Most of the energy costs spent to keep a Ajax home warm in the winter and cool in the summer end up leaving through the attic. In the summer, the sun’s heat pours in through the attic and in the winter, warm air rises past the ceiling and out of the home. Saving on energy costs starts in the attic, but how much insulation is enough?
Are You Trying To Find Cavity Wall Insulation Contractor For Your Ajax House?
Although spray foam insulation as we know it today truly emerged in the 1980s around the Ajax area, spray foam actually has its roots several decades further in the past, beginning with the development of polyurethane foam in the 1940s by Otto Bayer. Otto Bayer, an industrial chemist, actually began working with polyurethane in Germany during the late 1930s. This technology was brought to the United States in the early 1940s by David Eynon, the president of Mobay, a war effort conglomerate created from the partnering of two chemical industry giants, Monsanto and the Bayer Corporation.
What is Insulation, Why Do We Have it and How Does it Work?
Spray Foam Insulation is a two-component system typically consisting of petroleum oils, plastics, and resins. The polyurethane foam comes in two different forms, open cell and closed cell foam. The polyurethane spray foam is an extremely versatile material that is available in a variety of final physical properties and densities. Although the two types of foam are very similar in their chemical structures their characteristics and capabilities differ in many ways, which makes it necessary for the user to understand the differences of the two materials so he or she can determine which is the right foam for their particular application.
The open cell spray foam insulation contains a density of 0.5lb. per cubic foot. The greater the density of the foam the heavier, or stronger it will become. This particular type of polyurethane foam is referred to as "Open Cell" because of the nature of the chemical reaction during the installation process. When the polyurethane foam is being applied the tiny cells of the foam are broken causing air to fill the "open" space inside the material, resulting in a soft or spongy material. The open cell foam carries an R-Value of 5 to 5.5 per inch (R-Value is the measure of thermal resistance, which can be found by identifying the ratio of the temperature difference across an insulator and the heat flux). 0.5lb. foam products use significantly less material than 2lb. foam products do when completing the same sized job, making them attractive to an individual concerned with conserving the foam material. Due to the fact that open cell foam requires less material, the cost of the project is much cheaper than it would be if you were to apply closed cell foam. Although, Open cell foam is an efficient and economical product it contains some disadvantages in regards to closed cell foam. One of the open cells disadvantages is it has a lower R-Valuer per square inch than closed cell foam does and open cell foam is vapor permeable requiring it to be covered with a vapor retardant material. Although, open cell foam has some advantages and disadvantages it has been recognized as an excellent insulator, air sealant and sound barrier.
There are many things a home or building owner should take into consideration when considering the type of foam that should be used for their particular application. Although both types of foam are by far the best insulators on the market, each type of polyurethane foam possess its own characteristics and capabilities. It is imperative for the user to identify which foam is right for them before applying the product.
Green Home Insulation
Movement of air in and out of a home can be a leading cause of escalated energy bills. Air can enter your house through holes, cracks and crevices. You can stop unconditioned air from entering your home and indoor conditioned air from escaping outside by adding an advanced insulation system to achieve optimal building performance.
As the days begin to warm, your equipment starts to work more frequently, and the purchasing of material increases, there grows a responsibility to the material components. There are two core aspects to properly maintaining the PMDI (ISO) and Polyol components of spray foam insulation, Processing and Storage. There is no single constant for all types of material, but there are some general guidelines and recommendations that can be applied to most types of SPF insulation.
PMDIs, the A-component, and Polyols, the B-component, are complex materials that need to be stored properly, especially during the warm months of summer. Common temperatures for storage typically start around 60oF to 70oF and top off in the vicinity of 100oF. It is ideal to store materials in a well-ventilated and climate controlled area, yet not everyone has accessibility to such a facility. Knowing your specific manufacturer's recommended storage temperatures and watching for the bowing of drums are vital to ensuring the proper performance of your product when you begin to process and apply it.
On the material side, the physical drum temperature and preparation of the material are key steps in a successful application. Many open cell spray foams require a process of agitation and/or recirculation before any spraying begins. Drum temperatures need to be maintained at the manufacturer's recommended levels, which typically land around 75oF. Proper drum temperature is one of the factors in producing quality, high yielding spray foam.
Always consult with your manufacturer before spraying any SPF products to make sure all recommended pressures, temperatures, settings, and other conditions are met.