It’s easy to have misconceptions about spray foam insulation when there is so much information and misinformation, right at your fingertips. You have to take into account information you might hear from friends or family that they heard secondhand from someone else. The message starts off as one thing, and by the time it gets to the end of the chain, it is something completely different. Over the years, foam insulation has changed drastically, so something that may have been true 20 years ago wouldn’t be the case today. Also, not all foam is created equal, so you can’t lump it all into one category. Foam spray insulation is a great way to insulate your home and save money on your energy bill. As a homeowner, you can save about 15% on heating and cooling costs by insulating the attic, crawl space, and other areas of your home.  In this blog, we will be citing some of the most common misconceptions and dispelling them with facts and figures.

Myth- Is Spray Foam Insulation Toxic?

Open-cell and closed-cell are the two main types of spray foam insulation. It is important to understand the differences between the two as they both provide unique differences in their ability to insulate and are designed for different purposes. The myth can be largely attributed to one specific product: low-density, open-cell polyurethane spray foam. This type of foam often releases low levels of chemicals into the air. High-density polyurethane and polyisocyanurate are two types of spray foam that release negligible amounts of chemicals into the air. Spray foam insulation is a newly recognized insulation product on the market. It’s easy to install and has superior insulation and air-tightness properties. Open-cell applications are breathable products that will help in the reduction of condensation and moisture created from cold bridging. Due to its expanding properties, it can be used in areas where insulating was previously not an option. This type of insulation does not require the same amount of pressure, and only a small quantity is ever needed for a given job, making it a safe alternative to low-density insulation sprays.

Myth-Will Spray Foam Rot Wood?

If you’ve heard of spray foam rotting your roof, it’s likely to be the result of a spray foam contractor using polyurethane spray foam instead of Icynene®. Polyurethane has closed cells and therefore has a reduction in breathability which could lead to wood rot in timbers. If high-density insulation is used, no rotting will occur.

Myth- Are All Spray Foams The Same?

Open and closed cell foam are two different types of spray foam insulation. Different types of insulation serve different purposes and require different kinds of equipment. Generally, there are two categories of spray foam: open-cell and closed cell. The vital difference between open-cell and closed-cell is the number of chemicals contained within the product. Closed-cell insulation is denser and does not require as much pressure for spraying.

Myth- Is Spray Foam Too Expensive?

Spray foam insulation is worth it – in fact, depending on the type of insulation you currently have (or don’t have), spray foam insulation could save you up to 50% on your energy bills. Its highly effective heat retention means you simply don’t need to use as much energy to heat your home. Spray foam insulation is much more cost-effective than other types of insulation because less product is used for a given job.

Myth- Can You Spray Foam Insulation Over Regular Insulation?

Any space where spray foam insulation will be installed will need to have the existing insulation completely removed so the new insulation can reach into every nook and cranny. The presence of old insulation can actually prevent spray foam insulation from properly insulating your area. The idea of spraying foam over existing insulation could not be further from the truth – spray foam does not mix well with other types of insulation.

Myth- Is Spray Foam Always White In Color?

Spray foam is available in a range of different colors. It can be dyed to color-match an existing building material, such as brickwork. It also comes in standard R-values that are appropriate for all different climates.

Myth- Can Spray Foam Be Used In Any Room In My Home?

It is a myth that spray foam materials can only be used on the bottom floor. Spray foam insulation is one of the best options for insulating any room in your home. Spray foam is a powerful insulation material with a high R-value and air barrier properties that give it the unique ability to fill the gaps and holes that could be difficult to seal. No other insulation product on the market can match the performance of spray foam without utilizing additional products or materials. Spray foam has been used successfully to seal walls and roofs, as well as attics and underfloor areas.

Myth- Can Spray Foam Be Suitable For Cold And Hot Climates?

Spray polyurethane foam performs just as well in cold climates as it does in warmer climates. The material has been used to insulate homes located in freezing and very hot conditions for many years. A myth exists that spray foam is unsuitable for hot climates – the reason given is that the material expands when it is heated. That myth is null and void. One of the best products for insulating your home in hot climates is spray foam because it offers excellent thermal mass, which helps to protect the building from high temperatures.

Myth-Can Spray Foam Work On Stucco?

For existing stucco surfaces, the best alternative is to use spray foam insulation to fill the gaps between the walls and the exterior. Spray foam works perfectly well with stucco. Many spray foam formulations were developed especially for exterior surfaces like tile and stucco.

Are you an architect, thinking about using new insulation materials? Are you a business owner wanting to improve your business premises’ insulation? Do you have a boat that needs insulating? Are you a homeowner who wants to save money on your heating and cooling costs? Choose the right product for your building by debunking some of the misconceptions about spray foam insulation.


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About Cincinnati RetroFoam

Cincinnati RetroFoam is an experienced insulation contractor providing injection foam, spray foam, and blown-in insulation services to the Cincinnati, Dayton, Northern Kentucky & South-East Indiana Areas. Cold Annoying Drafts? Outrageous Energy Bills? Improve Your Home with Insulation.
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