Spray Foam Insulation – Fad or The Future?

Ok, so maybe from the title of the website, I might be a little biased, but these products are so amazing, a single product, in a single application can be used to replace several components of a building – insulation, air barrier, vapor retarder, weather resistant barrier or drain plane with one product. This means fewer building components, fewer trades onsite and overall fewer opportunities for failure.

It is basically applying a liquid adhesive that foams up to create a plastic insulation resulting in a high performance building product that offers excellent performance, with thermal and air barrier properties. Additionally, depending on the building envelope design and the product of choice, SPF can also provide a vapor retarder, a weather resistant barrier, a drain plane, sound attenuation properties and structural integrity.

Spray foam insulation is often used in residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural applications to significantly reduce energy consumption, resulting in a rapid payback period, lowering the impact of buildings on the environment and minimizing pollution related to energy production. Another great benefit of spray foam is the air barrier capabilities which has a positive impact on indoor air quality. These benefits make spray foam the environmentally friendly choice for insulation.

With all of these capabilities and benefits many people think that polyurethane is “new”, otherwise they would have heard about it, but that is not so. Polyurethane is very common but most people just don’t realize it. You interact with polyurethane every day, the seats and dashboard in your car, your bed, couch, car seats, shoes and more all use polyurethane and in many cases polyurethane foam. Today, refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers and coolers are all insulated with polyurethane foam.

These are all in-plant applications and the spray foam industry has taken all of the necessary equipment from the facility: generator, compressor, proportioning pump, 200-300 feet of hose and some auxiliary equipment, and put it into the back of a truck to create a mobile factory that can roll out into the field to apply spray foam insulation on-site. This makes spray foam insulation an advanced option that is flexible in use, and can fit any shape, contour or design.

There are many options to choose from and their properties will vary from product to product and manufacturer to manufacturer, so to provide superior building envelope solutions for your clients, it is critical that you match your product choice with the application at hand, and make sure that the installation is managed by trained, knowledgeable and skilled professionals. Because spray foam insulation is here to stay.

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