While you might think that “one size fits all” when it comes to foam insulation, it isn’t that simple. Each application—from concrete block, to wood and metal frame walls, to attic spaces—has different requirements. And foam insulation manufacturers have developed unique products and delivery systems for each of these applications. With this in mind, a bit of background is in order.
All foam-in-place insulation falls into one of four major classifications: injected masonry foam insulation for concrete block, precast concrete wall panels and hollow cavity brick masonry; open-cell spray foam and closed-cell spray foam for frame walls and the underside of roof decks in attics, and adhesive spray foam for strengthening homes and buildings against destructive hurricane force winds.
Masonry foam insulation
Foam insulation for the hollow cavities in concrete block, brick and precast concrete panels is injected with compressed air. Core-Fill 500™ is the world’s leading foam insulation for commercial, industrial, institutional and residential concrete block and hollow cavity brick masonry walls. A non-expanding, amino-plast resin foam that resembles white shaving cream, Core-Fill 500™ is injected under pressure into the empty cores of exterior masonry block walls. As foam fills the block cavities, pressure forces the insulation into adjacent block columns and seals even the smallest cracks and fissures. The insulated block forms a protective envelope around the building, preventing air leaks, sound transmission, mold, mildew and bacteria growth, and sealing out moisture, pollutants and allergens.
Open-cell spray foam
Open cell spray foam insulation has a density of about one-half pound per cubic foot and an R-value of 3.5 to 3.6 per inch of thickness. Open cell can be a more economical route to obtain many of spray foam’s advantages over cellulose and fiberglass when the budget won’t allow for closed cell foam. Open cell foams require less ingredient mixture than closed-cell foams but have lower R-Values per inch. Also, open cell foam is vapor-permeable, with three inches of foam having a permeance of 16 perms. This means that the interior face of cured open cell spray foam insulation should be covered with a vapor-retarding paint or other vapor retarder in cold climate zones. Open cell foams typically use water as the blowing agent.
Tailored Foam of Florida is one of the nation’s largest dealers for the ICYNENE portfolio of light density spray foam insulation products.
Closed-cell spray foam
Also called high density foam because of its density of two pounds per cubic foot, closed cell spray foam insulation has an R-value of 6 to 6.5 per inch of thickness, about twice the published R-Values per inch of cellulose and fiberglass. Closed cell spray foam insulation can more than double the strength of a wall or roof deck/em/a crucial benefit in areas prone to hurricanes. Closed-cell foam is also a vapor retarder: One inch of closed-cell foam has a permeance of 0.8 perm. While the main ingredient is most spray foam insulations is polyurethane—a plastic—leading spra foam insulation manufacturers now offer bio-based foams that include renewable ingredients.
Adhesive spray foam
Adhesive spray foam is a special type of high density, closed cell foam with an adhesive ingredient added to increase the bonding strength of the foam to the underside of roof sheathing. While regular closed cell spray foam can double the strength of walls and roofs, research by the University of Florida and others shows that adhesive spray foams can increase a roof’s windstorm uplift resistance by an average of about 275 percent. Naturally, this is a big benefit for homeowners in hurricane-prone areas like Florida.
Learn more about InsulStar® Plus adhesive spray foam insulation.Conventional fiberglass or cellulose insulation lays on top of your ceilings, so it does not prevent your attic from heating up. Attic heat radiates into your living spaces during the late afternoon and evening, causing discomfort and increasing cooling costs. We can add to your insulation, and we can cool your attic for energy savings and added comfort.