Spray Foam Insulation
Spray foam expands to air-seal and insulate the envelope of the home. Spray foam provides unique benefits in the roof, band joists, subfloors,
sub-slab, and walls of the home that other types of insulation can’t physically offer.
When spray foam is installed on the underside of the roof deck, creating a non-vented attic assembly, the space between the roof and the ceiling is brought inside the thermal envelope. This not only provides your home with a complete air sealed cap, but also allows you to run ductwork throughout the attic without the penalty of the heat loss/gain associated with ductwork in a traditional attic space. This simple step also eliminates the need for air-sealing details at ceiling light fixtures and additional insulation details associated with tray ceilings, dropped soffits, and vaulted ceilings.
The key to a non-vented attic assembly is that the insulation cannot allow air to move through it. Since batts and cellulose are made of fibers, which allow air to move through them, they cannot be used to create a non-vented attic assembly.
The band joist, or space between multiple levels of a house, is a sensitive area due to the intersections of multiple pieces of wood, which expand and contract as the house ages. The band area often connects the house to attic spaces, causing extreme energy waste and comfort issues. Because spray foam air-seals and insulates, all of these cracks, gaps, and penetrations will be sealed, ensuring maximum performance.
Other insulation could be installed here, but would not provide the air sealing capabilities of spray foam. There is nothing to guarantee that these other types of insulation will remain in place. Since spray foam sticks to the wood, it will always be there,
performing at full capacity.
In order for a subfloor to be truly insulated, the insulation must be touching the bottom of the floor everywhere. If the insulation sags, or is only touching the bottom of the floor in some locations, it is not doing its job.
We use spray foam on subfloors for its adhesive qualities. Once this foam is sprayed against the bottom of the floor, it will always be there, performing at full capacity. This is especially critical when a floor is suspended over outside air. This is where you have to decide how important warm floors are to you in the wintertime.
Since we commonly see garages tucked under houses, and we don’t like the idea of the garage air (and toxins like carbon monoxide) getting into the home, we benefit from the air-sealing qualities of spray foam when used over and around the garage.
Sub Grade Walls & Slabs
We install closed-cell foam under slabs, before they are poured, or on the exterior of below-grade concrete walls. This application results in a thermal boundary that is far superior to the standard practice of using rigid board sheets below the slab and insulating on the inside of the walls.
Because the spray applied foam forms a continuous thermal boundary, concern of cracks/gaps is no longer an issue to be concerned with. This also makes it a great pressure boundary to increase effectiveness of radon mitigation systems. There is no longer a concern of insulation being broken and the seal damaged while the slab is being installed.
On below-grade walls, exterior applied spray foam insulation brings all of the thermal mass within the wall INSIDE the thermal boundary of the home. This is very beneficial from an energy efficiency standpoint. You’ve paid for the mass – Might as well get some added value from it! Liklihood of wintertime condensation on the inside edges of the below-grade walls is also reduced as a result of insulating them on the exterior.
Installing spray foam in the walls creates an air-tight wall assembly that doesn’t allow air to move through it OR within it. While other forms of insulation may have a reduced initial cost, there are tradeoffs to consider before making your final selection. Fibrous insulations do not air-seal and also allow air to circulate through them. This lack of air control increases the likelihood of condensation occurring within the wall cavity & provides a hospitable environment for nesting animals within the cavity.
When you invest in a superior spray foam envelope, you don’t have to worry about moisture-laden air flowing through the insulation and finding a cold surface on which to condense. You can rest well knowing your envelope is optimized for maximum durability, air quality, comfort, and efficiency.
Spray foam creates an excellent seal between garages and the main living area (as seen in the photo to the right). This
ensures that harmful substances, like carbon monoxide, aren’t pulled into the home through points of air leakage in the