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Spray Foam Insulation

What Is Insulation Foam?

what is insulation foam

In the past 30 years, the technology has advanced to the point that spray foam insulation has become one of the best insulation products on the market. Some 30 years ago, spray foam insulation was not as common in buildings as it is today.

So what is insulation foam, and how can it help your home? Welcome to foam insulation 101. Sit back, relax, and let us guide you through this professional product, one simple step at a time…

How is Foam Insulation Made?

Insulation foam is foam made by combining two unique components in equal quantities. Using a pump reactor, connected to a spray gun, the foam is applied to walls, cavities, roofs, and any area in your home you can think of.

Spray foam is 100% water based, and there are no blowing agents whatsoever. Once you spray it, insulation foam has an expansive nature, filling all cavities in your walls.

As mentioned above, spray foam insulation is becoming more and more popular. Water-blown insulation foam can be used in new buildings, but also for renovation and refurbishing projects.

Spray foam can even be used for insulating vehicles like camper vans and buses. Developed 30 years ago, spray foam was originally a safe alternative to formaldehyde insulation. Up to today, spray foam remains the only 100% water blown insulation distributed in more than 38 countries worldwide.

Where Can You Install It?

Put simply, anywhere and everywhere; including hard-to-reach places! Insulation foam can be used for many different projects. Therefore, to better understand the question what is insulation foam, let’s take a look at some of the projects you can finish with spray foam:

New Buildings

Of course, it is always recommended that you buy a new apartment, in a new building. As such, insulation foam provides the best thermal performance overall.

Spray foam has a very high standard of thermal insulation, but also minimises air leakage in new apartments. Using spray foam you can reduce the transmission of contaminants from outside, reduce noise, and much more.

When used in a new building, you can be sure spray foam insulation will perform for the life of your building. Creating a permanent seal to studs, insulation foam improves the long-term airtightness of your new apartment. New buildings tend to fall behind in airtightness as time goes on, but spray foam prevents that.

In new buildings, spray foam can be used for the timber and steel frame walls, roofs, the underside of the roofing membrane, and much more. Since spray foam expands up to 100 times its original size, it is able to accommodate awkward areas, such as the roofspace and rafters.

what is insulation foam

This way you can improve the thermal performance of your pitched roofs. You can also insulate the loft to improve the overall thermal performance of your home. There are some rules you need to follow when insulating the loft, however. For example, if the loft is used as an occupied space, you need to protect the foam with a fire-resistant covering

Refurbish Roofs

Not all of us live in a new building. Some of us live in period properties, where the walls and roofs are not as efficient as they once were.

In recent years, upgrading existing insulation has become a popular way of improving energy efficiency in your home. And when you think of insulation, the first thing you need to start thinking is the roof.

Speaking of the roof, insulation foam can be sprayed on underside of tiles and slates, as well as timber sarking.

This way you can improve the thermal performance of your pitched roofs. You can also insulate the loft to improve the overall thermal performance of your home. There are some rules you need to follow when insulating the loft, however. For example, if the loft is used as an occupied space, you need to protect the foam with a fire-resistant covering.

Refurbishment Walls

35% of the heat loss in a home is due to poor functioning walls. Walls come in two forms, solid walls and cavity walls. Properties built before 1930 usually have solid walls. Those built after this date tend to be cavity walls.

The good news is that cavity walls are very easy to insulate, especially with spray foam. Insulation foam is injected, slowing the movement of heat across the walls. Solid walls need to be insulated either internally or externally.

Refurbishment Floors

When it comes to insulation foam, popular myths abound, one of which is that it cannot be used on the underside of floorboards. Needless to say, this is simply not the case!

Truth be told, floor insulation is usually overlooked and underestimated. Walls and roof are the two common areas for insulation.

But the advantage of insulation foam is that this material can be used for your floor as well. Floors suffer from heat loss by conduction to the underfloor void.

To prevent this potential problem from arising, contractors spray insulation foam to the underside of the boards, filling the space between joists. Insulation radically reduces heat loss, making your home even more efficient. You will easily notice the warmer floor on your feet.

what is insulation foam

Spray foam does not sag over time. As mentioned previously, spray foam will last as long as your building. Unlike fibre and cellulose insulation, spray foam does not slump and sag over time. The insulation material resolutely retains its shape

Benefits Of Insulation Foam

With all the talk about what is insulation foam as a product, let’s take a look at some of the key benefits and advantages of the material in question:

  • Insulation foam has low thermal conductivity. That means it provides great thermal performances in both new and existing structures
  • As a substance, spray foam is totally inert, odourless, and produces no harmful emissions. This makes the foam a non-irritant.
  • Spray foam provides air-tight sealing of your home. Because of its expansive nature, spray foam can expand 100 times in volume after spraying. This allows the foam to reach cracks and voids that other insulation materials are unable to address.
  • Spray foam is great for preventing noise, and making the interior of your home more peaceful. If you want to reduce sound transmission into and around buildings, spray foam is the way to go.
  • Spray foam does not sag over time. As mentioned previously, spray foam will last as long as your building. Unlike fibre and cellulose insulation, spray foam does not slump and sag over time. The insulation material resolutely retains its shape.

What Type Of Insulation Foam Should You Use?

Once you decide to install spray foam insulation in your home, hiring an accredited expert is essential. An expert will help you determine which type of spray foam you need.

Now that we know what is insulation foam, let’s take a look at the different types. Generally speaking, there are three types of open cell insulation foam. Each of them is designed for a different purpose and area of your home:

  • Icynene offers LD-C-50 foam, which is rapidly expanding foam designed for surfaces. This is the type you use for insulating walls, floors, and roofs.
  • Icynene LD-C-70 is another form of rapidly expanding foam. As you can imagine, this is the foam you use for areas where higher density is required.
  • Last, but not least, LD-P-50 is a spray foam that contains less catalyst than LD-C-50. This is a slow rise foam, ideal for filling cavities in sensitive structures.

Desperately seeking further information on foam insulation? Simply call 0800 1700 636, or click the button below to get in touch with our friendly team today!