Spray Foam Insulation – One Product, Many Benefits
Every day at Energy One America, our phone rings with questions about our products, mainly centering around Spray Foam Insulation. While most calls center around explanations of foam types, r-values and insulation thickness, the conversation almost always turns to the benefits of spray foam and what really sets it apart from other insulation alternatives.
Because spray foam insulation expands to fill any shape void, when applied correctly it completely seals the treated space from air leaks. This sounds simple enough, but the benefits of sealing air leaks are numerous. First, your interior conditioned air stays in the home, so your HVAC system runs less, costing you less money to cool or heat your home and extending the life of your HVAC system. When building a new home, having spray foam insulation installed greatly reduces the tonnage needed for your HVAC system, saving you money before you even move in! Second, the exterior air stays outside, which reduces the amount of airborne pollutants in the home, leading to a reduction of allergy symptoms that can result from the infiltration of dust, pollen, etc. Third, sealing a space with spray foam greatly reduces pest intrusions like insects and rodents.
Other benefits depend on which type of spray foam is chosen: Closed or Open Cell spray foam. Closed Cell spray foam is dense, rigid, and has the added benefit of strengthening your home by a factor of 4, and is extremely wind resistant, essentially gluing the roof together as it cures. This has an obvious benefit in the event of a severe storm or hurricane. Independent studies by the University of Florida, Clemson University, and the University of Western Ontario have shown that closed cell spray foam can triple the uplift resistance strength of a roof during a hurricane. Most losses from a hurricane are caused by water damage, making roof strength hugely important along the coast. Field studies conducted 10 years ago after Hurricane Andrew devastated the southern Florida peninsula show Sprayed foam roofs will not peel or lift unless the substrate the foam has been applied to fails. Spray polyurethane foam also offers increased resistance to flying debris or “missiles” during high wind events. Gouged foam can remain without repairs for months without leaking – a real attribute for building owners when the number of damaged roofs surpasses the number of roofing contractors available to do repairs after a major hurricane passes through an area. Another unique benefit of closed cell spray foam is its ability to stop moisture and humidity transfer, and when applied in a crawl space can eliminate wood floor cupping, a common problem in the southern US in summer months.
Open Cell spray foam is spongy to the touch and contains billions of tiny air bubbles, making it a leading soundproofing material, great for homes with metal roofs, in walls around media rooms or between floors of a multi-level home.
So to summarize, one application of spray foam insulation from Energy One America can lower your heating and cooling costs, help your allergies, stop your wood floors from cupping, extend the life of your HVAC system, solve your pest problem, drastically lower your attic temperature, and strengthen your home ahead of hurricane season. And because it saves up to 40% on your energy bills, it pays for itself while raising the value of your home! Not bad for one product!