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What You Need To Know About Spray Foam Insulation Vs. Rigid Foam Insulation

If you're remodeling your home, just building your home or simply improving your existing insulation, foam insulation is a great option to consider. However, choosing between spray foam insulation and rigid foam insulation may prove challenging. Let these five facts help you in your decision-making process.

Spray Foam Can Be a Disaster

Spray foam can become a disaster when not installed properly. First, the solution is mixed on site, and the effectiveness is affected by many factors. Cold weather alone can greatly affect the solution, leading to problems with foaming or curling. Even if the foam is mixed properly, the installer may spray too much or not enough, causing it to have an improper density or unpleasant odor. Lastly, the spray isn't perfect and overspray can place deposits where they shouldn't be. This overspray need to be removed to prevent future problems. Rigid foam, however, comes in a panel, like a piece of wood, and it is crafted in a facility with a controlled environment.

Spray Foam Does a Better Job of Filling in Gaps

Spray foam doesn't just offer great insulation. It also offers excellent air sealing. Once the foam is sprayed, it expands to fill every gap and crack. This allows it to better stop air from sneaking through holes. Think of it like plugging a hole with putty; the putty pushes into every nook and cranny. On the other hand, rigid foam is more like filling a hole with a piece of wood. It's hard to get the measurements perfect. With rigid foam, however, installers usually seal the seams with tape, but spray foam works better to plug those seams and gaps.

Rigid Foam Can't Be Installed in Small Spaces

Rigid foam comes in pre-cut sheets that need to be installed in a similar fashion as batts and rolls. If you're adding an addition or completely gutting and remodeling a home, this is no problem. However, if you just want to improve your existing insulation by adding something extra, it proves difficult to get the rigid foam behind the wall. Spray foam, however, can be applied into small spaces to reach behind existing walls. This makes it a more logical option if you want additional insulation with the least amount of effort.

Rigid Foam Is Less Expensive

Both spray foam insulation and rigid foam insulation are some of the most expensive options because they are so great at providing insulation. However, rigid foam comes with a slightly lower cost than spray foam insualtion. Plus, the money you do spend can often be made back in energy savings. However, if you are installing it in existing walls, you may end up spending more when you consider the additional costs of tearing out and replacing walls.

Both Have a High R-Value

Polyurethane has an R-value of between 5.6 and 8 per inch, which is one of the highest insulation options possible. On the other hand, less expensive fiberglass batts have an R-value between 2.9 and 3.8 per inch, so you need much less polyurethane foam to properly insulate your attic, walls or floor than you would with fiberglass. The exact R-value depends on the type of material, and spray foam insulation's R-value can degrade over time. Whichever you choose, however, adding more insulation to your home can increase the effectiveness of your heating and cooling and stop energy from escaping.

Most older homes just don't have enough insulation to properly keep the house warm or cold, which leads to higher energy costs. To cut your monthly costs, consider adding spray foam or rigid foam insulation to boost your R-value. For more information about adding insulation to your home, contact a company like Northwest Sprayfoam Ltd insulation in Vancouver, and obtain a quote today.