How to Choose the Type of Insulation –Facts That May Help You Choose
Polyurethane foam strengthens your home or building. Higher-density, closed-cell spray foam insulation inside your stud walls fully adheres to both the exterior sheathing and the studs, reinforcing both. With this added rigidity, there will be less wall movement due to wind, vibration and occupant activity. Additionally, your walls have greater than code-required resistance to "racking events," such as hurricanes or other strong wind situations.
SPF can also add structural strength to buildings. NAHB Research demonstrated SPF-filled walls could add from 75 percent to 200 percent racking strength to walls of OSB, plywood, light-gauge metal, vinyl siding or gypsum board.
Closed- and Opened-Cell Foam
Both types of foam are commonly used in most building applications, and the choice for which to use can depend on many of the factors discussed above. Some foams are inappropriate in specific applications. For example, you typically would not use open-cell foam below grade or in flotation applications where it could absorb water; this would negate its thermal performance because water is a poor insulator compared to air. Closed-cell foam would be a good choice where small framing sizes need the greatest R-value per inch possible. Closed-cell foam would be used for roofing applications. Call today to learn more details about the differences between these types.
Roofing Foams and Coating
The polyurethane foam dries within seconds after application to the roof surface. Its expansion results in a weather-tight roofing membrane that is fully adhered to the substrate. Because of polyurethane's lightweight nature, it adds little additional weight to the structure and is often used in remedial applications.
Polyurethane foam has a history of more than 35 years as a maintainable roofing medium. Polyurethane foam adds excellent insulation value to the structure, and utility bills can reflect the difference.
Once the SPF has been applied to the proper thickness and finish specifications, a protective layer of elastomeric coating or gravel is applied. This protective layer produces a durable, weather-resistant surface and that can be walked on for normal maintenance.
Cellulose means exceptional fire resistance, sound insulation and pest control. Stabilized cellulose contains a fire retardant derived from naturally occurring borax that increases a building’s fire resistance by 22 percent to 55 percent in comparison to fiberglass. When exposed to flame, fiberglass melts, creating cavities that allow fire to spread more quickly through walls. Cellulose chars, preventing those cavities and creating a two-hour firewall in which occupants can escape and firefighters can bring the fire under control. The borax contributes the added benefit of naturally repelling insects and vermin, as well as inhibiting fungal infestation. Additionally, the low moisture content of damp spray achieves a sound transfer coefficient rating as high as 66 for certain wall assemblies, combining with the natural soundproofing of the insulation’s high density to create an ideal sound barrier.
Radiant barriers reflect radiant energy transferred via radiation. Radiation is the transfer of heat (infra-red radiant energy) from a hot surface to a colder surface across an air space. All surfaces, including roofs, ceilings and basic insulation, radiate heat in varying degrees. Radiant heat is invisible and has no temperature, just energy. When this radiant energy strikes a secondary surface, it is absorbed and increases the temperature of that secondary surface.