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Foam Insulation vs Standard Insulations

Over the past 50 years when you thought of insulation it was a ďNo Brainer.Ē
The only considerations were, do I use Fiberglass or Cellulose and what R-Value did I need in my walls and attic? No one really gave much thought to insulation during the design of the home/office or the construction process. For 50 years there were NO REAL BIG improvements in the insulation industry, so Builders and Architects became comfortable with consistently using one or the other for all their structures.


However, during the past decade a MAJOR IMPROVEMENT in insulation arrived in our industry. LIQUID SPRAY FOAM!! It wasnít just a little better than the conventional insulations used for half a century, liquid spray foam insulated homes and businesses DRAMATICALLY BETTER! Spray foam insulations also offered BIG improvements


In many other areas as well. Just look at many of the benefits:

  • Spray foams cut monthly air conditioning/heating costs up to 60%

  • Foams improve indoor air quality (reducing allergy & asthma attacks)

  • Spray foams help homes & businesses become much quieter

  • Foam insulation will not support or spread flame

  • Spray foam kills mold on contact and reduces future mold growth

  • Foam insulation is not a food source for mold, roaches, or termites

  • Foam insulation is not damaged by water or floods

  • Spray foam does not settle or pack down over time

  • Foam insulation will not sag or split as it ages

  • Spray foam does not allow air loss or air infiltration into your home

Now my biggest challenge is to help construction professionals understand that, SPRAY FOAM AND STANDARD INSULATIONS ARE NOT EQUAL!!

For the past 5 decades it didnít matter where you bought fiberglass or cellulose it was all the same quality and same R-Values. Heck, many homeowners just went down to Home Depot or Lowes, grabbed a truck load and insulated their homes themselves. Again, there were no real decisions to evaluate when it came to insulating your home or business.
Weíve learned in the foam industry that we canít trust R-Values either. Because the old out dated thermal resistance tests are inaccurate. They arenít even close to being correct. Those old R-Value tests only measure one type of heat - Conduction Heat. What we use in our foam industry are Performance Value Tests. These tests measure all 3 types of heats: conduction heat, convection heat, and radiant heat from the Sun. These Performance tests have proved that the real thermal resistance value (R-value) of standard insulation is very inaccurate. As much as a 60% decrease in their true R-values.

An R-15 fiberglass batt actually performs like an R-9. An R-30 fiberglass batt performs like an R-19. Blown insulations like fiberglass, cellulose and rock wool have even lower R-values. To meet code requirements today our attics must have a minimum of an R-30 insulation, and because blown insulations are so much cheaper than Batt insulation, all to often it is the insulation of choice. But blown insulations perform the worst in Performance Tests. In Performance Testing 3 Ĺ inches of our Open Cell Foam, which has an R-value of 13, easily out performed 12 inches of blown Fiberglass an Cellulose which is an R-30.


Years ago when the tests were first conducted, many Builders and Architects were left scratching their heads in confusion. How can this be? Well itís simple. Old standard insulations allow a lot of airflow through them. So the air loss and air infiltration in our homes and buildings was very high, which is why our utility bills have been much higher than necessary. Foam insulation does not allow air to flow so freely through, which makes it a superior insulation material. Stopping unnecessary air flow helps homes become much more efficient.


Our company receives calls every month from homeowners who ask why their utility bills are so high, even though they thought they had insulated their home with the best fiberglass, cellulose or rock wool insulation on the market today. We also get calls from builders and architects asking why some of their office buildings and homes are performing so poorly. They spend a fortune upgrading air condition systems, installing heat reflectant roof materials, sun blocking films on east/west windows, etc. and none of these products solve their high utility bill problems. None of these problems without solving the air flow problem.


Every time we go out to evaluate a home or office building we find the same thing. The house or office was insulated with standard insulations that are not blocking enough heat and humidity from entering the home/office. Sadly, we canít fix the insulation in their walls because they are sheet rocked and there is nothing we can do to replace the insulation. So, we foam their roof decks and block the radiant heat from the sun which solves some of their energy problems.


The bottom line is this: There are some things in your new construction that you can buy a lower grade of material and still be O.K. However, insulation is not one of them. We canít solve or fix insulation problems in your walls after they are sheet rocked. You will live with that costly mistake forever, paying much higher monthly utility bills and having rooms of your house that are uncomfortable. So, PLEASE BE CAREFUL. Do not buy the cheapest insulations or accept the cheapest bid. Click here to find out How to choose a spray foam contractor. Because, all insulationís Performance Values are not created equal! Click here to find out more: Are all foams created equal?

 

Now that you understand the differences between standard and spray foam insulation, call today or click here for a free estimate on our services.

 

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