Many people are looking for more economical and environmentally friendly ways to maintain their homes. One simply way in which to make your home more environmentally friendly is to insulate it better so you are not using more resources than necessary to heat your home. This is especially relevant in geographical regions that have much colder climates. Traditionally, fibreglass batts were used for roofing insulation and these were thought to be quite effective. In recent decades, however, other methods of insulation have been proven to be more cost effective and efficient in providing insulation. One of these products is spray foam. With advances in technology, there are now several types of spray foam suited to different uses. To help you decide which product you should choose, here is a brief outline of the different types and their applications.
Basic Closed Cell Spray Foam Kits
Basic spray foam kits are designed so homeowners can apply them easily to their homes. They are easy to apply and if done properly, result in a professional finish to your home. The type of foam generally used is 100 percent free of CFCs, VOCs, Urea Formaldhyde, and Penta-BDEs which makes them eco-friendly. Most have a fire rating which provides added protection to your home. Look for a kit that has at least an ASTME-84 fire rating. A basic kit makes use of closed cell foam which provides R-7 per inch. The R-7 refers to a thermal rating that is widely used in the construction and building industry. It reflects the ratio of temperature difference across an insulator. In other words, it reflects the amount of insulation provided. Compared to fibreglass batts, this is double the amount of insulation. You will need to wear a respirator mask and gloves when applying and working with the spray foam. You will not need any external power source or compressor in order to apply the spray foam. The kit is completely self-contained. Generally, you will need to use the entire kit in one application as it cannot be stored once opened and mixed.
Anti-Microbial Spray Foam Kits
Anti-microbial spray foam kits are similar to basic spray foam kits but they have an anti-microbial additive in them. An anti-microbial is a substance that kills or inhibits the growth of micro-organisms such as fungi and bacteria. It therefore provides an added level of protection for your home. This type of spray foam is particularly suited to your home if you live in a region that has high levels of humidity or receives a lot of rain or snow in season. It helps not only to prevent dampness but also protects against any mold or bacteria that may lurk in crevasses in your home. It is important to note that it will not remove existing mold; instead, it protects against mold growing on the surface of the spray foam. The composition and application of the spray foam is the same as basic spray foam kits. It also has a R7-per inch thermal rating as well as a fire rating.
Open Cell Spray Foam Kits
Open cell spray foam has a lower R-per inch thermal rating and a lower density compared to other types of spray foam. It is generally used in flash and fill applications. What this refers to is a combination of insulation methods. You can make use of lower density spray foam as the balance of the insulation instead of other insulation products such as fibreglass batting. The benefit of this is that you get a higher R-value per inch and a tighter air barrier by using open cell spray foam as the filler after a closed cell layer. By complementing the closed cell with less expensive open cell, you get great results for less cost. The result is a very cost-effective insulation solution for your home.
Slow Rise Spray Foam Kits
Slow rise spray foam has a number of different applications. It can be used for filling sealed wall cavities, closed areas and cinder blocks. It has a high density and R7.7-per inch thermal rating. It can be used for marine applications such as repairing boat hulls or filling pontoons as flotation devices. Other applications include insulating cold storage facilities and cooler walls and doors. It is also suitable for soundproofing resonating cavities ducts and pipes.
High-Density Spray Foam Kits
High-density spray foam is a stronger, more resistant type of material that is made up of polyurethane foam used primarily for cryogenics and roofing repair. It has a low moisture absorption rate and relatively high compressive strength. This results in durable insulation that will protect your home. In the long run, it will also add value to your home.
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