Whether it’s for an attic, crawl space, or rim joist in an existing home, or pole barn walls in new construction or renovations, spray foam is one of the most effective types of insulation. It combines two chemicals (open and closed-cell) and expands as it’s applied to fill every nook, cranny, and gap for complete coverage. The resulting air-tight barrier makes it difficult for heat energy to pass and helps prevent drafts, as well as noise and moisture.
When correctly installed by a professional (who can use more precise application than do-it-yourselfers) spray foam is long lasting, and does not sag or settle over time. It also provides a good return on investment, and helps lower utility bills by creating a thermal envelope around a structure.
It’s important to note that spray foam can be toxic during installation, and some insulation manufacturers only sell their product to licensed professionals. The chemicals used to create spray insulation, like isocyanates, can irritate the eyes and gastrointestinal and respiratory systems of workers. Overexposure can also cause sensitization, meaning a person will experience irritation even with the slightest future exposure.
It’s important to look for a contractor who uses low-GWP blowing agents, as these are safer. When homeowners interview contractors, they should ask if they are familiar with these options. This is an excellent way to help ensure the safety of your family and your workers.