One of the main advantages of spray foam insulation is that it acts as both insulation and air barrier, thereby ensuring that these two components of the building envelope are functional and perfectly aligned. If applied correctly, it will perform both roles perfectly. However, there are four common mistakes that can compromise its effectiveness.
Not using enough
There are two types of spray foam insulation: closed-cell and open-cell. Each has its pros and cons, but one crucial difference between the two is the cause of a very common mistake on the part of insulation installers. Closed-cell foam has a higher R-value than open-cell foam and doesn't need to be as thick to provide effective insulation. However, because it doesn't normally fill the cavity it's applied to, it's easy to miss areas where the foam is too thin unless the contractor performs numerous spot checks.
Using too much
While this is unlikely to compromise the effectiveness of your insulation, you'll pay more money but gain no further benefit. It's common for contractors to use too much foam, especially if they haven't taken the time to familiarize themselves with the building envelope and the layout of the home.
The building envelope is the line that divides spaces that are climate-controlled from those that aren't, and not every wall needs to be insulated to the same degree.
Missing a spot
The air-sealing ability of spray foam insulation is one of its main selling points, but it can't seal where it hasn't been sprayed. This usually happens when contractors miss areas near a soffit or gaps in a tray ceiling or under ventilation ducts. While small, these gaps can create condensation, which over time damages insulation and construction and may lead to mould growth. Make sure the company you hire thoroughly inspects the area so they don't miss a spot.
Spray foam is meant to expand so it can fill every inch of the area where it's applied to and form a strong seal. However, in some cases, the foam can contract and pull away from the sides of the space it's supposed to fill. This is often due to poor mixing or too high a temperature during application, and it can compromise the entirety of your home's insulation. To avoid this, hire people who are experienced and knowledgeable about the products they use.
Ontario's Insulation Experts
For professional and outstanding service, trust Reitzel Insulation. With over 45 years of experience, you can rely on us to properly and efficiently apply any type of insulation. Call us today to get an estimate or to learn more about our products and services.