Spray foam insulation can save homeowners money on their energy bills by air sealing the home and stopping air leaks. The foam expands and fills nooks and crannies and can also seal around pipes, wires and other obstacles. This is why it is preferred over fiberglass batts or blown-in cellulose insulation in cold climates like Vermont.
When sprayed, the chemicals in spray foam mix to form a plastic substance called polyurethane. This substance is a bit like fake leather or plastic furniture and has many uses, including in mattresses, upholstery, etc. In the 1940s, scientists discovered that mixing isocyanates and polyols would create a special type of foam, called polyurethane. It was initially developed for use in mustard-gas-resistant clothing during WWII. Later, a gun was invented to allow the foam to be sprayed into walls and other places that needed a strong air-tight seal.
Sealing the Deal: Understanding the Air-Tight Benefits of Spray Foam Insulation
Spray foam has great insulating properties and is relatively inexpensive to install in a home. The foam’s low density allows it to fill tight spaces better than other types of insulation, which can reduce air leaks and increase the R-value. The foam’s high R-value means that less material is required to meet building code requirements.
Despite these great qualities, spray foam does have some drawbacks that you should be aware of. The first downside is that it takes a long time to dry and cure. This can cause a homeowner to be confined inside the home for some time and can be a challenge in areas that are hard to access. The second downside is that the foam can shrink over time, causing gaps in the once-fully encapsulated wall. These holes can allow air, moisture, allergens, and pests into the house.