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Is Icynene A Recognised Product?By admin
Thursday, 21 June 2018
When it comes to spray foam insulation, the question of the product's credentials inevitably comes to the fore: Is Icynene a recognised product? Are certain formulations of spray foam better than others?
Unfortunately, far too many horror stories abound regarding foam insulation, all of which concern either a D.I.Y attempt gone wrong, or a cowboy contractor who used a spray foam substitute to achieve maximum profit-for resolutely rubbish results.
So how can you sort the cowboys from the credible contractors? Which accreditations should you check for in terms of both the product itself, and the professional you have in mind to install it?
In the following article, we separate the facts from the fiction on all things spray foam, including the foam types available, how they compare, and, ultimately, the steps you can take to ensure the success of your installation from the outset. Let's begin!
Your choice of foam will depend on the application you have in mind, and the challenges you're hoping to combat
What Is Icynene Spray Foam Insulation?
Very few things in life are simple-and providing a short and sweet answer to what Icynene is in a nutshell is no exception. Although the science behind how it works is relatively straightforward, the spray foam industry as a whole can be slightly confusing as spray foam refers to more than one product.
Indeed, many of our customers have come to us after reading misleading information with regards to open and closed cell foams. Two main misconceptions are that one is far superior to the other, or that one of the varieties damages the roof rafters of the home.
Both of the above are untrue: open celled and closed cell foam have equal merits, and the answer to which is best depends on the application you have in mind, and what you are hoping to achieve through having it installed.
In response to the second question, the only instance when spray foam could cause damage to the roof is if installation was attempted by an amateur.
It should be stressed that spray foam is a highly specialised product, and should only be applied by a licensed contractor who has completed the vigorous training course set by Icynene to ensure a thorough understanding of the product, and the correct procedures and techniques to apply it.
As mentioned above, the foam your installer will use will depend on whether you're aiming to insulate a private property, or seeking to enhance the thermal efficiency of a commercial building.
For the former, open-celled foam will be used, as it prioritises breathability. In the latter instance, closed cell foam will be utilised, as it's ideal for industrial steel framed/sheeted buildings.
With the above in mind, let's explore both types in a little more detail...
For residential properties, Icynene open celled spray foam is the product of choice, as it's fully moisture breathable
Best Option For Residential Homes: Open-Celled Spray Foam:
Having been in production for over 27 years, and used extensively in North America and Canada, the LDC-50 (H2 Lite) version of Icynene open celled spray foam is one of the most popular products on the markets-and it's easy to see why.
Upon application, this light and flexible foam type expands up to 100 times its original size to create a superior barrier of protection against the onslaught of the elements outside.
It also assists in driving out damp in the home, ensuring that any moisture present in the property evaporates, rather than building up in the walls and roof, and compromising the integrity of the construction.
Although it provides an all-encompassing barrier against air leaks and moisture, it is simultaneously moisture breathable too, ensuring adequate air flow inside.
In terms of quality, Icynene open-celled foam is pretty much unrivalled; not only is it a fully BBA approved product-it is also fully endorsed by the Energy Saving Trust as well, attesting to its suitability for use in both old homes and new builds alike.
The ultra-low U-Value closed cell foam achieves results in dramatically reduced energy overheads for companies
Best Choice For Commercial Projects: Closed Cell Spray Foam:
For those with a commercial project in mind, Icynene closed cell spray foam fits the bill perfectly. In most cases, the H2 Foam Forte (MDR-210) formulation of Icynene will used, and is especially suited for insulating industrial steel framed/sheeted constructions.
One of the primary benefits of closed cell foam is the ultra low U-value it achieves. This improves the building's thermal performance, resulting in dramatically reduced energy costs for a company; a substantial overhead for the majority of UK firms.
In terms of installation, closed cell foam is usually applied in thinner layers, and will withstand a light wash down after installation is complete.
What About Product Accreditations?
Where to begin?! Icynene's list of accreditations are seemingly endless, and run the whole gamut from BBA approval, to full endorsement by the Energy Saving Trust as a product that improves thermal performance.
In addition to this, the product has also been tested and evaluated by key industry associations, including: ABAA, ICC-ES and CHPS, attesting to its quality and adaptability for use in a wide range of projects that cannot be accommodated by more conventional materials, such as cellulose.
Just like a Gortex jacket, Icynene keeps the elements out-earning it the Fraunhofer Seal of Approval
Icynene Spray Foam: The Fraunhofer Seal Of Approval
In terms of testing, Icynene has come up trumps time and time again, proving its mettle in a variety of challenging conditions.
The Fraunhofer Institute conducted WUFI modelling on Icynene spray foam using the weather conditions of Manchester. The results revealed that a vapour barrier is not necessary when installing Icynene open cell spray foam.
To put this in context, think of a Gortex jacket: it keeps the wind and rain out, whilst letting your body breathe, thus preventing overheating and sweating. This very same principle is at play when Icynene works its magic in UK homes.
For properties in exposed areas of the country, such as the highlands, Icynene's superior seal proves invaluable. Moreover, unlike other traditional materials, this comprehensive barrier of protection does not degrade over time; instead, it forms a dense material that is difficult to damage.
The tangible benefits of this seal can also be felt within the inside space as well. The barrier provided by Icynene prevents airborne pollutants from penetrating into internal areas; ideal for those with breathing conditions that are aggravated by irritants in the air.
From improving your EPC rating, to controlling internal temperature, Icynene spray foam is far from a one trick pony!
Are There Any Other Features Of The Foam I Should Know About?
Absolutely! Although its air sealing capacities are often the most talked about, there are a wide range of additional advantages to using Icynene over other more traditional materials. These include:
- Reduced reliance on appliances for heating and cooling (saving you some serious cash in the long-term!)
- Improved EPC rating-a must if you're thinking of selling your home in the not so distant future
- More cast iron control over internal temperature, keeping your home cool in Summer, and warm in Winter
- A considerably quieter home. Yes, spray foam also assists on the soundproofing front as well, making noise niggles a thing of the past!
Of course there are still many more brilliant benefits on offer than simply the ones listed above; whatever your property problem, spray foam will be able to provide a long-lasting solution-without putting a big dent in your budget to do so.
All that's left to figure out is whether your property is suitable for spray foam insulation - something which our free site survey service can help you determine-in less than 45 minutes.
Book your free roof assessment today!
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