Traders Point 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 a spray foam 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.
How to Upholster Bar StoolsIf you are in the process of building a new home or renovating your existing home then finding the ideal insulation is one of the decisions that you will have to make. There are several options available to you. Some products are more affordable in the short term but don't always provide the best long-term insulation solution. Other products may be more expensive to purchase but can save you hundreds of dollars on your utility bills over time. It is useful to compare and understand the different types of insulation so you can make an informed decision that will benefit you in the long run. What Is Spray Foam Insulation? Spray foam is a product that has been around for some time. It is one of the more efficient home insulators and available in a variety of types to suit different applications. It is made up of at least two compounds. Independently, the components can be stored for a relatively long period of time; however, when the compounds are mixed, they react and form foam that needs to be applied immediately. The foam is sprayed on to a surface area and after a short period of time, it sets and hardens. The result is an effective insulating layer that is highly durable. How Does Spray Foam Compare to Other Types of Insulation? Insulation is rated in terms of an R-value. The higher the R-value, the higher the density of the insulator and therefore the higher its effectiveness. It is considered a good insulator because of its comparatively high R-value. Open cell spray foam which has the lowest density has an R-value of 4. Most other types of spray foam have an R-value between 6 and 7.7. Compare this to fiberglass batting which is another common form of insulation that only has an R-value of 3.5. Comparatively speaking, it therefore has an average R-value that is almost double that of fiberglass batting. Another benefit of spray foam is that the application process is much easier. It can be applied to most surfaces regardless of whether they are horizontal or vertical. In all instances the foam can simply be sprayed onto the area that needs to be insulated. There is no measuring and cutting of mats or the need to overlap insulation. It is easy to apply in a uniform manner. It is also generally more durable than other forms of insulation. It does not wear down as easily and therefore protects and insulates your home for a much longer period of time before needing to be replaced. What Makes Spray Foam So Efficient as an Insulator? One of the properties of spray foam is that as it is applied to a surface area, it continues to expand. This means that the foam can get into cracks and crevasses and provide an airtight and watertight seal. It also hardens in a relatively short period of time which means that the application process can be completed in a relatively short space of time. Compared to other types of insulators, its high density is perhaps its most important characteristic. It keeps cold air out and warm air in during the winter months and helps to effectively insulate your home. How Else Does Spray Foam Protect Your Home? Certain types of spray foam have microbial agents as components. These microbial agents help prevent the growth of mold in your home. If you live in a region that has consistently high levels of humidity then your home can be susceptible to mold infestations. Often mold goes unseen and undetected until it is quite severe. This can affect the health of your family. Having an insulator that prevents mold growth can provide a healthier home environment. Spray foam is highly durable. It also can form a protective barrier in your home against vermin and insects. Rather than having to call exterminators, you can pre-empt the problem by insulating your home with this product.
How to Remove Expanding FoamAlthough spray foam insulation as we know it today truly emerged in the 1980s, 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. Although Otto Bayer worked for Bayer Corporation, he was not related to the company's founding family. During the 1940s, polyurethane polymers were used primarily in military and aviation applications. The production of war machines for the World War II conflict drove most of the applications of these high-grade plastic polymers for the duration of the war. It was not until the 1950s that polyurethane began to be used in home insulation. It was the invention of the "Blendometer" that allowed for expansion of polyurethane application to the home insulation realm. The Blendometer was the first machine able to mix components for the creation of polyurethane foam and was created by Walter Baughman in 1953. The Blendometer allowed for the strategic mixing of chemicals to create what Baughman called a plastic elastomer or an expanding foam. Liquid when applied, this plastic elastomer expanded into a thick foam and eventually hardened upon drying. Baughman's Blendometer was still a partially manual process, with humans tilting trays of chemicals to mix foam. While the machine did allow for the use of polyurethane in home insulation as well as in other home-related applications, like air conditioner insulation, it was still a technology in its infancy and one that made widespread use of polyurethane as a residential insulation material no less cumbersome. Polyurethane polymers were used in a variety of means throughout the following decades, with incredible advancements being made in the auto industry applications of the material in particular. However, it would be more than two decades before the foam would become widely used in home insulation processes. Building on Baughman's invention, the first dedicated spray technology machine was constructed in 1963 by Fred Gusmer. The 1960s and 1970s saw technological advancements which made spray foam's use in home insulation more easily achievable and affordable. It was also in the 1970s that the idea of the "super insulated" home emerged. Largely driven by the energy crisis of the 1970s, home builders and homeowners alike began to look for ways to improve the energy efficiency of homes. The crisis fueled advancements in technology that laid the foundation for modern spray foam applications. It was the development of advanced spray nozzle technology that allowed spray foam insulation to be used widely in home construction and improvement projects. The spray foam nozzle allows the foam mixture and the chemical responsible for its expansion capabilities to be separated until just prior to application. The spray foam mixture consists of several key components but it is the expansion chemical, isosynate, which is responsible for its easy application and expansive character. The application nozzle allows the foam mixture and the isosynate to be delivered to the nozzle through separate hoses, mixing only seconds before being sprayed. The spray foam arrives at its destination as a liquid but quickly expands into a foam substance and later dries into a hardened plastic upon curing. The 1980s and early 1990s saw a great deal of controversy within the spray foam insulation industry as different marketing schemes from various companies promoted the benefits of closed verses open foam insulation and as some companies tried to market water blown foam application processes. Though there has been much debate within the industry, R-value standards, used as a measure of determining energy efficiency, have cleared up much of the controversy. R-value ratings clearly define closed foam as the most effective means of making a home as energy efficient as possible. Closed cell spray foam has additionally been added to the list of building requirements for making homes in hurricane and earthquake zones more structurally sound. The improved stability of homes insulated with spray foam technology makes the use of spray foam a smart move for any homeowner regardless of geographic location.
How to Remove Spray Foam InsulationExpanding foam that overexpands and lands where you didn't plan for it -- on hands, clothes, cinderblock or studs -- can pose a removal problem, with the solution depending on the type you use. Polyurethane foams including Dow's Great Stuff, Touch 'n Foam, DAP Kwik Foam and Owens-Corning Insulating Foam Sealant require solvents to clean up while they remain wet, or uncured. DAPtex, a latex foam, expands less and stays flexible as it dries -- and cleans up when uncured with soap and water. Uncured Uncured expanding foam remains wet and can pose a removal problem on skin, carpet or clothing. Polyurethane foam on rigid and soft surfaces: Consult the manufacturer's instructions, which will suggest solvents, such as acetone, paint thinner or nail polish, to remove uncured polyurethane foam. On soft surfaces, such as carpet, test an inconspicuous area first. Polyurethane foam on skin: Wipe off the foam with a paper towel, and rub off the final sticky layer with petroleum jelly or baby oil. Latex foam: DAPtex can be cleaned off surfaces and skin with soap and water. Cured Expanding foam dries and hardens in 1 to 8 hours, depending on the product. You can sand, trim or scrape cured foam from rigid surfaces. Use a utility knife with a new, sharp blade for overfill up to about 1 inch thick. Switch to a serrated bread knife for wider overfill. If polyurethane foam dries on your skin, rub off as much as you can with a pumice stone. After a week or so, any remaining dried flecks should work off your skin. Tip To clean the nozzle before putting away the expanding foam, home improvement expert Danny Lipford recommends inserting a spray lubricant straw into the nozzle and spraying lubricant through the nozzle, then cleaning out the nozzle with a wire. Wipe off the outside of the nozzle and the straw before storing them. Alternatively, clean the nozzle with a can of compressed air. A DAPtex nozzle can be cleaned with soap and water and a paper clip or pipe cleaner.