Attic Foam Insulation – An Overview

July 18th, 2012

Most building contractors are taught that attic and cathedral ceilings should always be vented. They minimize energy loss and protect against any rot. Insulation is an integral part of home building as it arrests the energy we use to cool or heat our homes, from leaking out. Foam insulation is a popular technique used to seal the gaps between framing studs in the attic. It is basically a liquid that is sprayed onto wall attics and roofs. The liquid then has a chemical reaction that turns it into foam. The insulation is mostly nontoxic and has a lifetime guarantee. Foam insulation is made up of polyurethane or polystyrene materials. On contact, it expands to twice its original volume, which enables it to fill air gaps. Types of Foam Insulation Open Cell – In simple words, it means that the majority of the independent cells are open or broken. It is also known as Half pound foam. It is less expensive compared to others as it uses fewer chemicals. It is also one of the best ways to sound proof a wall. Due to its sponge like characteristic, it absorbs sound more than any other insulation. Closed Cell – It means that the cells are closed and packed together and is also known as Two Pound Foam. Due to its high density, it acts as a great air and water vapor barrier. Since the cells are tightly packed, it eliminates any type of mildew problems. Also since its hard, it increases the constructional reliability of the house and hence also increases its value. Two Component Low-Pressure – Suitable for a house with small areas or a property that is being entirely remodeled. This is mainly because compared to High Pressure foams, it enters the wall cavities slowly. Hence, the chances of the foam breaking open through the walls are minimal. One Component Foam – It is useful for sealing gaps and cracks. It is also commonly used around windows and doors. These are easily available in the local hardware stores and are also used in Do It Yourself projects. Benefits of Attic Foam Insulation
  • It improves indoor air quality and keeps dust and pollen out
  • Monthly energy and utility saving of 30% or greater when compared to other insulation systems
  • It adds strength to the building structure
  • It does not support or spread flame
  • It is not affected by water or floods
Considering the various options and features of foam Insulation, you are often left confused about the type of foam that best suits your requirement. An attic foam insulation contractor would be the best person to advise you on the ideal product to be used. However, there are certain points you need to remember while hiring a contractor. Since not all foams are created equal and since they are a mixture of different chemicals, an inexperienced person could also cause the air seal to split or even lose it. Hence, it is always beneficial to choose an experienced foam insulation contractor compared to an inexperienced one. Here are some questions that will help you choose the right contractor:
  • How long has the company been in business?
  • How long has the applicator worked for the company?
  • Does the company have a Contractor’s license?
  • Is the Contractor certified so that the proposal meets all the code requirements?
  • What foam will be used?
  • What type of warranty does the company offer?
Foam insulation is becoming popular with homeowners, architects and builders given their air sealing quality and vapor holding abilities. It redefines traditional construction methods and it benefits modern building sciences.