Spray foam polyurethane is often used as an insulation material in construction and renovation projects. But is it the best option? This article will explore more spray foam polyurethane to help you decide if it’s the right choice for your project.
What is Spray Foam Polyurethane?
Spray foam polyurethane is a type of insulation created by mixing two liquids and then spraying them onto a surface. The two liquids, known as isocyanates and polyols, react to form a foam-like substance that expands and hardens. This expansion helps to fill in any gaps or cracks on the surface, making it an effective way to insulate a home or building.
The Benefits of Using Spray Foam Polyurethane
Has a High R-Value
The R-value of an insulating material indicates how well it prevents heat transfer. The computation takes heat transfer efficiency and material thickness into account. The greater the R-value, the more effective the insulation.
The R-value of polyurethane foam insulation is higher than that of most other insulation options. For example, Adfoam pro-1875 has an R-value of R5 per square inch, whereas mineral wool insulation typically has an R-value of R3.5 to R4.
A Barrier to Air and Moisture
Polyurethane foam insulation significantly improves building envelope airtightness and waterproofness. Polyurethane foam, when used as exterior insulation, not only acts as a thermal barrier but also as a moisture and air barrier, eliminating the need for house wrap.
Is Very Stable
The dimensional stability of polyurethane foam insulation is well-deserved. It will always be the same size after being cured. Mineral wool or cellulose insulation can lose its lofty appearance over time and appear more like the wall. This can result in thermal bridges where additional insulation is required. The hot air inside the structure will be easier to vent outside in that case.
Health Concerns About Spray Foam Polyurethane
Spray foam insulation necessitates the chemical reaction of two liquid components. The “blowing agent,” which is usually little more than water in open-cell foams, is responsible for the foam’s distinctive shape. The major component of closed-cell foams, hydrofluorocarbons, has uncertain health repercussions but is likely to be toxic. Spray Foam Polyurethane contains isocyanates, which cause long-term sensitivity and severe irritation to the mucous membranes lining the eyes, stomach, and lungs.
Polyols, flame retardants, and amines are all components of spray foam polyurethane, but there may be more compounds that manufacturers are unwilling to mention. According to the EPA, exposure to these chemicals during and after installation can cause asthma episodes, sensitization, lung damage, other breathing and lung issues, and skin and eye irritation.
Some people are now allergic to spray foam and will have an adverse reaction whenever they enter a building insulated with spray foam. Nevertheless, several flame retardant chemicals have been related to toxic effects on hormones and potential carcinogenicity.
Spray foam polyurethane is a great way to insulate your home. It is easy to apply and can be done by yourself. It is also a very affordable option compared to other insulation options. Although there are a few problems during and after installation, you should be prepared for them. It can happen, and when it does, it is far more dangerous than spray foam. If you decide to use Spray Foam Polyurethane insulation in your home, hire a professional to ensure its safe installation.