Residential homeowners and construction contractors often ask the same question about spray foam insulation. They want to know from the experts if it’s the right application for them. And today, professionals in the business will invariably answer YES, primarily because they believe that spray foam insulation is the best product on the market. Repeatedly, installation results confirm the superiority of the spray foam product, and with a proper installation, a number of very important indoor environmental issues can be resolved.
The bigger question is – what are the issues that the homeowner or contractor is dealing with? Apart from new construction, existing buildings (residential or commercial) can suffer from some common, basic problems:
Unusually high heating and/or cooling costs (utility bills that are noticeably high)
Heating and/or cooling cycles that are imbalanced (uneven indoor comfort levels)
Under-performing HVAC equipment (especially if equipment is high performance)
All of the above conditions, whether they exist individually or in combination with each other, need to be resolved.
The conditions mentioned above can be the result of various deficiencies: existing insulation that has deteriorated or become damp; insulation that was poorly installed when first applied; even areas of insulation that have been infested with insects (or eaten away by rodents). When insulation is not working to its potential, the indoor air environment is also not “working”. And when temperatures fluctuate wildly, those inconsistencies disrupt the capability of the HVAC unit to maintain consistent temperatures throughout the home (or building).
Spray foam insulation is by far the best product in terms of improving the indoor air environment and enhancing energy-efficiency. When compared to the most common types of insulation on the market, nothing comes close. A well-installed application will provide an insulation coating that is total and complete – and impermeable to BOTH air and moisture. Spray foam seals like no other product; it brings better R-values; and it adds structural strength to the areas where applied. It has actually become the “go-to” product for the professionals.
Although ideal for new construction, many experts are recommending spray foam for retrofits and renovations. And while they regard the product as the best, all agree that the installation is best left to the experts. The professional installer understands the unique product qualities, and the complex nature of an application. The professionals know how to properly prepare the work area prior to spraying; they use appropriate safety equipment and wear protective gear; and finally, they know how to safeguard the occupants and/or residents during application.
As much as the professionals applaud spray foam insulation, no product will perform to its full potential without a proper installation. A professional install team should be well trained, with the experience and expertise to be proficient in their area of work. Established building codes must always be followed; by-laws (both local and regional) must be obeyed; and above all, the manufacturer’s specifications must be adhered to throughout the installation process. This job must be done right the first time – the potential for a revamp can be costly and challenging.