Materials that are used for insulation purposes are known as structure insulation. They are normally used to fill up any spaces that may have been left within the building structure such as behind walls and above ceilings among others. Often, building insulation is meant for thermal purposes, although, it can have other uses as well. There are several types of building insulation available. Among the more recent ones is spray foam insulation, otherwise known as spray polyurethane foam. This forms a better alternative to the more traditional options. Here, we look at an overview of spray foam insulation.
What is the meaning of Spray Foam Insulation?
Spray foam insulation is foam that is usually in a liquid state. Once it has been sprayed into place, it settles as an insulation layer. This acts as an air barrier that insulates your walls, floors, ceiling cavities and more.
Spray foam insulation is usually made from a combination of two liquids. Once these liquids come into contact, they undergo a chemical reaction which leads to the formation of spray polyurethane foam. The two liquids are usually placed in two separate containers which are commonly referred to by contractors as “A” and “B” sides. It is important to note that different spray foams from different manufacturers will vary in terms of the materials used.
Spray Foam Insulation Types
There are two types of spray foam insulation that you can choose from. We have the open-cell spray foam as well as the closed-cell spray foam. Although they are made from the same materials, they tend to set differently when applied. Choosing between the two will depend on what you are trying to achieve.
The Closed Cell Spray Foam
When sprayed, the closed-cell spray foam usually sets into a firm solid. Due to its stiffness, it can even be used to support some building structures. It also works as a very good insulator. This is due to the separate pockets of gas which make it difficult for heat to pass through. It is also popular for its durability. Even if left exposed, you will not have to worry about it getting damaged. Closed-cell spray foam does not allow water to pass through it. While this is an advantage in some situations, it can as well be a disadvantage as it can cause condensation.
The Open Cell Spray Foam
On the other hand, we have the open cell spray foam which instead of a hard solid, sets into a less dense solid. As such, it can even be pressed using the hand. Due to this property, it is not a powerful insulator as the closed-cell spray foam. Therefore, you may need to use a large amount so as to achieve the same insulation level. Apart from its light and flexible nature, it also has great expanding capabilities of up to 100 times. This makes it suitable for big projects. It is also great as it will move with the structure of your house as it shifts without cracking or pulling away.
Open cell spray foam is also good for sound insulation by reducing airflow. Also, you do not have to worry about condensation as it allows water to pass through it.