The Benefits of Using Polyurethane Spray Foam Insulation

browbjEnvironmentally Focused, Innovation, Training

Polyurethane spray foam insulation has become a top choice for architects, builders, professional installers, and spray foam contractors due to its many benefits including the payback in having a more energy-efficient home. Polyurethane spray foam insulation reduces air leaks by creating a tight thermal envelope around the entire home. In a nutshell, it keeps temperature-controlled air where it belongs – in the home. Additionally, financial incentives (like LEED credits, tax rebates, or grants ) exist to encourage architects, designers, and building owners to reduce energy consumption in their buildings. Find out what makes it a great insulation option, as well as commonly asked polyurethane spray foam insulation questions below.

Polyurethane Spray Foam Insulation Basics

What is it?

Polyurethane spray foam insulation is created with blowing agents that enable the foam to expand and harden during application, effectively sealing any cracks, joints, or seams. Polyurethane spray foam insulation is installed by professional spray foam installers. When applied it forms a continuous barrier on walls and other contoured surfaces against air and moisture and also resists heat transfer. SPF creates air-tight barriers with minimal material or space, which is a significant advancement toward reducing the amount of energy used to heat and cool a building. This can be directly translated into cost savings.

Polyurethane foam insulation is applied with either high- or low-pressure equipment and is available in both open- and closed-cell products. Common performance advantages of spray foam are: enhanced indoor comfort with better temperature and humidity regulation, soundproofing, allergen and pest control, and overall improved air quality. Additional performance benefits include superior water sealant and mold prevention qualities as well as added structural integrity and strength, helping it withstand tests of the elements.

Can polyurethane foam be sprayed?

Polyurethane spray foam insulation can be applied as high pressure or in some cases low-pressure spray foam. It is applied quickly and efficiently through an application gun and installed by trained spray foam installers. It’s recommended that the application gun is held 15-18 inches away from the surface to ensure an even layer of insulation is applied. After the polyurethane foam insulation has been sprayed, it expands and hardens creating airtight barriers that make a building or home extremely efficient.

Is polyurethane foam a good insulator?

Yes. Having good insulation is a necessity for proper heating and cooling of air in a home. When compared to other insulation options, polyurethane spray foam insulation has the highest R-value per inch (5.0-8.0 per inch), so it delivers the highest level of insulation against air and moisture providing better insulation than traditional options (fiberglas, cellulose, and other loose-filled products). Because of this, it’s a great insulator for any home or building. Very often polyurethane spray foam is used in conjunction with other types of insulation to ensure the best performance for the right circumstances. These factors include climate, insulation location, and heating and cooling system of the building, delivering the best insulation solutions from a cost and total value perspective.

You can also feel good about your decision to use polyurethane spray foam insulation in your home because it is the most eco-friendly option for insulation. A function of this superior insulation is that the environmental impact is reduced over the insulation’s lifetime. Additionally, when you use polyurethane spray foam insulation in your home, it helps retain heat in the winter and cool air in the summer, so you use less energy. This saves you money on heating and cooling bills.

Common Application Places for Polyurethane Spray Foam Insulation?

Polyurethane spray foam insulation is a great option for almost anywhere. It can meet or exceed existing fire codes, insulation codes, and energy-efficiency codes, which makes it a popular choice when insulating roofs, attics, facades, foundations, basements, rough and uneven surfaces, and more.  Because polyurethane spray foam insulation comes in both open and closed cell options, it can be used in almost any part of the building envelope, making it a great option/key part of your insulation decisions. When using closed-cell spray foam, homeowners can see up to 47% reduction in annual heating and cooling expenses and save thousands over the life of their home. An added benefit is that by lowering the temperature in attics, where HVAC equipment is often located, it extends the life of the HVAC equipment by increasing efficiency and reducing strain on the HVAC system. In addition, the insulated attic becomes temperature-controlled and provides additional storage space.

Benefits of Polyurethane Spray Foam Insulation

  • Durability: Polyurethane spray foam insulation expands and contracts depending on the temperature which makes it extremely durable. It will hold up in almost any climate, and the homeowner won’t have to worry about cracking or splitting the membrane.
  • Low in total cost: The materials needed to apply polyurethane spray foam insulation are lower in total cost than other insulation types. Homeowners can save money because a separate house wrap and vapor retardants may not be necessary. Homeowners can also save money on their heating and cooling bills since air won’t escape through the insulation due to the insulation’s tightness. Saving money and enjoying cleaner indoor air quality are just a few of the many benefits of choosing spray foam insulation.
  • Environmentally friendly: Since the amount of heating and cooling required to keep a home comfortable is reduced with polyurethane spray foam versus other types of insulation, less CO2 emissions are produced from power generation. It also contributes to LEED credits for sustainable and green construction. There are also low VOC options available which eliminate odor from typical spray foams and reduces total emissions to below quantifiable levels.
  • Improves air quality in homes: Polyurethane spray foam insulation reduces the amount of outside air pollutants and soil gases. Since it also reduces moisture condensation, homeowners are less likely to have mold growth in the walls and roof. Additional benefits of a tighter air barrier include soundproofing, superior water sealant, and allergen and pest control. It also reduces the ability to hear outdoor noises, and the long-term value is building integrity. Stronger building helps withstand tests of the elements.

Ready to Use Polyurethane Spray Foam Insulation?

Natural Polymers has developed a unique polyurethane spray foam insulation chemistry that features ultra low VOCs. By using biobased, preselected raw materials with proprietary emission control chemistry, this low VOC Ultra-Pure™ spray foam leverages all the benefits of polyurethane spray foam with the added environmental benefit of ultra low VOCs. Get in touch with our insulation experts to discuss which of Natural Polymers’ products is right for your next insulation project.