Cost of Spray Foam

Difference in Cost for New or Existing Homes

Installing spray foam insulation in the new home is cheaper and efficient than in old homes with old insulation in place. In new homes, contractors can come up with the best insulation design to deal with heat transfer, sound and utility cost, unlike older homes where they need to remove the old insulation among other overhead costs.

You can contact an insulation professional for a free quote today

Benefits and Disadvantages of Spray Foam Insulation

Benefits include lowering utility cost because it blocks cold and heat from outside. It protects against moisture which can lead to the development of mold and mildew. Spray foam can act as noise reduction as well.

Some of the drawbacks of spray foam insulation include causing health problems such as irritation in the eye, respiratory tracts and gastrointestinal. Direct contact can lead to inflammation and rashes. It has been linked to some cases of hypersensitivity pneumonitis which can cause: Dry cough, chest tightness, fever, muscle aches and headaches.

Most manufacturers have addressed the problems caused by isocyanates hence most spray foam insulation in the market are now safe.

R-Value – Thermal Resistance in Spray Foams

The value should be your guide when installing insulation and foam. But, it should not be the only method to measure insulation because heat loss can happen in several ways. The six methods you can apply to determine heat losses include the following:

Heat Loss Mechanisms To Prevent

  • Conduction
  • Radiation
  • Convection
  • Air infiltration
  • Moisture accumulation
  • Air intrusion

Spray polyurethane foam is effective in preventing the six types of heat losses. The six heat transfer methods should form a mechanism for you to choose the best insulation. You can as well use Energy star map to choose the best insulation in the United States.

DIY Foam Insulation Kits

We have a shorter post this week, where we would just like to point out different types of manufacturers of spray foam. All of these brands will suffice, it mainly depends on the availability at your local hardware store. Happy insulating!

If you decide to install on your own, you can choose the following brands:

  • GREAT Stuff (PRO)
  • FOAM IT
  • Touch ‘n Foam
  • Handi-Foam
  • Tiger Foam
  • Foam It Green
  • Touch N Seal
  • FomoFoam

Last Minute Insulation Tips

In average, the price of a sheet which can cover 200 square feet is between $250 and $500. This is about two or three kits. The kits contain icynene which is a foam made out of liquids. You will have to spray on the surface you intend to insulate, and it will expand for up to 100 times. Gases produced are poisonous hence you should take necessary precautions.

It is hard for someone unexpected to apply it perfectly. Leaving small holes due to the uneven application can leave spaces for cold air to enter the building. You should do it yourself if you are applying in small areas. You can do areas around crawl space or plumbing lines, but let experts work on larger projects such as the attic, garage, and basement. Professionals will apply the right tools, and they have the necessary knowledge.

Spray Foam Types as Attic Insulation

Last week we discussed whether or not spray foam is right for your attic in order to keep it dry and energy efficient. This week we will be touching on the differences between the two major types of spray foam that is commercially available, open-cell and closed-cell. Each of these types of foam insulation are excellent options, depending on where they are used and what your goals are.

Type of Spray Foam: Closed-cell

Closed-cell insulation being applied inside a wall.

Spray Foam Types: Open-Cell

It is also referred to as half round foam. The foam comes with an R-Value of 3.5-3.6 per inch; its density is about 0.5 pounds per cubic foot. The low-intensity foam is mostly made from biological materials, carbon dioxide and water is applied as a makeup. Open cell consumes very few materials than closed cell. It comes with lower R-value. Open cell requires vapor retarder such as gypsum wallboard. It is riskier when you use it for roof sheeting. When considering open-cell we would like to discouraged you from applying this in a cold climate area unless you have an extra barrier in place. It is also necessary to take into consideration the money you will spend installing open cell insulation and the effectiveness of the foam.

 

Spray Foam Types: Closed-Cell

It is also referred to as two –pound foam. It is denser than an open cell for about 2 pounds per cubic foot. R-Value for the closed cell foam is about 6-6.5 per inch. Due to its thickness, it is expensive than open cell types. It comes with an in-built vapor retarder. Closed-cell spray foam has a permeance of about 0.8 perms. It can easily handle cold climates without the addition of drywall or board. The closed cell utilizes hydrofluorocarbons (HFCS) as its makeup. It has been noted to have high global warming effects. If you like to go green, then avoid it.

