Fireproof spray foam insulation materials come in five primary forms. These include chopped fibers, foam, fibrous mats and textiles, board or block insulation, films and foils. The fire resistance of each form depends largely on the material of which it is composed.
Chopped fibers are loose and flow into holes and tight places more readily. Loose fibers can also be pressed into a mat or cloth-like form by weaving, knitting, braiding or pressing with an adhesive. Foam insulation is made from low-density plastics and other polymers and are often sprayed on vertical or overhead surfaces in buildings or inside machines or electronics. Block and board insulation is made into sheets, strips, plates or custom shapes. Films, foils, laminates or ceramic composites increase fire resistance in close spaces.
How to Upholster Bar StoolsIs polyurethane foam, in its sprayed form and as an insulator, actually environmentally friendly? What does 'green' and 'environmentally friendly' mean? All excellent questions, and all of them are not answerable in a word or two. Let's begin with defining the concept of environmentally friendly. According to the International Organization for Standardization (IOS) the term is too vague to be meaningful. The US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) agrees, but only to a point. The USEPA created the international Energy Star program in an attempt to provide the manufacturers of goods with a voluntary labeling system for promoting energy efficient products. In the 1990's when the program was started, it was only applied to appliances and electronics. However, today entire homes and home offices are able to gain Energy Star certification. The only criteria is the building must use 15% less energy than a standard home built to the 2004 International Residential Code. How does a home achieve that rating? The things at the top of the list for getting an Energy Star rating are not surprising: insulation, high performance windows, tight construction and ducting, energy efficient cooling and heating systems and Energy Star certified products (appliances, lighting, water heaters). Now, in reference to insulation specifically, its efficiency is measured according to R-value. An R-value is a mathematical calculation which produces the level of thermal resistance a building has. For the average North American home insulated with traditional fiberglass batts, R-value sits at between 3.1 and 4.3 per square inch. Blown in fiberglass insulation has a typical R-value between 2 and 4 per square inch. According to the US Department of Energy, the same home insulated with spray foam polyurethane insulation will have an R-value between 7 and 8 per square inch. Clearly a home insulated with spray foam would be well on its way to achieving an Energy Star rating, even without installing LED lighting and thermal windows. When a building is insulated with polyurethane foam, the costs of heating and cooling will undoubtedly be vastly reduced. Many spray foam manufacturers report that energy costs can be reduced by up to 40%; a claim that is both highly likely and easily attainable. With such a diminished use of energy, there is less demand for petroleum-based products and fossil fuels, resulting in a smaller carbon footprint being left on our planet. We are half way to answering our title question, is spray foam insulation really green? Now we know its immense potential for energy savings, but what about the manufacture of the foam itself? In the case of spray foam, the two substances that come together to produce the foam must remain separate until the time of application. Those two things are polyol (a naturally occurring alcohol) and diisocyanate (a group of organic compounds derived from plant and animal materials). When they are brought together with water, an exothermic reaction takes place producing the polyurethane foam. Although the foam is produced from organic substances, it does not breakdown over time - a good thing for insulation applications, but where does it go when it is no longer needed? When the intended use of the polyurethane foam has been completed, it can be re-purposed and recycled. For example, the Polyurethane Foam Association has pioneered a program in the US in which spray foam insulation and products meant for the landfill are collected and made into carpet foam underlay. The program is so successful that 80% of all carpet underlay used in the US is made from recycled polyurethane foam. The reduction in waste going to landfills is incredible! So, is spray foam insulation really 'green'? Yes, it is. Polyurethane foam is produced in an environmentally friendly way in that it is created from organic compounds using very little energy or water, prevents the excess use of fuel in heating and cooling homes and is entirely recyclable for other uses.
