Home insulation does not only enhance the overall comfort of your home but helps you save on energy, money, and increases the resale value of your house. The four basic types of home insulation are loose fill, which is a blown insulation that has the ability to conform to any space without disturbing structures; batt or blanket, which is the most common type of home insulation and can be made from flexible and natural fibers; rigid insulation foam, also referred to as foam board, which can insulate practically any part of your home; and spray insulation, which provides a higher R-value and more thermal resistance.
Insulation foams such as rigid foam and spray foam are safe alternatives to the other types of home insulation. However, prior to purchasing the type of insulation you will use it is important to educate yourself about the available insulation foam types and how they work.
Rigid foam insulation. Three types of rigid foam insulation include polystyrene, polyisocyanurate and polyurethane. Rigid foam insulation is ideal for reproofing basement walls, roof insulation, and perimeter insulation. Rigid insulation comes in high insulating values around R-4 to R-8 per inch. It requires a building-code approved material for interior applications and a weatherproof facing for external applications. Polyurethane and Polyisocyanurate contain low-conductivity gas in the cells, and the high thermal resistance of the gas provides an R-value of R-7 to R-8 per inch for these foams. Both types can either be in the form of liquid spray or rigid boards, which come in laminated panels with various facings.
Spray Foam. Spray foam insulation is adhesive foam sprayed through a nozzle that hardens into a solid insulating material ideal for walls, ceilings and any part of the home that needs insulation. Spray foam fills even the littlest crevices so that it keeps bugs and pests from getting into the home. It is also known to be more durable, consequently helping you cut down not only on energy expenses but on extermination costs as well. Spray foam can also be used for making your room soundproof. It is sprayed using special equipment through wall cavities and expands to fill all voids. The two types of spray foam are open cell and closed cell, which differ primarily in the nature of the foam. Open cell foam is also known as half pound or low density. The bubbles, which form when it expands, get broken or opened making it softer. Closed cell spray foam on the other hand is known as the two-pound or medium density. The bubbles, which form when it expands, remain intact or closed, making it stronger compared to the open cell. The closed cell foam is also a code approved vapor barrier and thermal insulation.
In buying a home insulation foam kit, you have to:
- Consider the advantages and disadvantages. All insulation foam products have their pros and cons. Know which will work better for the area where you will install the insulation, whether it is more efficient as wall, ceiling or floor insulation.
- Measure the area that requires foam insulation and decide on the needed thickness.
- Consider the type of insulation foam you purchase. How vast the area requiring insulation will determine the cost, so ponder on your budget.
- Purchase the number of insulation kits needed per your measurements.
While you can install insulation foam by yourself, it is recommended that you hire a professional contractor to install proper insulation in your home.