What Is Spray Foam Insulation and Where Can You Use It?

Spray foam, also known as SPF or Spray Polyurethane foam is a type of plastic that is applied by spraying it. This material is able to give you a continuous layer of insulation and also creates an air sealing barrier for roofs, walls and around corners as well as on all other types of contoured surfaces. When spray foam is mixed, it expands in order to make a foam that seals gaps, insulates and even forms barriers against vapor and moisture. This type of insulation is proven to resist the transfer of heat while giving you a solution that is highly effective for reducing any unwanted leaks of air from joints, seams and cracks.

Different Kinds of SPF

There are three main types of this foam and they are all utilized for insulation as well as for other purposes.

  • Low Density SPF is very often seen being used for filling interior cavities as well as attics that are unvented.
  • Medium Density SPF is also used for filling interior cavities and attics that are unvented but it is also used as a continuous insulation.
  • High Density foam is mainly seen for applications in roofing and exterior areas.

Each type of SPF has its own unique properties and benefits that can be explained to you by your professional SPF contractor. This is important to discuss when you are trying to determine which one will be the most appropriate for your needs. Aside from the type of foam, there are also differences in the creation of the foam and how it is installed.

There are three different methods of delivery for the SPF.

  • An insulating foam sealant
  • A low pressure – two part foam
  • A high pressure two part foam

Again, consult with your SPF contractor to determine the best type and the best delivery system for your specific needs.

As a Sealant against Air Leaks

Air leaks are known to not just waste energy but also to drive your utility bills sky high. SPF is often used to fill in any gaps as well as to stop air leaks in various areas of a building. Some of the more commonly seen trouble areas for air leaks are:

  • Basement rim joists
  • Basement windows
  • Basement doors
  • Recessed lighting
  • Furnace flues
  • Duct chase ways
  • Open soffits
  • Vents for plumbing
  • Holes for wiring
  • Hatches in attics
  • Behind any knee walls

All of these places can be sealed with the use of SPF.

Cool Roof Effect

Cool roofs are a type of roof that has been designed to be able to maintain lower temperatures than that of a traditional roof. They are typically light colored and instead of absorbing sunlight they reflect it allowing the heat to be able to escape.

When you apply SPF to a traditional roof, you can actually achieve the performance of a cool roof. The benefits of this don’t end there though. Aside from reducing the need to run the air conditioner, SPF actually assists in protecting the roof from damage and can actually extend the life of it.

Spray foam installation is not a job for the average homeowner. This is a job for the professionals who have the right equipment and safety knowledge to get the job done properly and safely. SPF is one of the most economical and effective types of insulation you can choose for your home.