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This month I’d like to briefly discuss all the incredible benefits of spray foam insulation. This is a fantastic product, so let’s dive right in!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, when insulating walls, especially in an Edmonton home renovation where the climate can be very cold, spray foam is the way to go.

What Is It?

Medium density closed cell foam offers an all-in-one insulation that protects against air, vapour, pests and radon. Closed cell spray foam is a superior quality product making your home resistant to exterior elements.

It adheres to most construction materials and can be applied to roofs, walls, foundations, under foundation slabs and more. Thanks to its superior adhesion, the product increases any building’s structural strength too!

Essentially, insulation is designed to prevent “heat transfer” – in other words, the result is to make sure that heat either stays inside or outside depending on the season. Undesirable “heat transfer” (in winter and summer) is a major contributor to energy inefficiency. Stopping that dynamic is the aim of insulation.

Why Choose Spray Foam

There are several great reasons for choosing spray foam over traditional insulation, including:

  • Significant reduction of heating and air conditioning costs
  • Long-term insulation solution requires no maintenance and will not degrade for the lifetime of your house
  • Airtight and energy efficient (it only take ¼” of closed cell spray foam to provide an air barrier), provides a draft free home. 
  • Superior indoor air quality since your HVAC system can control and filter the air entering the home, which is especially important for managing seasonal allergies and keeping other pollutants out of the home.
  • Significant increase of the racking strength by up to 300%. Racking is the tilting of a building caused by horizontal forces, usually from wind, but also seismic stress or thermal expansion/contraction. These forces cause the structure to be shifted out of plumb creating a lean in the building. Spray form makes it stronger.
  • Moisture and mildew resistant
  • Stable insulating properties year round, regardless of outside temperature
  • Less than 1% loss during installation for an important waste reduction
  • Optimum energy savings for efficient use of natural resources
  • Global warming potential less than 1 (Learn more about that here)

Closed Cell Spray Foam vs Batt and Poly

Conventional insulation materials like fiberglass, cellulose, and rockwool all lose a percentage of their effective r-value as the air temperature drops. While this doesn’t mean they don’t work, it means that the colder it is outside, the less effective conventional insulation is. The R-Value of spray foam is unaffected by weather.

Photo courtesy of Details Insulation

Closed cell spray foam insulation has several benefits over a fiberglass and poly assembly. One major benefit is its ability to create a more airtight and energy efficient building envelope. Unlike fiberglass and poly insulation that can allow air to leak through, closed cell foam forms a seamless barrier that helps to reduce drafts and prevent unwanted air infiltration. This can lead to improved indoor air quality and a more consistent temperature throughout the home. 

In addition, an airtight building envelope can help to reduce the load on heating and cooling systems, leading to lower energy bills and a more energy efficient home. Closed cell foam has a higher R-value per inch compared to fiberglass which again is more effective at insulating and reducing heat transfer. Overall, the airtight nature of closed cell spray foam makes it an excellent choice for those looking to improve the energy efficiency and comfort of their home. The added benefit is a lower energy bill, which is especially great considering the rising costs of Natural Gas over the past 5 years in Alberta.

But that’s not all. Another benefit of closed cell foam is its durability and resistance to moisture. It doesn’t absorb water like fiberglass and can help to prevent mold and mildew growth. Plus it’s more structurally sound and can contribute to the overall strength of a building.

The Cost Difference

The cost difference of insulating walls is noticeably higher for spray foam versus rockwool or other conventional insulation. However, the long-term savings of spray foam are equally noticeable.

Before talking price, you need to keep in mind that on average, you can gain 30% more R-value in a wall if you invest in spray foam compared to batt. To fill a 3 ½” wall cavity depth with rockwool, you can expect to get a maximum R14, but when your fill that same space with spray foam, you can get R21. And it’s air tight!

In general, if you choose spray foam over batt and poly, be prepared for the initial application to cost roughly triple the price of batt and poly. But remember, your energy savings will pay off long term with this investment choice. This is why Adlyn Construction suggests considering spray foam for your next Edmonton renovation or build.

If you are interested in more technical information, check out Huntsman Building Solutions or Genyk Polyurethane.

Photo courtesy of Details Insulation