How to Remove Expanding FoamOne of the most popular techniques being used in roof insulation and roof repair is the spray foam roofing system. This technology has been around for many years and has been growing in popularity because of the many outstanding benefits and advantages over other types of roofing applications. When it comes to the foam material being used, most roofing contractors recommend polyurethane foam. To give you an idea what polyurethane foam is, it is a combination of two liquid elements- an isocyanate and polyolresin. They undergo a process of mixing according to its specified ratio which is normally one-is-to-one. The technique is applied by professional applicators using a team of spray foam equipment like a proportioner, heated hoses, transfer pumps and spray gun. Polyurethane foam is very flexible and versatile and can be applied to any type of roofing system. When the liquid polyurethane foam is sprayed over the affected roofing area, it expands and solidifies in just a matter of seconds. What happens next is you see a seamless and durable protective layer. The succeeding procedure is the application of another protective coating like an elastomeric type of coating. That is how simple sprayed polyurethane foam or SPF roofing system is. However, it is risky to undertake this procedure yourself if the extent of roofing repair and insulation is a bit complex. Adequate training, proper technique and application, and years of experience are the credentials brought in by the team of professional roofing repair and insulation contractors. It is the quality of work which will determine if the spray foam roofing will give the desired effects. If it is only the labor cost component you are trying to save when you decide to make it a do-it yourself job, you have to evaluate the situation thoroughly. On the other hand, if the roofing problem is a simple one and you are confident that you can do the procedure yourself, then go ahead. Having the basic technical know-how and skills and the energy are enough to accomplish the job. When it comes to DIY spray foam insulation kits, there are many types available in the market. The most common and affordable are the spray cans. You can shop in your local hardware stores for sealants and foam sprays and the price range depends on the features of the kits. You may want to purchase a kit with a pressurized spray nozzle or spray gun with extra nozzle tips and foaming chemicals. Before you buy what you need, try to familiarize yourself with the best type of kit by learning the appropriate ingredients and other matters such as r-value and other resistance rating. As soon as you are able to buy your kit, the next step is to see to it that the area to be worked on is perfectly clean and free of any debris. Just follow the instruction guideline in the manner of spray technique. The actual schedule should be done when you believe that the weather won't be a problem. For an ideal application, you have to do the spray foam roofing at the right temperature. If your roofing needs an extensive protection and insulation, it is to your best interest to assign the work to the professionals. Do your homework as to which type of foam material you consider the best. If you choose the SPF system together with a reputable elastomeric brand of coating, all you need to do is to finalize a deal with a dependable roofing and thermal insulation contractor for a total project cost within your budget. The bottom line is your house will enjoy proper room temperature during hot or cold days, some sound and noise reduction, wind lift, flame and weather resistance. There are other benefits you will enjoy not limited to reduced energy bills. In effect, the project investment you make is a self-liquidating one. Because of lower energy consumption, you are also helping out in the government's energy security and environmental concerns. What is of prime importance is the big picture. Just visualize the peace of mind, comfort and enjoyment spray foam roofing will provide to your family for many years to come!
How to Remove Expanding Foam Residue With a SolventDo you have a sneaking suspicion that the fiberglass insulation in your home or office is falling apart and not doing its job? Do you find bits of pink fluff everywhere? It might be time to ditch your tired old fiberglass insulation and replace it with something that will last. Spray foam is not only more resilient than other kinds of barriers, but it comes with numerous other benefits as well. If you're concerned about the condition of your home or building due to poor insulation, then spray foam can help solve your problems. Spray foam insulation is liquid polyurethane that dries into a tough foam consistency over a surface. Because it's liquid, it can fill in tiny cracks and holes that fiberglass can't protect. The thick, tightly sealed layer it creates is far more energy efficient than any other kind of material. It controls the indoor climate by keeping in more heat and cool air, depending on the weather. This will save you tons of money on electric bills, and be more comfortable for the occupants. Polyurethane insulation also doesn't come with any health risks. Fiberglass is made up of wiry, pink fibers that can make the skin sore and itchy if exposed to it. These fibers come loose and can be inhaled. Breathing in the fibers can cause lesions inside of the mouth and esophagus. Spray foam doesn't have tiny particles that break off and float into the air. It's also harmless to the touch, but is so durable that it does not crumble off anyways. Another benefit of spray polyurethane is that it can make your house or building more hygienic. The thick barrier prevents insects and other pests from sneaking inside. If you've had pest control problems in the past, spray foam insulation can be your new exterminator. Not even moisture stands a chance against its tough exterior. Spray foam keeps water out, which means it also keeps away dangerous mold, which can cost a fortune to repair. If you've been trying everything to get rid of mold, this material is excellent to use in existing homes. Since it can be a messy procedure, and previous insulation will have to be stripped and removed, it is recommended that only professional perform the service. You may be put off by the initial cost of having your home outfitted with a spray foam insulation kit. However, the money and time you will save in the future more than pays for itself. It will even add more value to the home or building, and you won't have to worry about replacing it. The best part about polyurethane is that it is environmentally friendly. If you're trying to make your house or building greener, then spray foam is the way to go. It is made from recyclable and renewable materials, and you'll be saving energy. Its versatility allows it to be sprayed almost anywhere, so you can even insulate the floors and ceilings. Spray foam insulation is a great move to make when you're improving your home or building.
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