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Closed Cell Spray Foam Insulation Problems And PreventionBy admin
Tuesday, 17 September 2019
Spray foam insulation – it’s one of the newest insulation products for your home and one of the hottest products on the market today. And hot means hot with spray foam insulation!
It is one of the best performing insulation materials going, performing more effectively than your more traditional options. If you’re thinking of insulating or re-insulating your home, this method deserves a closer look, and some serious consideration.
Thanks to its highly effective nature, your bank balance won’t come off too badly when it comes to the energy savings in your home. Although it’s a ‘what it says on the can’ type of product, spray foam actually comes in two common types: open cell and closed cell.
Knowing the difference between the two is important and can help you choose the right type for your home. In addition to this, there are some common closed cell spray foam insulation problems that are worth knowing about too!
With that in mind, we’ve compiled the following guide to closed cell spray foam insulation problems, as well as a few top tips and tricks to prevent them…
What’s the Essential Difference Between Them?
Without getting too technical, both products are great at insulating your home. Closed cell spray foam sets to form a solid, rigid insulating layer. One of its great advantages is that this can help to bind the structure of your home, as well as insulate.
Open cell foam creates a more flexible ‘spongy’ finish, which insulates extremely well, but doesn’t bond the structure of the building.
A common advantage of both types of spray foam insulation is that they reach every nook and cranny in the area of application, and can be applied in even the hardest to reach areas. That’s a lot more than can be said for most traditional insulation materials!
Closed Cell Spray Foam Problems: The Lowdown
One of the common closed cell spray foam insulation problems that you may encounter shouldn’t really be blamed on the material itself.
Poorly installed spray foam can be applied too thickly – as the foam expands it can peel away from joints and joists due to its own weight, before it has even set.
This leaves unintentional air gaps that the product is designed to fully seal. Generally speaking, this is most likely to be a problem where the foam is applied to a vertical wall, rather than a horizontal surface (your attic floor for example).
But in the wrong hands, closed cell foam can be problematic anywhere! In this case, it really does pay to get expert installers, with plenty of experience, who understand how to prepare and apply the product for maximum effect.
BBA approved suppliers and installers should be your first choice; always check that they can provide evidence that their product conforms to the relevant fire safety requirements!
Healthy Homes and Spray Foams
On a more serious note, when it comes to closed cell spray foam insulation problems, there are a number of potential health hazards associated with the product.
It’s great at restricting air flow – partly what it’s supposed to do – but there is some concern that this can impact on the health of those living in the building.
This has actually been more of a concern in the past when some foams – particularly polyurethane based foams – contained harmful and toxic chemicals.
Reliable installers have moved to newer products, but others may still apply closed cell foams which can impact on several health conditions if improperly installed.
Spray Foam Insulation’s Effectiveness
The R-value of an insulation product is the figure that demonstrates its effectiveness. The higher the value, the better the insulating properties of that material. Although there are numerous closed cell spray foam insulation problems, this is one area where it actually performs well.
It has an R-value of up to 8 per inch, compared to open cell at anywhere between 3.6 – 4.8 per inch. This means you’ll need a thinner layer of closed cell foam compared to open cell, although both out-perform most other types of insulation (on several factors).
Closed Cell Spray Foam Insulation Problems – Safety Matters!
Another factor that is of great concern for home owners is the fire-retardant nature of their insulation material. Both types of spray foam should perform well on this front, but check with your installer to confirm exact specifications.
BBA approved suppliers and installers should be your first choice; always check that they can provide evidence that their product conforms to the relevant fire safety requirements.
Ultimately, the type of insulation that is most suitable for your property will depend on several factors. Your budget (both in terms of your initial outlay, and the savings you require on your energy bills), the type of home you have (detached, terraced or an apartment/flat), and also the age and construction.
However, when it comes to insulation of any type, the benefits generally outweigh any issues!
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