Fortville 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 Make a Spray Foam TreeIs 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.
Homemade Rat and Mice Spray Repellent (with Pictures)So, you have chosen to kick out the pink stuff and insulate your home using polyurethane foam insulation instead. Congratulations! You're on your way to reaping the benefits of more energy savings, less mold, fewer air leaks, greener materials, and twice the protective capability when compared to traditional fiberglass and cellulose insulation. But you won't see these advantages if you do not apply spray foam insulation properly - and that begins before you start spraying. Before you even think about moving forward, you should be thinking about safety. Protective safety goggles, full-cover clothing, a mask, and work gloves are a must for anyone applying expanding foam insulation. Make absolutely sure that no skin is exposed during application, because the adhesiveness of spray foam is similar to that of permanent glue: it will stick to skin and will not come off. If this occurs, the insulation will remain on your skin until your outer epidermal layer peels off. For the record, the only substances known to remove expanding foam are white spirit-based solvents - and only then if the insulation has not begun to set. Applying polyurethane foam insulation also opens the possibility of the material getting into your lungs, which can cause respiratory problems. In short, get confident in your ability to apply spray foam properly. Once you are ready to proceed, make sure the area where the spray foam is to be applied is between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. If it is not, either wait for the temperatures to decrease or warm the area using a bullet heater. Also, make sure the application area is clear of debris and dust in order to maximize adhesion. If there are holes or cracks in the walls or ceiling areas where you are spraying, make sure that you apply a sealant to insure a suitable air seal. Once the area to be sprayed is ready, you must turn your attention to the areas that will not be sprayed. Windows, doors, floors, drywall, and other areas must be masked with cloth or plastic sheeting so they won't be affected by over spraying. If there are any objects or structures that cannot be removed before spraying (such as air conditioners, plumbing piping, or heating units), then make sure they are completely covered as well. Again, one gap in your protective sheeting could result in a spot or stain which you may be unable to remove.
How to Remove Spray Foam InsulationSo what does it take to make spray foam and what would someone looking to be in the business need to make it happen? Well when it comes to the equipment required to produce the insulation there are four main components: The Machine (aka the proportioner) The Gun The Hose The Pumps Each of these pieces of equipment are crucial to the application of foam insulation. You must each of the following items in order to spray, there are no shortcuts. It is almost important to understand a little bit about what each of these pieces of equipment actually do. The Foam Machine The foam machine is without a doubt the most important part of the entire setup and consequently the most expensive. The purpose of the machine (also called the proportioner) is to heat and proportion the two components of the spray foam chemicals to an exact 1:1 volume and pass that along the heated hose. The Spray Foam Gun The gun is what is connected, via the heated hose to the machine, that takes the chemicals, keep separate until they reach the gun, and mixes them together and sprays them out onto the desired surface. The guns most often operate with approximately 100cfm of supplied air in order to properly spray the chemicals and create a good, even mix of the material. The Heated Hose The hose which is connected between the foam machine and the foam gun, is a two hose design that keeps the material, the A and B component, both separated and heated while it travels the desired length which is typically around 200ft, not to exceed 400ft. The hose is a necessary item because the large foam machine is often mounted into a mobile spray foam rig/trailer and then the hose is pulled into the house or building so the desire area can be sprayed.