How Spray Foam Helps With Heat Loss
Our home loses 25% of heat through the roof, 35% through the walls, 15% through the floor, and rest through windows and gaps around the doors.
To build a better thermal envelope, all you need to do is look at the second law of thermodynamics. According to the second law, “heat flows in one direction, from a warm space to a cold one”.
That means that during the Summer, the warm air from outside will flow to the cooler, interior space. And during the long, Winter months, the warm air inside your home will flow to the cooler air outside. Insulation prevents this.
The Importance Of Airtightness In Buildings: An Overview
The importance of airtightness in buildings should not be undermined. In some structures, insulating via conventional methods, such as fibreglass, proves challenging; this is especially true of homes with curved walls and roofs, which require a more streamlined solution than traditional materials can provide.
On application, Icynene expands up to 100 times its original size, muscling its way into all gaps and cracks to provide a superior seal-regardless of shape or size. Although draughtproofing is the primary benefit, its superior seal also ensures that moisture levels are kept in check.
Needless to say, the average home produces a staggering amount of water. If left unchecked, events such as burst pipes and bathtub overflows can prove detrimental to the structure of the building. In this respect, our rainy climate creates an additional challenge to consider.
In most cases, buildings with built up precipitation in Britain are unable to dry out as efficiently and effectively as needed. Over time, such moisture leads to the formation of mould, which is not only unsightly to look at, but hazardous to health as well.
To rectify this issue, your choice of insulation is crucial. You need a material that can provide a barrier against moisture, without compromising the breathability of the building. Icynene can achieve both aims with relative ease and is .
Fibreglass Compared To Spray Foam: The Lowdown
But how does fibreglass compare to this thoroughly modern method? The following list of pointers provides some serious food for thought:
- Fibreglass does not stop air leakage. Cellulose slows down air leakage, but spray foam insulation stops air leakage altogether.
- Fibreglass and cellulose are not resistant to moisture and mould.
- Fibreglass has an R-value of 3.5 per inch, but there is no air seal. Blown in cellulose has R-value between 3 and 4 per inch. Spray foam insulation can have a true R-value of 3.8 to 6.8, depending on the density
- Fibreglass sags over time, cellulose settles over time, and leaves sections of the stud cavity uninsulated. Spray foam, on the other hand, completely adheres to the wood studs, and does not sag or shrink.
THIS VIDEO SHOWS HOW SPRAY FOAM REALLY PERFORMS IN PRACTICE. CURIOUS? WATCH IT RIGHT HERE:
Inside the home, the air quality is crucial to your overall comfort. By creating an airtight building envelope, Icynene enables you to control internal conditions, including where the air comes from, the moisture level it contains, as well as preventing airborne allergens entering the space from outside-an essential prerequisite for those with breathing conditions, such as asthma
Benefits of Spray Foam Insulation
The best way to answer why spray foam offers the most salient solution is to look at the benefits it provides. Here is a breakdown of its pleasing range of plus points:
- Spray foam has the highest R-value among insulation materials, easily outperforming fibreglass by far
- Spray foam insulation can reduce the cost of your energy bill by 50%
- Downsizes HVAC equipment by 30%. Your heating, ventilating, and air conditioning equipment will last longer, as insulation reduces the stress on their workload
- Reduces outdoor noise, creating perfectly peaceful conditions.
- Spray foam does not sag, shrink, shift, or degenerate. It will perform for the life of the building.
- An underrated benefit of using spray foam insulation is that the resale value of your home increases.
In addition to the benefits listed above, spray foam also offers the following advantages:
Creates A Healthier Home Environment
As an Energy Saving Trust approved product, Icynene spray foam insulation meets stringent standards of safety.
A 100% water blown product, Icynene has one of the lowest Global Warming Potential (GWP) on the market, with no ozone depleting substances present in the product.
Inside the home, the air quality is crucial to your overall comfort. By creating an airtight building envelope, Icynene enables you to control internal conditions, including where the air comes from, the moisture level it contains, as well as preventing airborne allergens entering the space from outside-an essential prerequisite for those with breathing conditions, such as asthma.
Frustrated by temperature fluctuations? Spray foam creates ambient internal conditions-regardless of the weather outside
Regulates Internal Temperature
In addition to improving indoor air quality, Icynene also enables you to achieve an ambient temperature inside, reducing your reliance on additional appliances to make up for the shortfall of heat.
An uninsulated or poorly insulated roof can account for up to 90% of heat loss in homes; a staggering statistic that speaks for itself-and critically compromises your comfort.
In the UK, living in an insufficiently insulated house poses more danger than most of us realise, with vulnerable groups, such as children and the elderly, particularly at risk. A tangible drop in temperature can also:
INCREASE THE RISK OF VIRAL INFECTION:
Exposure to the cold inhibits the production of new cells and antibodies, resulting in a prolonged recovery period from seasonal viruses.
