What is Spray Foam Insulation?

What is Spray Foam Insulation?

Spray foam insulation is polyurethane foam pumped into the home to insulate walls, ceilings and everywhere else one would expect insulation. As a result, it helps to keep the heat inside during the cold months and the hot air outside when it's warm. While regular fiberglass insulation can be easily installed by the homeowner, spray foam insulation isn't a do-it-yourself project. A professional will need to be called in.

Like any insulation, there are pros and cons to spray foam. Because it needs to be professionally installed, spray foam insulation is expensive, about twenty percent more expensive than fiberglass insulation. The process isn't neat, and the homeowner can expect to see foam places other than the intended target. If too much insulation is sprayed in, the walls can buckle as the foam expands. Your professional should know just how much to apply.

Cost and cleanliness aside, there are clear benefits to using spray foam insulation. Because it's a spray and not a long piece of pink fiberglass, spray foam insulation gets into all of the tiny nooks and crannies, providing better insulation. Drafts are filled and the house is warmer in the winter. No cold air can escape in the summer either. In light of these facts, the homeowner with spray foam insulation can expect lower utility bills.

Because spray foam insulation fills every little crack and crevice, vermin and bugs have a harder time getting into the home, saving on extermination bills. Plus, it's such a great adherent, it can stick to a floor and insulate from underneath.

Most homes insulated with spray foam have a higher resale value, especially newer homes. There are environmental advantages as well; most notably, there aren't any fiberglass particles floating around in the air.

Spray foam insulation also seems to last longer. It sticks to the walls and won't fall off like fiberglass. An extra bonus is that it doesn't cause itching when touched, unlike fiberglass foam, and it inhibits mold because it doesn't absorb water.

The do-it-yourselfer can also purchase small cans of foam at the home improvement store. These are perfect for sealing cracks around doors and windows as well as gaps around pipes and fixtures. For bigger insulation projects, however, it's in your best interest to call in a professional.

While it's more expensive to install spray foam insulation than fiberglass, it pays for itself with the money saved on utility and repair bills. When it comes to deciding which insulation is best for the home, spray foam insulation is the hands-down winner.