Spray foam insulation, which was created in the 1940’s primarily for aircraft, has been improved upon over the years and become a staple in residential and commercial construction.

Spray foam insulation can be used as an air barrier, decreasing air leakage in a home or building. Its use will decrease the risk of mold or mildew growth, and the formation of ice dams in colder climates. 

Spray foam insulation, used to insulate and create air seals wherever it is applied, is made with 2 liquids. When combined, these liquids create a chemical reaction and expand up to 100 times its size. There are 2 types of spray foam insulation, open and closed cell spray foam. Open cell spray foam is low density and allows water permeability. This spray foam is typically used in walls and under crawl spaces. Closed cell spray foam has medium density and repels water, making it a FEMA-approved flood resistant material.

Open Cell Spray Foam Insulation Benefits

Open cell spray foam insulation is a more economical option and costs significantly less than closed cell spray foam insulation. Fortunately, it is not a food source for mold, and is forgiving of long-term creep and seasonal movement within the home. The open cell spray foam can also add the additional benefit of drowning out sound. 

Closed Cell Spray Foam Insulation Benefits:

Closed cell spray foam insulation is recognized by FEMA to be a flood resistant material. Unlike open cell spray foam, closed cell spray foam insulation can be applied at extremely cold temperatures and can be used in smaller spaces. Closed cell spray foam is more durable and impact resistant. 

Spray Foam Insulation and Global Warming Potential

According to the EPA, “The Global Warming Potential (GWP) was developed to allow comparisons of the global warming impacts of different gases. Specifically, it is a measure of how much energy the emissions of 1 ton of a gas will absorb over a given period of time, relative to the emissions of 1 ton of carbon dioxide (CO2). The larger the GWP, the more that a given gas warms the Earth compared to CO2 over that time period. The time period usually used for GWPs is 100 years. GWPs provide a common unit of measure, which allows analysts to add up emissions estimates of different gases (e.g., to compile a national GHG inventory), and allows policymakers to compare emissions reduction opportunities across sectors and gases.”

Blowing agents are the gases that expand the cells of foam insulation. Open Cell Spray Foam Insulation, and spray foam that uses water as the blowing agent, will have the least possible GWP with a score of 1. Blowing agents are the gases that expand the cells of foam insulation. Closed cell spray foam insulation uses synthetic blowing agents and has a GWP of 700-1000, which is considerably higher than its open cell counterpart.

If you have any questions about whether spray foam insulation is the right choice for your home or property, contact Geo Insulation today.

When it comes to installing insulation in your home, it is important to know that you have a few options to choose from, fiberglass and spray foam. While both of these will insulate your home, there are significant differences between the two. If you are going to be replacing the insulation of your home soon or are just doing some research, there will be some very helpful information below that will teach you what you need to know about home insulation.

What’s The Difference Between Fiberglass Insulation & Spray Foam?

To start things off, there is quite a difference between the fiberglass and spray foam insulation. In fact, there are even two types of spray foam insulation, closed cell and open cell. Fiberglass insulation works by trapping air in its tiny glass fibers, which results in a slow transfer of heat. Open-cell spray foam is used mainly as an air barrier for your home, while closed-cell spray foam works as an air, moisture, and vapor barrier for your home. It is also important to add that closed-cell spray foam insulation can add up to 250% racking strength to your walls and roof. Both open and closed-cell spray foam can last around 60 years longer than fiberglass insulation.

Is There a Big Price Difference?

There is a difference in pricing between fiberglass and spray foam. Fiberglass insulation is used in around 85% of homes in America mainly because of the low cost of installation. While fiberglass installing can be done by basically anyone, a professional may charge around $0.40 per square foot. Spray foam insulation, on the other hand, has to be done by a professional and can run between $0.90 - $1.50 per board foot (1 ft x 1ft square at 1 inch of thickness).

What Are The Benefits Between Fiberglass Insulation and Spray Foam?

For fiberglass insulation, the benefits are few, its cheap and it can keep some heat from entering your home. For spray foam insulation, the benefits range depending on whether or not you choose to go with open-cell or closed-cell. Benefits for spray foam include: stopping air and moisture infiltration, adds strength to the structure of your home, it is permanent and will not sag, keeps dust and pollen from entering your home, as well as reduction of capacity requirements and maintenance.

You Get What You Pay For

Like anything else, when it comes to the insulation of your home, you basically get what you pay for. If you aren’t able to put too much money into the insulation of your home, then fiberglass is the way for you to go. Just know that if you go the fiberglass route, you are leaving your home open to contaminants and other harmful elements that spray foam could block out. You will also have to be replacing the insulation of your home in around 8 - 10 years. If you decide to go the spray foam insulation route, consider it a good investment in your home. While it can be more expensive, it has to offer, and you may not ever have to replace it again in your lifetime.

Contact Geo Insulation to discuss your insulation needs today!