EXACERBATE EXISTING CONDITIONS:
When the mercury plummets, conditions such as Raynaud’s Disease quickly flare up, with outer extremities, such as fingers and toes, experiencing discolouration in response to rapid changes in temperature.
PLAY HAVOC WITH YOUR HEATING AND PIPEWORK:
Lower internal temperatures can put persistent pressure on your property’s pipework, making it susceptible to freezing, and, ultimately, leaving you with an inadequate supply of hot water.
In the above 3 scenarios, Icynene’s ability to regulate internal temperature proves invaluable. Although its ability to halt heat loss is a popular facet of the foam, what’s not quite so widely well-known is that it can assist in moderating extremes of heat in Summer as well-making it an ideal solution for creating comfortable conditions year-round.
Provides Superior Soundproofing Properties
For the majority of homes, a combination of paper thin walls and poor insulation can play havoc with your peace of mind-especially when noisy neighbours turn their stereo up to the max. In this respect, spray foam offers a salient solution.
Its open-celled composition helps reduce airborne sound transmission; ideal for those who live in built up urban areas, where the persistent thrum of traffic can play havoc with bedtime routines.
Icynene’s superior soundproofing properties can also assist shift workers with their sleep patterns. It can be difficult enough at the best of times to get a good night’s sleep, but if you need to sleep in the daytime, the noise from outside can make achieving a successful night’s slumber nigh impossible.
However, with Icynene, such sounds are magically minimised, with the product absorbing up to 40% of the sound energy transmitted through the air.
It can also be utilised in cases where flanking noise poses a persistent problem. This form of noise pollution occurs around air leakage points, such as where pipes and appliances are situated.
Unlike traditional materials such as cellulose and fibreglass, Icynene’s expansive nature enables it to accommodate these hard-to-reach places, and, more importantly, ensure that such issues don’t resurface at a later date.
From preventing moisture and mould, to retaining heat within, spray foam puts your comfort at the top of the agenda
How To Insulate With Spray Foam
Now that you know why use spray foam insulation, the question is how to insulate with spray foam. The foam is sprayed into the wall cavity in between the wooden studs with special equipment.
Spray foam is made of equal parts of two components, sprayed directly into the wall cavity in question. Once sprayed, the foam will expand up to 100 times its original size in 2 to 10 seconds.
Thanks to the expansive nature, spray foam will fill every nook and cranny, seal all gaps, and permanently adhere to the stud cavity.
One thing you have to consider: Never try to install spray foam insulation on your own. It can be tempting, but spray foam is best installed by professionals. You need to hire a spray-foam contractor who has the appropriate equipment. That includes a truck or trailer to carry the chemicals and spray equipment.
Make sure to hire an experienced contractor. Every insulation is prone to flaws. No insulation is foolproof. Hiring a professional and experienced contractor prevents sloppy foam insulation installation.
You need to know precisely at what moment to spray the foam. Some beginners begin spraying before the chemical components are up to temperature, which affects the overall performance of the foam.
Mixed in the wrong ratio, at the wrong temperature, or poorly mixed in the initial stages, spray foam can shrink away from the rafters or studs.
Another reason why you need to hire a professional is because spray foam can be messy. During installation, some small, expanding droplets of foam might end up in the air. The droplets end up on your hair, skin, and clothes. Why take the risk?
For residential projects, open-celled spray foam is recommended-and is far more affordable than closed cell varieties
Open vs. Closed Cell Spray Foam: How Do They Compare?
There are two main types of spray foam. The first one is open cell spray foam insulation, and the latter is closed cell. Let’s take a look at the difference between the two:
- Open cell spray foam is used for residential objects above grade. You can use it for the roofs, attic, floors, walls, and as a soundproofing asset.
- Open cell spray foam offers R-value between 3.5 and 4 per inch. Open cell is a complete air barrier at 3.5 inches thick, but does not offer a moisture vapour barrier. Open cell expands and contracts with building (sponge).
- Closed cell spray foam is best used for commercial, industrial, and metal buildings. You can use it for crawl spaces, basements, and pole barns.
- Closed cell spray foam offers R-value of 6.5 to 7 per inch. It is a complete air barrier at 1.5 inches thick, and moisture barrier at 1.5 inches thickness. In terms of consistency, closed cell increases wall strength, and adds to the structural integrity of the building.
Where Can You Use Spray Foam?
Basically, you can use spray foam anywhere in your home. Depending on where you want to install, your contractor will suggest a different type of spray foam insulation. There is no better insulation type, with higher R-value than spray foam. Here are some ideas for where to install spray foam:
- The basement to seal pipes, plumbing, cracks, framing, and sills. You can use spray foam in the same spirit in the crawl space.
- Use spray foam for your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, to optimise the performance of the heating and cooling system. Use spray foam around the pipes, floor registers, and condensers.
- Exterior uses for spray foam include electrical and gas penetrations, wall joints in the garage ceiling, around exterior faucets, stone wall repair, water feature fillers, the spot where siding and foundation meet, and many more.