While building your house, insulation is an important consideration. There are many options available, among which, spray foam stands out as a long-term alternative. This article provides you with an estimate of the cost involved in installing it.
Closed cell foam insulation has the distinction of having the highest R-value, which is a measurement of the thermal resistance of a material.
Spray foam is one of the newest options among the available home insulation solutions. Many people are opting for it due to its ease of installation and the long-term economic benefit it offers. It is known to have a lifespan of about 80 years, can act as an effective sound barrier, besides blocking moisture, vapor, air, and improving the structural integrity of walls. Considering the higher cost, the payback period of this installation type is about 5 to 7 years.
One of the costliest insulation materials in the world, spray foam comes in two varieties, which are open and closed cell type. With an R-value of about 3.6, open cell foam insulation is primarily used as an air barrier and requires more layers to compensate for the low thermal resistance. It costs about USD 0.4 to USD 0.65 per board foot. The more expensive variety is closed cell foam, that is used as a thermal, air, vapor, and moisture barrier. It costs about USD 0.7 to USD 1 per board foot. (A board foot is a volume measure that equals ‘1ft x 1ft x 1 inch’ of lumber. It is equal to 1⁄12 ft3). The total cost of an insulation project will vary, according to labor charges, volume of foam layers required, wall thickness, and location. The most clear estimate can only be provided by a contractor. Using the cost per board foot figures, provided above, you can make an actual estimate for your house.
About Spray Foam Insulation
It is a synthetic substance, created through the combination of organic and inorganic materials. There are different combinations of chemicals that make these materials. One type of this material is created on-site, through a combination of organic resin polyols and isocyonate, at specific temperature and pressure conditions. Through a chemical reaction, these two compounds combine to create polyurethane material. It has the unique property of expanding to a substantially greater size (about 100 times its actual volume). As explained before, it comes in two types, closed and open wall foam, with varying R-values.
This foam hardens in about four hours after application, filling out all the space in which it is sprayed and creates a thermal blanket. It can effectively create an insulation barrier, when sprayed into wall cavities, concrete slabs, sheathing interior, drywalls, and cavities in walls.
It creates a barrier against air flow and moisture buildup, taking care of insulation, as well as mold growth problems. It can strengthen a structure and insulate compact regions, which are not normally accessible to conventional foaming techniques. A higher R-value (a measure of thermal resistance of a material) per unit volume, makes it an effective insulation material. There are environmental and health concerns raised, regarding the toxicity of these materials, if directly exposed to them. However, if care is taken during installation and the environmental exposure is limited through drywall cover, it can be a safe material to use.
The installation of spray foam insulation is best left to professionals due to the hazardous nature of the materials used and the requirement of special machinery. The local costs may vary a bit, according to your location and labor charges. Calculate the heating costs that you incur every year and the reduction that you can expect in them, after installation, based on the R-value it offers. If you find that the reduction in heating costs can effectively compensate for the high installation price over time, then go for it.
This type of insulation costs more than other conventional options. But it is a profitable option in the long term, considering the higher savings on heating and cooling.