Residential SPF Insulation
Spray foam insulation is a cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative to fiber insulation for residential homes. SPF insulation for residential applications allows homeowners to save significantly on energy costs. Since spray foam insulation creates an impervious barrier against pollen, pollutants, and dust—and reduces noise penetration—it also makes your new home more comfortable, healthier, and quieter.
Spray Foam Masters SPF insulation offer outstanding performance, and are formulated with an anti-microbial ingredient to inhibit the growth of molds, mildew, and bacteria. Spray foam has become popular for its insulation value and air barrier qualities. The SPF comes in two basic types – 1/2-lb and 2-lb – and both are used in insulation applications as barriers in buildings. Both of these foams also can help control condensation within buildings and have other environmental benefits. We typically will use the 1/2 lb foam insulation for residential applications because it is covered by drywall and this keeps any potential moisture away from the foam.
1/2-lb foam weighing between 6.4 kg/m3 and 9.6 kg/m3 (0.4 pcf and 0.6 pcf) when fully cured. Spray-applied to a substrate, it expands about 150 times its original volume to form a semi-rigid, non-structural plastic. This foam typically has an R-value of approximately 3.5 per 25.4 mm (1 in.) and typically uses water as the blowing agent. R-value measures resistance to heat flow—the higher the R-value, the greater the insulating power.
The air barrier system within the building envelope is an important element for controlling moisture/heat transfer, and for preserving structural integrity. Inadequate air barrier systems allow leakage of air through holes, cracks, and gaps in the building envelope. Field experience shows properly installed foam can help significantly improve the energy efficiency of buildings when used as an air leakage control and insulation system. Since 1/2-lb and 2-lb foam is applied as a liquid, it expands in all directions, filling and effectively sealing hundreds of cracks in walls, ceilings, corners, joints, and penetrations that would otherwise allow air ingress.
All foam plastic insulation is required by building codes to have a 15-minute thermal barrier covering the insulation on interior applications, unless the application exempted in the code has been approved by a building code official. Approval in this case would be based on full-scale fire tests specific to the particular situation.
Both types of foams can work well in most attics and cathedral ceilings without the need to ventilate. However, ventilation ducts can maintain desired temperatures more efficiently because they are in a conditioned space.
1/2-lb foam is normally spray-applied to the desired thickness with one pass, while 2-lb foam is spray applied at lifts from 12.7-mm to 38-mm (0.5-in. to 1.5-in.) until the desired total thickness is achieved. Excess foam can be trimmed easily with saws or knives, however, most applications do not require full stud thickness, meaning trimming is usually, unnecessary. For example,foam installed at 51-mm (2-in.) thickness between 2×4 studs requires a minimal cleaning on the stud face. However, foam installed to full stud thickness requires additional trimming with a specially designed trimming tool.
Both 1/2-lb and 2-lb foams have air barrier qualities that can help reduce noise from outside the building envelope (i.e. airplanes and car traffic). The 1/2-lb foam’s density offers additional sound absorbing qualities, however, neither foam is exceptionally effective at reducing vibrational impact noises.