The Advantages & Disadvantages Of Spray Foam Insulation
Spray foam has been on offer to homeowners for decades, providing insulation in spaces that cannot otherwise be insulated and offering a simple solution that provides excellent returns on your initial investment. However, with so much information available, it can be hard to work your way through the research to come up with a clear view of whether spray foam is the right choice for you.
To help, we've shared 22 advantages and disadvantages of spray foam insulation so that you can feel empowered to make the best choice for your property – read on to find out more.
What Are the Advantages of Spray Foam Insulation?
Advantage One – Spray Foam Reduces Your Energy Consumption
Advantage Two – Spray Foam Creates a Strong Thermal Bubble
When it comes to creating an air-tight seal that gives you a thermal bubble, spray foam is unparalleled! Not only does it stop air from moving by more than 20 times but it also creates a thermal layer that keeps you warm when the weather outside is cold and cool when the weather outside is hot.
Advantage Three - Spray Foam Fits in Every Size Space
Advantage Four – Spray Foam Lowers Your Energy Bills
Advantage Five – Open-Cell Spray Foam Allows Moisture to Escape
Advantage Six – Spray Foam Does Not Hold Water
Many people are told that spray foam holds water which causes damp and other moisture-related issues. In truth, neither open nor closed-cell insulation works in this way. Open-cell allows moisture to escape and closed-cell doesn't. Sadly, sometimes people have closed-cell installed by mistake and the internal levels of moisture then build-up, causing the problems. Stick with open-cell for the best, breathable results.
Advantage Seven – Open-Cell Foam Reduces Moisture, Condensation and Other Problems
If you find that your windows are always covered in condensation then installing open-cell spray foam may help! This type of spray foam encourages moisture to escape, helping you to keep your property clean, safe and problem-free. If you opt to keep things the way they are, you will find that the moisture and condensation that is causing you problems will turn into mould and mildew that can be hazardous to your health.
Advantage Eight – Modern Spray Foam is Kind to the Environment
There is no denying that older versions of spray foam may not have been made from the most environmentally-friendly materials but this is no longer the case. Many open-cell spray foams now use environmentally-friendly products and practices so that you can get the insulation you need without having to compromise your commitment to the globe.
Advantage Nine – Spray Foam Offers a Lengthy Lifespan
Advantage Ten – Spray Foam Protects You From Environmental Nasties
Advantage Eleven – Spray Foam Adds Strength to Your Roof, Walls and Floors
Keeping your property in a good, functional condition is vital to your health, happiness and bank balance and spray foam can help. Once spray foam has been installed and cured, it provides extra strength to your property and helps to retain the structural integrity for many years to come. Interestingly, you can look forward to more than a 200% increase in racking strength when you have the right spray foam installed in the right sections of your property.
Advantage Twelve – Spray Foam Can Offer a Sound Barrier
Insulating your property is usually something that is done to improve heat retention and lower energy usage and costs. However, when you use spray foam as your insulator, then you can also look forward to a quieter building. This is because spray foam insulation also acts as a sound barrier, dulling the external noises that may otherwise cause you frustration. If you have spray foam installed in your walls, you can also look forward to a better sound barrier between rooms and less impact from your neighbours' noise if your building is attached.
Advantage Thirteen – Spray Foam Has an Excellent R-Value
Advantage Fourteen – Spray Foam Does Not Require a Vapour Barrier
Before insulation is installed, many types of insulation require a vapour barrier to be laid first, helping to stop moisture from entering the space. However, this can be an expensive process, ramping up the final cost of insulating your property. The good news is that spray foam insulation can adhere to any material and so the need for a vapour barrier is taken away, saving you cash and speeding up the installation of your new insulation.
What Are the Disadvantages of Spray Foam Insulation?
As with all types of insulation, there are some disadvantages to consider. We've found 8 disadvantages of spray foam that you need to be aware of – check them out now.
Disadvantage One – Spray Foam Can Be An Expensive Investment
Many people find that spray foam is an expensive investment and worry that they will not see the appropriate return to make it a viable option. The good news is that, when installed properly by a spray foam specialist, the cost of spray foam should be recouped from a reduction in your energy bills over 2 – 3 years.
Disadvantage Two – The Wrong Spray Foam Can Cause Damage to Your Property
Disadvantage Three – You Cannot Install Spray Foam as a DIY Project
If you enjoy DIY projects and want to install your own spray foam insulation then you will be disappointed. Spray foam insulation must be installed by a professional due to the complex health and safety requirements. The good news is that there are many great installation services to choose from, leaving you free to complete a different DIY project instead.
Disadvantage Four – Poorly Installed Spray Foam Can Shrink
Choosing the right installer is always important when it comes to spray foam. Sadly, if you choose a poor installer then you may end up with clumsy coverage that shrinks when the temperatures change. At Countrywide Coatings & Insulation, all of our team have been specially trained in spray foam insulation techniques so that you don't need to worry about shrinkage.
Disadvantage Five – Spray Foam Can Pose a Health Risk
Inhaling spray foam or gases released during installation can have a negative impact on your health. This is why spray foam insulation teams always wear high-quality PPE and expect you to stay away from the installation area until the curing time is up. Once it is cured, spray foam is perfectly safe for you to be near.
Disadvantage Six – Spray Foam Needs to Cure
While spray foam does offer an instant barrier, it must be left for 24 hours to expand and cure before you enter the space that has been insulated. There is no way to speed the curing process up, meaning that you will need to be willing to wait so that the foam isn't damaged and so that your health isn't at risk.
Disadvantage Seven – Spray Foam Installation Takes Time
As with all good things, spray foam takes time to install and you will need to have a day set aside for your installer to complete their work uninterrupted. If you are only having your roof insulated or you have a smaller property then the time will be reduced.
Disadvantage Eight – Closed-Cell Spray Foam Can Cause Water Damage
When it comes to choosing spray foam, if your installer offers you closed-cell spray foam for anything other than a warehouse or agricultural building then you should refuse it as it does not let moisture escape and can be the cause of water damage inside the property.
The Advantages & Disadvantages Summarised
With so many different advantages (and disadvantages) of spray foam to understand, it can be difficult to get a clear overview of everything on offer. We've shared a clear summary of the advantages and disadvantages of this insulation to give you the confidence you need to proceed:
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Spray Foam Insulation – a Summary
|1. Reduces your energy consumption
|1. Spray foam can be an expensive investment
|2. Creates a strong thermal bubble
|2. The wrong spray foam can cause damage to your property
|3. Can be used in the smallest gaps to the largest spaces
|3. You cannot install spray foam as a DIY project
|4. Lowers your energy bills
|4. Poorly installed spray foam can shrink
|5. Open-cell spray foam allows moisture to escape
|5. Spray foam can pose a risk to your health if you do not use PPE
|6. It does not hold water inside the foam
|6. Spray foam requires 24 hours to cure
|7. Reduces condensation, mould and mildew
|7. A professional installer can take hours to complete the installation
|8. Modern spray foam is kind to the environment
|8. Closed-cell spray foam can cause water damage
|9. It comes with a lengthy lifespan
|10. Provides you with protection from pollen, dust and more
|11. Offers additional strength to your roof, floors and walls
|12. Helps to create a sound barrier
|13. Spray foam has an excellent R-Value
|14. No vapour barrier is required prior to installation.