IS R-VALUE AND HOW DOES SPRAY FOAM INSULATION COMPARE TO OTHER TYPES OF INSULATION ?
R-value is numerical value given to rate a materials ability to block heat transfer. The more heat transfer is blocked, the higher the number rating. For example.. fiberglass insulation is rated at around R-3.2 per inch of thickness. Spray foam is rated at about R-4.3.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VENTED AND UNVENTED ATTICS?
In a vented attic, the natural draft of heat rising and going out thru the top of the roof and the cooler air coming in at lower levels helps keep the attic space cooler and keeps fresher air circulating.
An unvented attic space is completely sealed off (which only spray foam can actually achieve by installing foam on the bottom side of the roof deck and the gable end walls) and the attic space becomes conditioned space. The temperature in the attic would stay within a few degrees of the temperature of the living space of the structure.
WHY WOULD I WANT TO HAVE AN UNVENTED ATTIC?
There are a few reasons...
- If you have ductwork from your furnace, and sometimes the whole HVAC system, located in the attic, they would be in a controlled environment and be operating much more efficiently. The extreme temperature variances in an attic space can range from -20 degrees to 140 degrees or worse.
- The attic space could possibly be used for storage or another room in the house.
- Allow easier access in the attic space for future repair/maintenance of the electrical, plumbing, etc.