If you need pricing on spray foam insulation, then you need to contact a professional today.

 

Where and When to Use Spray Foam Insulation

Spray Foam insulation forms alternative to traditional insulation materials such as fiberglass insulation. The material can be used during planning or even in the construction project. Spray foam is an expandable foam substance which can be easily sprayed into wall cavities during construction or onto a roof for insulation purposes.

Spray foam insulation applied by an attic insulation contractor wearing proper PPE

Spray Foam insulation being applied to bare wood in attic

Cost of the Spray Foam Insulation

The material is available in two forms. You can use open cell spray foam insulation which is usually $0.44 to $0.65 per board foot. Closed cell spray insulation is about $1 to $1.50 per board foot. The average labor cost to have spray foam professionally installed is about $2,104. The amount can vary depending on whether the home is new or old. A finished home will likely require energy audit or weatherization instead of spray foam insulation.

We are going to cover sections such as:

  • Where to Use Foam Insulation
  • DIY Foam Insulation Kits
  • Types of Foam Insulation
  • R-Value and Thermal Resistance
  • Benefits and Disadvantages
  • The difference in Cost for New vs. Existing Homes

 

Where to Use Spray Foam Insulation

 

You can use spray insulation to achieve both vapor and air barrier depending on the depth used. You should carry out checks and confirm the brand of foam used before hiring a contractor. It is necessary to check the manufacturer’s name, as well as the ESR reports and MSDS sheets on the foam, is installed. Some of the areas which are suitable for the insulation include:

Crawl Space/Basement:

In this area, you can apply it on spray foam seals pipes, cracks, plumbing, sills, and framing.

HVAC:

You can install the insulation around the heating and cooling system to optimize their performance. Areas you can apply it include around pipes, floor registers, condensers, and duct-work. Reductions experienced in extremely hot and cold climates can offset the upfront cost or the additions with foam.

 

Exterior uses for spray on insulation include:

  1. Electrical & gas penetrations
  2. Where the siding & Foundation meet
  3. Wall joints in the garage ceiling
  4. Stone wall repair
  5. Around exterior faucets and vents
  6. Securing block walls in the landscape
  7. Water feature fillers

You should choose closed cell or open cell spray insulation based on the purpose and the placement of the insulation. Always pay attention to the recommendations of the insulation contractor.

 

Types of Insulation and Their Benefits

Insulation Benefits

It is important to insulate the attic irrespective whether you are converting it or not. Insulation can save up to $600 in cooling and heating costs. There are several forms of insulation to choose. They include batts, blown in, barriers and spray foam. They have their pros and cons.

White spray foam being applied inside the roofing rafter

Contractor applying spray foam insulation in an attic.

Batts

They are made out of fiberglass or cellulose which is packed in rolls of varying thickness. To install you have to part with $1,500 on average. The large rolls can fit between studs and fill voids to prevent air from leaking into and out of the exterior wall. It costs $0.60 to $1.20 on average per square foot. It works best where attic has few obstructions.

Barriers

You can choose between reflective or radiant barriers which can cost an average of $1,600. The insulation applies thermodynamics to increase your home’s R-value. The value represents the ability of attics to resist heat flow. The barriers work through absorbing and reflecting heat so that they can maintain moderate temperatures. The attic insulation is best in homes located in areas with warm climates. It can cost an average of $0.17 to $0.33 per square foot.

Blown-in Insulation

It costs about $1,346 to install. It is known to offer perfect insulation with high R-value. Blown insulation can cost an average of $0.26 to $0.62 per square foot. You will have to part additional $64 to $80 per hour in labor. The blown in insulation consists of white cellulose which is a paper like material manufactured from recycled cardboard and newspapers. The insulation allows easy installation in tight spots. It is also pest and moisture proof.

Spray Foam Insulation

The insulation can cost an average of $1,900. There are two types which include closed cell and open cell foam. Both can work well, but closed foam offers high R-value, in addition to the insulation being vapor and water barrier. There is also an added benefit of sound proof when you use closed cell foam insulation. It is the perfect option for attic floor insulation. Open-cell foam can cost an average of $0.40 to $0.55 per board foot. For closed-cell spray foam, it can cost an average of $0.65 to $1 per board foot.