Westridge 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 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.
How to Remove Expanding FoamOne of the most important keys to reducing your heating and cooling costs is having your home well-insulated. So what is the best insulation for your home? Spray Foam Foam insulation has two forms: Open and closed cell. Both are made from a polyurethane material and have different propellant agents added. Some are made from biodegradable materials, such as soybeans, to make the off-gases friendlier to the environment. Foam is probably the best insulation for blocking air infiltration combined with high R-value. Installed by a professional, the price of spray foam varies depending on the thickness of the walls and type of foam. Spray foam insulation is probably the best overall insulation on the market if you can afford the cost. Foam insulation lowers your heating and your cooling loads when installed correctly. Additional benefits are elimination of air infiltration, keeps out dust, mold and allergens, and does not sag or deteriorate. Open cell foam is used more in residential applications. It is less expensive to install and is easier to work with after it's in place. Open cell allows water to penetrate, so it makes an excellent roof deck insulator. If water is allowed to penetrate, you can locate roof leaks before the decking deteriorates. Biggest benefit of open cell is heat transfer in sunny locations. It takes approximately 36 hours of sun to penetrate through 8 inches of foam. This is also true for walls. So when the home is cooled, it will stay cool. The warranty of the roof material is not voided with the installation of spray foam insulation. Closed cell foam has a much more structural component to it and can support some weight without compression. Closed cell does not allow water to penetrate and is an excellent insulator for basement and crawl walls where water could be a problem. Closed cell foam has a higher R-value per inch but is very ridged and tough to work with after installation. It is most often used in commercial applications. However, it has its useful applications in homes. Foam insulation keeps mold out of walls. Mold occurs in walls with batt insulation because of "thermal loop effect". This is where the heat penetrates the exterior wall, coming in contact with the cooler interior surface of the drywall, causing moisture to form. Moisture above 25% can provide an environment for mold to grow. Spray foam blocks this heat transfer and has no air gaps in which moisture can form. One way to combat the higher cost of spray foam is to combine a couple of inches of closed cell foam with fiberglass batt insulation installed over the foam, getting the exceptional air-blocking value of foam, with the high R-value and lower cost of fiberglass insulation. Spray foam insulation costs more than fiberglass batts, but it also has approximately twice the R-value of typical fiberglass batts insulation. By combining the two you will get the best of both. Foam insulation is also particularly good for remodeling projects when there is only easy access to the basement or crawl space and the attic. By blocking the air flow from the top (attic) and bottom (crawl or basement) you stop the draftiness that some older homes have, thus making the home more comfortable. A more comfortable home is what we all are looking to achieve. Spray foam can give you warmth in the winter and cooling in the summer when combined with the appropriate HVAC system. These systems can be smaller in size when your home is better insulated with less air infiltration.
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.